100 best punk songs 71-79
by Michele Christopher

We're getting there kids. Almost done. Stick aroundfor the voting phase, that should be fun. Oh, and new format, the downloads are now linked in the song title.

First up, two from reader Mr. B and W:

71. Social Distortion "Reach for the Sky -"
I was driving around listening to a college alt-rock station, WBRU in Providence R.I. when the dj said they would be playing some new Social D. I got excited and turned up the volume. The song they played was 'Reach For the Sky'. When I heard this song for the 1st time I was totally blown away by it and I have not been able to go a few days without listening to it ever since. The song has a great, aggressive guitar riff, a beat that makes you want to jump around and shove people, and Mike Ness' signature gruff, snarl on vocals, but the best thing about this song is the lyrics. I have never heard lyrics that so encapsulate my outlook on life: '..and I thank the Lord for the love that I have found, and hold you tight cuz tomorrow may never come.' Fuck yeah. That pretty much sums it all up right there.

72. Social Distortion - "Ball and Chain"
Feeling like shit? Can't seem to get out of that funk you're in? Well pour yourself a whiskey and put this song on. It'll either make you want to drink some more or it'll make you say 'fuck this shit' and go out and try do something about whatever is bugging you. Yeah it's got that country feel to it, but so what? It still kicks ass. When I used to tell people who had never heard this song how much I like it, they would laugh, like it was a joke or something. They thought it was a song about a wife or a girlfriend or something, 'the old ball and chain'. This song's not about that at all, it's about dealing with pain and it helped me get through a lot of it once. A great tune.

And some more from us:

73. Youth Brigade - "Sink With California"
I really don't care where you're from. I don't really care what language you speak. And the band isn't really Californians. This is THE big unity song. Fuck all the rest. This was about being together. I'll sink with California. It means nothing to me. This song was about sticking together. This was about anyone, white, black, yellow, or brown, all being the same. The name Californian doesn't mean shit. It's just a label. Shaking your hand is what this song is about. States, nations, everything means nothing anymore. This is about forgeting any kind of fucking line on a fucking map and just getting people for what they are. And accepting them. Cause we don't care if you're from north, south, east or west it's humanity that is the best. (T)

74. D.I. - "Richard Hung Himself"
A lot of older punkers are gonna be so sick of this song, it will bore them to read this review. But really, isn't this the first time you ever wanted to know what subcutaneious meant? And here you are, years later, reading an idiot's review and it's spelled wrong? Gotta be a cool song. A little sad, prolly bullshit, but really the feeling of this song is one of giving up. t's kinda sad cause it happened to a lot of our friends so I'm a little hesistant to say it rocks, but I will. This isn't something that you would yell out of your car window unless you were packed with gin and didn't know the time of day. This wasn't a theme song. Don't get me wrong. This was a cool song about suicide and that is even kinda lame to type......but this song kicks ass. Desperation,failure, death. All in one song. Kinda like a combo meal at McDonalds. Cept instead of a strawberry shake you get a swinging dead junkie. (T)

75. D.R.I - "Busted"
This was a funny song. Or was it funny? I know when I first heard it was funny. We thought it was funny. We didn't know it would become a reality. This whole album was the background music when we were building a halfpipe. When I was a kid and laying down on the grass after putting in a few 2x4's this song would come on. It would get me up. Almost, almost I say, get me back to work. But then I realized it was almost 2 in the morning and I needed a beer. Later in life, this kinda became my theme song. I didn't know it. It was like Johnny Carson with that big fucking hat and the envelope to his head with Ed McMahon asking him "Where is the turtle going to be tonight?" and the Great Carsona replying "Jail!" A great song that just tells you that you can never get away from your past even if you want to. It will be there. The price you pay. (T)

