New Poll Time!!
Best Punk Albums (by decade)
by Michele Christopher

We had such fun with our Best Punk Songs poll that we decided it's time to do some more polling. This time around, we're doing albums. I know we've done the best punk albums of the 80s before, but that was just by us, for us. Now we want you. Well, we want your input. And your votes. This time, we are doing Best Punk Albums and we are going by decade.

We aren't going to start in the 60's or any kind of pre-punk stuff. We both talked about even not including the 70's in here and decided that we have to include them. You toss your favorites in here. Just for the decade we are doing. Then we will have a poll on that decade the next day. The winner will advance to the next round. The next day (or so) we will do the next decade. The same thing. You toss anything in you want. What you like, liked or just want to fuck with us with. The next day we will have a poll. When we are done, we will have four winners of each decade. Then we will pit them all against each other in a free for all cage match to see who wins.

So for today we have the 70's. Maybe we'll hang this for two days. Who knows. Depends on your response.

Here our two picks for Best Punk Albums of the 70's.

Stooges - Raw Power (1973)

sham.jpg“Do not adjust the speakers, man.” That’s what I remember my cousin saying to his brother about this album. It might have been when it first came out, maybe a year or two later. Going back that far, it gets fuzzy. But my cousins babysat for us a lot and they always brought over records to play for me. It was their way of “bringing me up right.” It’s how I came to love the music I do.

I don’t remember much about how I felt upon first hearing Raw Power. I didn’t come to really love or appreciate this album until much later. But I do remember Michael saying that. “Do not adjust the speakers, man.” And I know what he meant. This album was amplified, mixed loud and produced in such a way so that the guitars stood out above everything else. Raw power, indeed.

Some people think this album sounds messy. Some, like myself, think the complete opposite. It’s focused. It’s a tightly wrapped package of adrenaline, destruction and power. Raw Power kicks ass and takes names. It comes out fighting and keeps pummeling you, and even when in spaces it cools down a bit, it’s still packing a huge punch. Iggy’s vocals are so tight, so intense and the music so overlayed with noise and distortion and you may think that sounds messy, but it works. It is real raw power. This is what destruction sounds like. Whether that’s self-destruction or not was the question of the day when this album came out. Was this a band falling apart or a band just getting it together? Guess it depended on who was listening. For a slew of future punk rockers who claimed Raw Power as an influence, this was a band that knew how to make destruction sound good.

I’m not gonna pretend this isn’t an ugly album, because it is. But punk rock was never meant to be pretty.

*yea, i know all about the bowie remix controversy thing, but getting into it would take too much away from the idea at hand here -M

Raw Power
Search and Destroy

Sham 69 -Tell Us the Truth - 1978

stooges.jpgYou guys could prolly figure out I was going to do this. Being a young kid in California when all the skinhead shit came around, you could probably assume I would do this. I never hated this band like I did Skrewdriver or the 4skins. That shit was just evil. This was a different band. They started this, but for some strange reason in California it turned, well, weird. The Sham guys just wanted to have fun. You could always hear them having fun on the album. It was always awesome when they went on tour. They went out of their way to put out "Sham" shirts with silkscreened flowers on them. Just kind of of a symbol to knock this skin shit off. I don't care about your shoelaces. I don't care about their color. I don't care if you wear Docs. I don't care if you have a shaved head and I don't care if you have a mohawk. We aren't your spokesmen for hate. We just want to drink beer and play darts. Don't bring us into this. We stopped giving a fuck about your issues as soon as the first beer was poured. I'm not saying they weren't pissed. That's were they got their power from. They were tired of everything and just done with everything. The attituted was like, "You guys are all fucked and we hate you all."

Sure they made some statements like whomever was innocent or some kind of Borstal Breakout, but who even knew where that was much less knew how to spell it? A song about some kind of something that was covered by so many bands? It's gotta mean something. So many people covered it. What does it mean? Social statement? Meh. Gimmie another beer and let's go watch TV. Turn the stereo up and see what band covers it next. My favorite song on here has to be "Hey Little Rich Boy." Just cause I used to be playing before I had to hit the bus. I would get burned by rich kids with fast cars. Passing me by. Walking down the street looking for a bus. All I thought was, "I don't need a fast car to get me around. I can take a bus to the other side of town." True thoughts of someone who was beat down but never, ever would fall to his knees and he wanted you to know that. You would never beat him. -T

Borstal Breakout
Hey Little Rich Kid

So here's where you come in. Give us your choices. Best punk albums of the 70's. Just list them and go ahead and tell us why. List as many as you want. Rock the vote.

