Are these the top punk albums?

Via Punk and Kerrang! magazine comes the following list of the 50 greatest punk albums ever:

1. Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols

2. Green Day – Dookie

3. Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables

4. Nirvana – Nevermind

5. The Offspring – Smash

6. Rancid – And Out Come The Wolves

7. Discharge – Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing

8. The Clash – The Clash

9. The Damned – Machine Gun Etiquette

10. Ramones – Ramones

11. NOFX – Punk In Drublic

12. Fugazi – Repeater

13. The Clash – London Calling

14. Blink 182 – Enema Of The State

15. The Stooges – Funhouse

16. Black Flag – Damaged

17. Minor Threat – Complete Discography

18. Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power

19. The Undertones – The Undertones

20. The Offspring – Americana

21. Bad Brains – Rock For Light

22. Buzzcocks – Love Bites

23. NOFX – Sol Long And Thanks For All The Shoes

24. Crass – The Feeding Of The 5000

25. The Ruts – The Crack

26. The Vandals – Hitler Bad, Vandals Good

27. Operation Ivy – Energy

28. Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come

29. Rocket From The Crypt – Scream, Dracula, Scream!

30. The Exploited – Punk’s Not Dead

31. Cro-Mags – The Age Of Quarrel

32. Quicksand – Manic Compression

33. Descendents – Milo Goes To College

34. Sublime – Sublime

35. The Misfits – Static Age

36. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Let’s Face It

37. Less Than Jake – Hello Rockview

38. Bad Religion – Suffer

39. The Dwarves – The Dwarves Are Young And Good Looking

40. Supersuckers – The Evil Powers Of Rock n’Roll

41. Social Distortion – White Light White Heat White Trash

42. The Get Up Kids – Something To Write Home About

43. Green Day – Nimrod

44. Will Haven – El Diablo

45. Stiff Little Fingers – Inflammable Material

46. Napalm Death – Scum

47. AFI – Black Sails In The Sunset

48. Poison Idea – Feel The Darkness

49. GBH – Leather Bristles, Studs And Acne

50. Killing Joke – Killing Joke

Isn’t even the existence of such a list completely against the punk “ethic?” I used to love the Stiff Little Fingers though! Gotta dig that record up.


  1. No doubt there are some outstanding albums on this list, but… it’s a weird list, isn’t it? Taking your comment about punk “cred” in making a punk list a step further, what is punk? As it’s defined here, it’s quite broad. Let’s face it: Nirvana and NOFX and Napalm Death are very different kinds of bands, with only the fellas from NOFX generally classified as “punk” at all (or “light punk,” as my metal-loving pal would put it).

    It’s hard to argue with the Sex Pistols at #1, but Dookie at #2. In my book, Dookie is the worst of Green Day, by a fairly wide margin. Sure, it broke them on MTV, but who cares? Each of their albums has improved upon the one before it. I therefore like Nimrod at 43 — though I think Warning and American Idiot are in certain ways superior.

    As a ska punk fan, I take major issues with some of the choices here. The list reads more like some interns did research to see what was hot on the radio/MTV over the past decade than what albums were truly important/influential to punk rock. An exception to this is Op Ivy’s Energy (#27), though I would put the granddaddy of the sub-genre’s album at least 10 places higher.

    The selection of the Mighty Mighty Boss Tone’s Let’s Face It at #36 is a disaster. This is a fair-to-middling album, but it’s not a punk album. It’s a ska-lounge-pop album, with some rock thrown in for kicks. Devil’s Night Out, or perhaps even better, the extraordinary live album, Live from the Middle East, would have been far better choices.

    Another example of poor album choice is Rancid’s …And Out Come the Wolves at #6. I applaud placing Rancid that high, as they’re one of my favorite punk bands, but the album choice seems beholdent more beholdent to MTV saturation than anything else. Let’s Go would be more appropriate — while Life Won’t Wait or even the recent Indestructable would have been more interesting and challenging choices.

    Finally, some of these albums don’t belong on this list. Choices like The Offspring (a good but not great power pop act), Quicksand (Manic Compression has one good song… one), and Blink 182 (no comment) were downright disappointing.

