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Best Punk Rock Bands

Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi Feb 15, 2019
We all know that punk rock music genre has served as an inspiration to many famous artists, but who are those people who made punk rock a global phenomena. Let's find out,
Punk rock bands are usually credited of inventing lyrics and music which are deliberately targeted towards government and other social customs of society. The origin of punk rock genre have always been under debate. Everyone has a different definition of what punk rock is, and fans across the US and UK always proclaim that punk rock originated on their soil.
It is hard to point from whom or from where did punk rock came. The only thing that people know is that it started somewhere around 60s when various underground or garage musicians formed bands and started playing in local clubs and joints. Their music was influenced from rock and roll and lyrics were filled with violent and offensive content.
These musicians were just like activists who pointed out everything that was wrong, but unlike activists they did it in style and with music. The real punk rock music is not that popular now but let's not forget the bands who brought it to mainstream attention and inspired other genres. Let's see which punk rock bands were considered the best in that era.

The Ramones

Anybody who was listening to music in the 1970s knew them. The Ramones are widely credited as the first official group of the punk rock genre. They had a long career but never saw commercial success; on their first concert hardly 10 people were present. The lead singer battled OCD throughout his career and the bassist was a drug addict.
After touring for 22 years and performing at 2,263 concerts, The Ramones split up in 1996. It was after their split, that people realized their greatness and made them icons. Their music finally saw commercial success but sadly all the members died between 2001 and 2004.

The Sex Pistols

The name is still fresh in the minds of millions and the band is perhaps the most successful punk rock band from the United Kingdom. The Sex Pistols received lots of media coverage not just for their music but for their weird TV appearances, clothing, frequent arrests, hairstyles, constant brawls and drug abuse.
Although their career lasted only two years, and they made just one proper LP (Long Play): 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols'; they are still considered as the inventors of punk rock on the English land. Every song that they made became a classic and their reunion in 1996 was nothing short of a celebration for the music world.

The Clash

One of the most successful bands in the history of punk rock, The Clash were together for a good number of 7 years. During this time, they produced wonderful music and were responsible for shaping the punk rock genre in the English Land. They started out with controversial lyrics which made them a hot topic and The Clash became, "The Only Band That Matters".
Their journey started with punk music and later embraced all genres, hence their albums are often called complete packages. Their 1980 hit London Calling is perhaps the greatest LP of all time. The band was heavily discussing a celebrated reunion but the plan backfired when Joe Strummer, the lead guitarist and vocalist suddenly died.

Social Distortion

Social Distortion is again a big name in the world of American punk rock. The band was formed by Mike Ness in 1978 and within two years they became the most critically acclaimed punk rock band in the country. Unlike others, the band still plays and regularly goes on tours.
Their most successful albums like Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, White Trash, Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll and White Light are considered their best work. The death of Dennis Dannel came as a shock to millions and with this farewell, Ness is the only original living member of the band.

The Dead Kennedys

The Dead Kennedys are an American punk rock band which became extremely popular during the 1980s. They angered a lot of people with their lyrics and music. Songs such as "Too Drunk Too F**k", "Holiday in Cambodia" and various others pissed off many conservative groups in the society.
The society believed that they were a bunch of violent worthless men who deserved to be behind bars, but anyone who listened to their songs believed otherwise. Some human organizations also accused them of promoting violence and inhuman habits in young adults. The band broke up in 1986 due to their internal conflicts but their legend still lives on.

Green Day

It is the most popular punk rock band today. This is not a personal opinion, this is statistics talking. The band started out young, gained a lot of experience and got better with every performance. They had churned out many successful songs but they faced a low period for some time.
But then American Idiot happened and made them the undisputed leader of the punk rock genre. This brilliant song changed the course of music forever and Green Day was playing to sold out venues all over.


The previously mentioned names were considered the pioneers of punk rock music but there are innumerable bands which kept the spirit of punk rock alive in the hearts of millions. Here are those names:
  • X
  • MC5
  • MDC
  • Wire
  • Crass
  • Jerks
  • Rancid
  • Chelsea
  • Flipper
  • Firehose
  • The Ruts
  • Pennywise
  • The Germs
  • Black Flag
  • The Damned
  • X-Ray Spex
  • Descendants
  • Bad Religion
  • Circle Jerks
  • Generation X
  • Joy Division
  • Minor Threat
  • Reagan Youth
  • Talking Heads
  • The Dead Boys
  • The Exploited
  • The Minutemen
  • Choking Victim
  • Leftover Crack
  • The Black Flag
  • Mission of Burma
  • The Replacements
  • Screeching Weasel
  • Iggy and the Stooges
  • Stiff Little Fingers
  • Richard Hell & The Voidoids
The bands mentioned here have come up with some of the most influential lyrics which have been nothing short than enlightenment for millions. These were the precious jewels of the punk rock genre who created some songs that are considered classics even today.