This is the 70's. Stick to the 70's! Just for this one! The 80's vote will be this weekend followed by the 90's shortly after and, welp, you guessed it....00's shortly after.

The Battle Royale has begun.

Update: We both already reviewed a great album from that decade: Ramones s/t (1976).


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference New Poll Time!!
Best Punk Albums (by decade)

» Best Punk Albums of the 70's - The List So Far from Faster Than the World
Here's the list thus far, compiled from the comments and including our two picks. You have until tomorrow to add more to this list and then we'll put it up for a vote. Stooges - Raw Power Sham 69 -... [Read More]

» weak end wrap up from kaliporniasux
faster than the world posted the voting for the best punk album of the 70's. [Read More]


Albums are so unpunk. But I love albums, and I love punk. So I love this poll idea.

In my view, the best punk albums come from two years, 1976 and 1977.
From 1976:

Ramones - loud, fast, Ramones. A perfect punk record from the opening power chords of "Blitzkrieg Bop" on through "Beat on the Brat," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "Judy Is a Punk," even "Let's Dance" and the balladish "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend."

1977 was the year of punk albums. Here are a few from that year that should be on the list:

Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks. The one and only real Pistols album (never mind the bootlegs).

The Clash - The Clash. Take your pick, the UK version or the US version. Either one rocks.

Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True. Yes it is punk. "Welcome to the Working Week" is all about dealing with the Man. Best rockabilly-punk tune of '77 is "Mystery Dance."

Talking Heads - 77. Album of the year. It's not. Yesterday. Anymore. Listen to "New Feeling."

OK, that's enough from one aged blowhard. I'll let the young punks have their say and poke fun of the old man while I wave my cane at them and yell at them to get the f@ck off my lawn.



Ramones - Ramones (1976)
The Clash - London Calling (1979)
Buzzcocks - Orgasm Addict (1977)


I almost added London Calling but it didn't show up in the US until 1980. Plus, I didn't wanna get beat up for posting more than one Clash record. :)



well i was going to do "maggot brain" by Funkadelic.

They aren't your typical idea of punk, but they played about bitches, brew and brawls. That stuff came out in the early 70's and if you don't think that had an effect on punk, you might wanna look around to how many punk rockers can get the kick on the intro of "Hit it and quit it"

/I had to choose here guiys, so I went with sham ok? lemmie alone.

but this is up to you guys, not us


Ramones - Rocket To Russia 1977
Still, hands down, my favorite Ramones album and one of the few that I play from beginning to end, only pausing to flip the damn thing over.....

The Jam - In The City 1977
Ferocious is the best way to describe it....

Dead Boys - Young, Loud and Snotty 1977
Messy, bouncy and catchy as hell....

Devo - Are We Not Men ? 1978
I listen to it once a week.... 20 years later and I bounce around like a 10 year old retard.....


dude. no one doubts the funk. not on my shift.


1978. The Cramps. Lucky 13.

I'm most familiar with 80s stuff, but i happen to ADORE this album. I love "Human Fly".

Heh. Sham 69. Awesome Shit. That the one with "Poor Cow" on it? Damn that song is funny.



this is going to be a fight

keep 'em coming guys


Man, I'm going to have to review more albums than one. I'd definitely consider that Elvis album punk. I love that one.

And the Jam - and we need to link to our previous Ramones review.

I knew the Clash contingency would come out in force on this.


stooges - fun house
specials - specials
velvet underground - loaded


Amen to Devo, "Q: Are We Not Men?" Fantastic album. Second only to "Duty Now for the Future" (1979, I believe).

I second "Specials," too. 2-tone ska/punk.


Who really needs to get back to work


New York Dolls - New York Dolls: Maybe proto-punk but still highly influential.

The Incredible Shrinking Dickies - The Dickies: Was their any faster music at the time?

And I second (third?) the Ramones - Ramones.


thanks for your input on the list. but right now what we are doing is compiling a list. so we need your input. Then what will do is a vote from each decade. Whats the best album? Then take the decades best votes as decided by you, the voters, and put them all together and make one big fight. 4 albums. 70's v 80's v 90's v 00 and see who wins.