76. Vandals - "The Ballad of Pat Brown" Who was Pat Brown? This was years before I lived in Orange County. Yeah I lived there. Fuck you. Years before I smelled the shit covered streets and felt a sun so hot it forced you to the ocean. Hey, turtle, ocean, beach, get it? Anyways, a look on the intramanet got me Pat Brown as a Mayor or something and I really don't think Mayors would be doing B&E's for Marshall stacks. Hmmmm.Who was he....Pat Brown....why shouldn't I fuck around...hm... Anyways, this song is a great conversation starter. Tell anyone to not fuck around with Pat Brown when they piss you off. More times then not they will think you are crazy or they will shake your hand and sing the next verse. This is original Southern Califonia second wave punk rock. Gah! That hurt my head to think about. Don't ever make me say that again. Way too much thinking there. A great song about someone who was, well, kinda a dick. But a cool song anyways. (T)

77. Steel Pole Bathtub - "Train to Miami"
Surreal, noisy, weird, disturbing, haunting, addicting. The repeated chorus of “these are my friends now” over a staccato bass, the cacophony of sounds in the background, the whispers about church burning and satan, the short scream; it’s what the circus might sound like if you smoked a bowl of crack before entering the big tent. You’d think that putting all these sounds together might make a mess, but this band makes it work. It pulls you in, shakes you up and leaves you with a feeling in the pit of your stomach like you just witnessed someone’s bad acid trip. And you want to see it again. These are my friends now...these are my friends now.... (M)

78. Bouncing Souls - "Ole!"
Yea, there are plenty more Bouncing Souls songs I could have put here. They’re a fun band. They make fun music. And this one is the....funnest? Most fun? Check it out: We’re Bouncing Souls no one can beat us, we drink beer and wear Adidas. That’s hella fun to sing. Couple that with doing a football chant of Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! a whole bunch of times (and add in the “mom this song is annoying the hell out of me” so I turn it up real loud and play it 20 more times factor) and you’ve got a cool party song. Plus, the Bouncing Souls are the best thing to come out of Jersey since the Sugarhill Gang. (M)

79. Jonathan Richman - "Roadrunner"
Is it punk? We called it punk back then (1976) and that’s all that matters. This song is an ode to the road. It starts off with him counting to six. Who counts to six? Four, three, but six? And then he launches into a singing/talking/rambling ride through Massachusetts, all disjointed lyrics and voice like a head cold over this simple punk beat fused with - is that a synthesizer? Keeps saying “with the radio on” and if you close your eyes you feel like you are driving with him in some convertible muscle car on a warm summer night and all you can hear is some cool music coming out of the radio and his fingers drumming on the steering wheel and the wind in your ears. Roadrunner, roadrunner. Going faster miles an hour. (M)

If anyone has the D.I. or Vandals song and can send them over, that would be pretty damn awesome of you.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 100 best punk songs 71-79:

» 100 Greatest Punk Songs: Let the Voting Begin! from Faster Than the World
This is it folks. We hit the end. This was hard but we needed it done. This is a drop down list of your, and our, favorite songs. Vote as many times as you want for whatever song you want.... [Read More]


thanks, turtle. and a day earlier than promised... well, in theory ... (i'm sure someone will send it in soon.)


we will get it. kinda weird we had all these others and we didn't have the two big ones.

We will get them for you guys


well, like you said. these are the songs we outplayed before the 90's even got here...


dudes i never got sick of that DI song and i never will. hehe. Just like i never got sick of Doggy Style's "Donut Shop Rock" or RKLs um.. what was it No Remorse i think and Pothead. *fling*


damn. kick me. RKLs "No escape". pft


i DO love this. ima hafta find the partial live perfomance from suburbia on you tube now...

thanks, guys! i barely remember that i was dumped now!


You nailed the whole "Roadrunner" roadtrip vibe.

Now I've got to play it.



live version of ball & chain. nice.


Richman's counting to six because he's whacking the guitar on seven and eight. Jeez.

What a godlike song.

Roadrunner once, roadrunner twice, I'm in love with rock and roll and I'll be out all night...


eXTReMe Tracker