A while back I noticed that Rolling Stone did an article on the Ramones sitting on the counter, which included their Top 40 Punk Rock albums of all time. I was intrigued and could’t help to flip through to find out which bands made the cut, and decided to create my own list from the inspiration (and admittedly, mild discontent).
Q: “Flavio, you’re always making lists! What are you going to write about?”
A: I’m a 70 year-old curmudgeon trapped in a twenty-something year-olds body, so you know what? I’m going to make another list! I’ll give you a top 10 on the best Punk Rock albums of all time.
1. “Raw Power” by Iggy and the Stooges
Yes, this is my number one. Give it a listen and tell me you do not hear every conceivable Punk Rock riff ever made throughout the album. I mean, it’s not my personal favorite (it’s all about Funhouse), but it’s super influential. People tend to forget that bands like the Stooges and The Velvet Underground were formulating Punk Rock before it even became an idea.
2. “My War” by Black Flag
“So why did you not include Damaged?” Well, there is a reason behind that. Damaged is a great hardcore Punk Rock album, but it wasn’t really forward-thinking. When I think of Black Flag, I always look at their last five years as a band. My War was the beginning of a new era of Punk Rock and hardcore. The first half of My War is fantastic. Black Flag reached this point as a band where they wanted to break off from all of the other hardcore Punk bands and make something new and exciting. It ruined their reputation, but they influenced bands like Nirvana and the Melvins. That says a lot right there.
3. “Too Many Humans” by No Trend
Ah, one of my favorite bands of all time. In my honest opinion, they are one of the most brilliant bands I’ve ever listened to. This album is something that truly helped me become the person I am today. The entire album is one giant misanthropic/nihilistic view on society and the punk rock subculture. It’s absolutely amazing. Bob Strasser is probably one of the best bassists in punk besides Greg Norton and Chuck Dukowski.
4. “Zen Arcade” by Husker Du
Here is another classic for y’all! Zen Arcade is probably the Punk equivalent to The Who’s Quadrophenia. It’s a concept album about a young man running away from a broken home to venture on into the world. For a Punk Rock album, it jumps all over the place; from hardcore to psychedelia and folk rock. It might make you cry a lot (or at least it made me cry).
5. “Generic Flipper” by Flipper
This is a band that ticked off a lot of people in the hardcore community. Features slow songs about apathy, depression and alienation.
6. “Rock for Light” by Bad Brains
It’s basically their first album with a few tracks. If you haven’t listened to this band, go buy (at Bookmans obvi). Do whatever you can to get it.
7. “Q: Are We Not Me? A: We Are Devo!” by Devo
Geeky new wave Punk rock craziness for everyone that felt too weird to be alive. This is probably one of my favorite bands that have ever existed in this dimension.
8. “Plastic Surgery Disasters/In God We Trust Inc.” by Dead Kennedys
No, it’s not “Fresh Fruits…” but it’s probably amount their most creative albums they ever made. It’s like a LSD nightmare through the eyes of William S. Burroughs.
9. “Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?” By the Feederz
Politically incorrect art punk from the lovely city of Phoenix, Arizona! Frank Discussion, the brain behind the Feederz, was infamous for firing blanks from an AR-15 into an open crowd and gluing dead bugs all over his face. They were such an influential band that Kurt Cobain had one of their stickers on his guitar. #mindblown
10. “Pink Flag” by Wire
Ugh, I can never get enough of this album. Pink Flag made me see punk rock in a completely different light.
It’s hard to list albums that are so important to me, and to lower it down to just 10 of my favorite Punk bands. My disclaimer is that this is all based on my opinion. I’m not a music critic or anything of the like, but I just love Punk Rock and want you all to have a list to start with. I can’t help but be excited when I come across these gems on our orange shelves, and we are happy to look for any of these albums for you anytime. Stop by today and get (Punk) Rockin’ with some of Flavz favorites.
(Written by Flavio Collions, Bookmans Ina Customer Service Supervisor)