Best punk rock album ever as voted on by you

We have no control over it so you guys have fun. Just give us names to put on the list for the decade we are in and see if they can get out of the pack and move on to the next round. The voting begins soon so post your albums. They will all get on the poll.

Line them out and we will grab them up and you guys can have fun on the voting.


Dictators -- Go Girl Crazy (1975)

I'm gonna nominate Elvis Costello's Armed Forces (79). It's more pop than the first two, but still punk attitude-wise.


I would be lying if I picked two albums and said they were my favorite from any decade, my opinion changes all the time. I'll join in with two that strike me at the moment.

Wire - Pink Flag (1977)
This album still holds up as something completely different from anything recorded then or since. "Mr. Suit" is one of the fastest songs from 1977 I can think of. 12XU is, well, 12XU. So good, all of it.

Angelic Upstarts - Teenage Warning (1979)
Pissed off, loud and raw rock that sometimes even became solemn ("The Murder of Liddle Towers" is one of the best anthems around).


Michelle - Here's another one for The Clash contingency...
The Clash '77.

Really lets face it, they were the only band that mattered.

Second would have to be Elvis - My Aim is True, with This Year's Model close, and Armed Forces not far behind, he was the best writer of the period.

Third - The Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bullocks.

To bad "Kick Out The Jams" by the MC5 came out in 69.


The Jam - In The City (1977)
The Jam - Setting Sons (1978)
Generation X - Generation X (1978)
X Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescents (1978)
Damned - Damned (1977)
Stiff Little Fingers - Inflammable Material (1979)
Germs - GI - (1979)


and i'm torn as to which Damned album. "Damned Damned Damned" (77) or "Machine Gun Etiquette" (79)


Damn.... Left one out.....

Gang of Four - Entertainment 1979
Anthrax rocks my socks......



this is getting good. I fogot all these albums. Keep them coming!

Hey. just wait for the 80's when I can step up.


I'm not really all that much of a Punk fan, but if I gotta go with the Ramones' Rocket to Russia. LOVE that wacked-out record.

Television's Marquee Moon is pretty damn good, too...


and i'm torn as to which Damned album. "Damned Damned Damned" (77) or "Machine Gun Etiquette" (79)

well it doesnt matter now

you said them both

they are both on the list


No "if". Meant to say, gotta go with.


and i'm torn as to which Damned album. "Damned Damned Damned" (77) or "Machine Gun Etiquette" (79)

I almost reviewed MGE instead of the Stooges.


all right, fuck it then i'll say it

black sabbath, paranoid


I need a concensus. Are we considering that BS album punk? Cause if we are I need to write about it.


A few more gathered from input from friends -

The Cure - Imaginary Boys (1979) * Punk?
Public Image Ltd. - First Issue (1978) * Punk?
The Clash - Give Em Enough Rope (1978) * The best Clash album IMHO.
Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady (1979)
Cockney Rejects - I'm Not A Fool EP (1979)


this is going to be an interesting list


Paranoid falls in the category of heavy metal. I don't think it qualifies for this list.



fuck but if maggot brain is included because of it's influence...


I can't believe I forgot Pink Flag! Wire released two other classics soon after. Chairs Missing from 78 and 154 from 79. 154 is probably my favorite of the three.

Sabbath was a huge influence on later day Black Flag records. I'm not sure if that is enough to qualify it as punk, but it's certainly an influence.

I'd like to add Public Image Ltd -- Metal Box as well.


Pink Flag by Wire
First Clash album
First Ramones album
Blood Brothers by The Dictators

And good call on both of those.


both 999 and the stranglers had a couple of great albums in the late 70s but i can't remember what they were called and i'm too lazy to go looking :P Cos its 80 billion degrees outside and i just came in and i need to go stand in front of the freezer for a bit until my brain cools down and i can start it up again.

'Course, depends on if you call them punk. At the time there was a lot of stuff called punk that wouldn't be punk now. Or something. Gaaah my head.


i'll be the first to say i'm not the best person to ask about 70's punk rock.

Ill throw my ideas in on the 80's post

now I m just guessing


Misfits "Bullet" EP came out in '77. Does that count, or will we have to wait for the '80s set, so we can put Walk Among Us on the list?


Bad Brains "Black Dots" was '78. Anything else I can add has already been brought up.


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