Top ten punk albums

Claire Hoffman (’12) and Jenna Yogel (’12)

From The Sex Pistols shouting for anarchy to The Clash fighting for people to think about the future, punk rock has given generations new ideals to process. The best of punk rock is not only entertaining music, but allows the listeners to expand their mind and express what they are feeling, as these ten albums have for decades.

1. London Calling by The Clash
In this album The Clash expanded and brought a new sound to punk, while still maintaining the traditional punk sound. The Clash added new beats such as jazz, reggae, rockabilly and ska as songs. Joe Strummer, guitarist and vocalist of The Clash, took ideas from the newspaper and put them into his lyrics. The combination of political ideas and new rhythms can be seen in songs “Guns of Brixton” and “Death or Glory”. London Calling is a rare album that from start to finish never lets up.

2. Never Mind the Bollocks by The Sex Pistols
On this first and only album of The Sex Pistols, they created rock anthems such as “God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the U.K.” Mockery of England’s government and symbols are what the lyrics held and what The Sex Pistols were about. The album was full of negativity and disgust for what the world was. Their sloppy tactics, such as Johnny Rotton’s singing and Steve Jones’s style of playing guitar goes with what they stand for.

3. The Ramones by The Ramones
This quintessential 60’s punk band revolutionized punk rock with their first album The Ramones. Although it originated in America, across the Atlantic this album could be heard playing. The Ramones have fun and energetic lyrics and songs. Johnny Ramone’s style of playing guitar was essential to the sound of The Ramones. Now, 40 years later, people are still singing “Hey, Ho, Let’s Go.”

4.The Clash by The Clash
The first album by The Clash helped define “punk.” The album The Clash made punk sound, dress, and ideals known around the world. The Clash helped begin the use of political lyrics with this album release. This is one of the most influential albums in rock history.

5.Single Going Steady by The Buzzcocks
Wittiness and energy got reinvented with this album. Although people think of The Clash and The Sex Pistols as the best British punk bands, The Buzzcocks should be included along with them. Their sardonic cynicism made their lyrics range from upbeat to angry.

6.White Light/ White Heat by The Velvet Underground
White Light/ White Heat influenced punk music in the 70’s and 80’s. A new side of The Velvet Underground is shown in this album. Before recording this album, The Velvet Underground had been going through turbulent times, bringing a darker tone to their second album. John Cale, bassist of The Velvet Underground said, “The first [album] had some gentility, some beauty. The second [album] was consciously anti-beauty.”

7.Damned Damned Damned by The Damned
Although this album doesn’t have many political views in it, The Damned shows that punk ideals don’t necessarily have to be a part of punk music. The Damned started the Goth sub genre of punk in both their songs and their fashion.

8.The Stooges by The Stooges
Again, this album influenced punk music to come. Produced by the Velvet Underground’s original bassist, John Cale, The Stooges were a mentor to later punk bands such as The Ramones. The Stooges experimented with different sounds before settling for punk.

9.Walk Among Us by The Misfits
Walk Among Us did not influence just music, but also horror films. “Night of the Living Dead” and other songs were featured in the soundtrack of horror movies. It made headlines by having “violent” lyrics that referred to blood and guts. The lead vocalist, Glenn Danzig, brought a new style of vocals to punk because of his vocal range and distinctive style.

10.New York Dolls by New York Dolls
This album’s influences include the Velvet Underground and Iggy Pop of the Stooges. Although the voice of the lead singer can be quite monotone at times, the thrash of the guitar and the cleverness of the lyrics makes up for it.