    Bands that should be on the list that are not:

    – Suicide Machines
    – Voodoo Glowskulls
    – Perfect Thyroid (once named by Alternative Press as one of the five best ska-punk acts of all time)
    – Bouncing Souls
    – Fastbacks
    – Mudhoney
    – L7
    – The Distillers
    – The Hives

    Bands on the list that should be given (way) more love:

    – The Clash
    – Nirvana
    – The Mighty Mighty Boss Tones

    Eric Berlin
    Dumpster Bust: Miracles from Mind Trash

  2. Well said Eric. It is inevitable that these lists often simplify things or miscategorize. I agree with your point about Dookie. Of course, we all know that the whole purpose of these lists is to cause everyone to jump in and argue about such and such a band’s merits (or lack of) while at the same time buying that magazine! It’s all about business baby! Isn’t that ironic.

  3. Uh…..How about SOCIAL DISTORTION?!!!! How can they not be on the list?! They should be (to me, anyway) #1. Honestly the only “true” punk band. Never gone commercial like most. I’ve lost ALOT of respect for most of the bands on this list for the simple fact that they consort with today’s record industry’s “punk” bands. I have zero respect for any band who tours with Good Charlotte or New Found Glory. I cannot believe that my scene has turned into what it has. A total disgrace.

  4. Alrighty then! I shouldn’t get sooo excited I see now they are uh… #41?! What is that? What is that?! First of all to sum them up under that album (don’t get me wrong it’s amazing) is insane, and Second of all 41?! No way! They deserve so much more dignity than that. Mike Ness is an absolute genius. Think about 1945, he was 16 years old when he wrote that song. I blows me away to this day the he had the capacity to pour that kind of power he did into that song at freaking 16. Makes the hair stand on the back of my neck everytime I hear it. He continues to make that kind of music to this day. Awesome. that’s all I can say.

  5. this list is one hundred percent retarded. wheres the faith/void split lp? wheres flipper’s generic flipper? where’s big black’s songs about fucking? where’s no new york? where’s the germs?

    its obvious that a bunch of fourteen year old girls who shop at hot topic made this list.

    and its sad you know. punk used to mean something. now people say green day wrote the number two punk album of all time.

    if only g.g. couldve lived to see this.

  6. The Ramones should be at #2 er in the top 5 but #10 they almost invented punk they were the first punk band to sign a punk contract


  8. I’m preaty satisfied with the list. Though i can’t belive nirvana would be that high, I don’t even consider them punk. And like someone said before The Ramones should be in first and I they shoud have more Blink 182 like Dude Ranch. And I think Rancid “And Out Come The Wolves” should be number 2. Nofx should also be higher

  9. Ummmmm, someone really stupidly put Nirvana Nevermind as being in the top 50 greatest punk albums of all time. Everyone knows Nirvana was grunge and nothing else. Come on, dude. I don’t mean to sound like an asshole, but pull your head out of your ass and lay off the LSD.

  10. where are the germs? where’s TSOL? Circle Jerks? JFA? Minutemen? Naked Raygun? Reagan Youth? The Dickies? Bad Brains’ self titled? Dead Kennedys’ Plastic Surgery Disasters? Some albums deserve to be on this list, no doubt. But Offspring’s Americana? Blink 182? Nirvana? Sublime (and keep in mind i’m a huge Sublime fan). Not a chance. Either they aren’t punk (as in the case of Nirvana and Sublime) or they weren’t good (i.e. Enema of the State and Americana).

    For the most part, Eric, you were correct in your assesment. But to say Rancid’s …And Out Comes the Wolves is “more beholdent to MTV saturation than anything else,” but then turn around and say Indestructable deserved consideration is heinous. I could see the argument for Let’s Go which should be on this list along with And Out… But Indestructable was no better than Enema of the State. Also, Dookie was the last decent album Green Day put out. Anything after that has been watered down crap. #2? no. But deserving of top 50.

  11. HAHAHA man this is fuckin great this is what you people call the top punk albums of all time, Wow how times have changed! Wheres the FUCKING CLASSICS AT MAN? where’s FEAR? GG ALLIN? COCK SPARRER? THE GERMS? THE ADOLESCENTS? DEAD BOYS? ANGRY SAMOANS? CRASS? CONFLICT? FLIPPER? MINUTEMEN? This is music that defined it. well you get the fuckin idea. To call this a punk list would be the most absurd thing ever BUT HELL HATS OFF TO THE HOT TOPIC GENERATION HUH?

  12. Dear Wayne,

    Grunge was actually Seattle’s punk scene. It was just such a different type of punk that they renamed it.

    Ergo grunge is a type of punk.

    Thank you.


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