Yeah, those sorts of headlines are bullshit. Utter fucking bullshit. First of all, as a person whose thought about punk for more waking hours than most humans spend thinking, I still have trouble defining it. Which is perfect, because let’s face it, it should be a bit ephemeral; a bit difficult to define. That difficulty defining punk means that GG Allin, Crass, The Cramps, At The Drive In, Green Day and Discharge all get to live under the same banner. So when people try to write about the 50 best punk albums of all time — they belie their understanding of the genre entirely.
Punk albums are less important than punk singles by far — outside of the initial 1977 group — I can’t think of more than a handful of great albums. Poison Idea’s “Feel The Darkness”, Gauze’s “Equalizing Distort” (which is really a 12″ 45, but who’s nitpicking — oh yeah me), New Bomb Turks “Destroy Oh-Boy!” are all great albums, but I am not alone in suggesting that perhaps the long play format isn’t the best for punk. There are far more great punk singles and 7″ EPs than there are LPs and 12″ EPs.
Now that’s not to underestimate the importance of many of the early LPs like The Damned’s “Damned Damned Damned” or Sex Pistols “Never Mind The Bollocks”, those are seminal releases regardless of time period. Those records are quintessentially punk records, and as such are important to punk. But the development of punk post 1977, is really within the realm of the single. Almost immediately after the break up of the Sex Pistols (and the perceived collapse of punk) bands that were forced to do it yourself didn’t seem to bother with full lengths but focused on singles or 7″ EPs. In the States, where deals with major labels didn’t seem to materialize except for a select handful, most bands did it themselves and pressed singles. So having a top 50 albums of punk, ignores, well, most of the history of the 1980’s. And if you look at the schlocky thing that was posted above, then yeah, they miss a lot. Now, out of the 50, 12 are from the 1980s (although most are before 1985) and 6 are from the 1990s. That’s good, but really ignores oh, the last 17 years of punk rock. No Exploding Hearts? I’d think that would be an easy choice for a list such as this. And while any list will have gripes (and this one certainly does) any list that factors Blondie’s LP as a punk record, well,I’m sorry. That’s just factually laughable.
So do yourself a favour, whenever you see these clickbait-y titles. You know they’re not going to be good. Pass them by.