25 Essential Punk Albums
With so much punk rock around, it's time to compile a list of 25 albums that should be in any sincere punk rocker's collection. One album per band, in order to spread the wealth around and to throw in a few "influences", though I passed over early touchstones like The Stooges' Fun House and Raw Power, the MC5's Kick Out The Jams and the Shaggs' Philosophy of the World to make more room for albums that happened during the late 1970s-early 1980s when the music was in its "golden age."
There are still plenty of bands missing and more albums to collect, for sure. Some punk bands weren't good for more than a single or two, or never released a definitive album during their brief -- or not too brief -- careers. Most great punk rock was done by single, however, the truly great bands did manage at least one album.
What do you say we clear the mosh pit and put in some chairs for those of us whose backs can no longer handle the slam dancing of old?
Turn down the hearing aids, it's going to get loud!
25) The Angry Samoans -- Back From Samoa: With such tracks as "My Old Man's A Fatso," "They Saved Hitler's C**k" and the 23 seconds of "You Stupid Jerk," the Angry Samoans hit their stride. Only "Ballad of Jerry Curlan" breaks the three minute mark. It's like they can't wait for the songs to be over.
24) The Dictators -- Go Girl Crazy!: Led by the charming Handsome Dick Manitoba and Andy Shernoff, the Dictators were among the first groups to create the modern mix of junk culture love and enthusiasm over chops. Their rough and tumble cover of Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" never sounded more lovely. But "Master Race Rock" sounds like they're tripping over one another for the TV remote.
23) The Germs -- GI: The lone real Germs album, GI is often considered the first hardcore punk album for its superspeed, aggression and general disdain for anything too musical. You'd think the California sun would mellow out potential punks, but I guess some people hate sunshine. Oh, dear, someone got too hot!
22) The Damned -- Machine Gun Etiquette: As punks better learned their instruments, they began reaching out to other styles of music that made their punk attack ever more interesting. While punk rock has little to no reason for existing today in its manicured form, back in the late 1970s it needed all the modifications it could handle. Standing on the dole line is boring. The Damned got the idea to make it sound like fun. Remember when poor people weren't the enemy?