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Extraordinary Women of the Early Punk Era

If you’re interested in punk music, then it’s time to dive into the discographies of these extraordinary punk women.

Take a moment to learn more about some of the women who pioneered the punk style in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Jayne County

Punk, Rock

Jayne County (b. 1947) is a queer and trans punk trailblazer who is often considered the first openly transgender singer in rock. Although she is a rock legend, she is also an artist and actress whose music cannot be defined by just one genre.

The Electric Chairs
The Electric Chairs
2021
Punk, Rock & Roll
Translucent Pink Vinyl
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Deviation
Jayne County
1995
Punk, Rock & Roll
CD
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Poly Styrene

Punk, New Wave, Alternative Rock

Poly Styrene (1957-2011) is recognized as the first multiracial frontwoman of a punk band. She is best known as the founder of X-Ray Spex but she also had a long, rocking solo career that dabbled in New Wave. Her legacy is upheld by daughter Celeste Bell.

Germfree Adolescents
X-Ray Spex
2018
Punk
Vinyl, Album, Reissue, Clear
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Generation Indigo
Poly Styrene
2011
Alternative Rock, Punk, New Wave, Dubstep, Ska, Electro
Vinyl
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Alice Bag

Alice Bag (b.1958) is the co-founder of the Bags with fellow punk icon Patricia Morrison. She helped shape Los Angeles’ early punk sound and continues to uplift Chicana and female voices in music to this day.

Survive
Bags
1978
Punk
7″ Vinyl
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Disco’s Dead
Bags
2003
Punk
7″ Vinyl
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The Slits

Punk, Dub, New Wave

The Slits (formed 1976) are essential to the 1970s British punk scene and true punk mentality. They actively fought back against the conventions of what women were expected to look and act like at the time.

Typical Girls
The Slits
1979
Dub, Punk, Experimental, Disco
Vinyl, 12″
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Cut
The Slits
2019
Post-Punk, Dub
Vinyl, Reissue
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The Dishrags

The Dishrags (1976-1980) are not only the first all-female punk band from Canada but also considered one of the first Canadian punk bands ever.

Past is Past
The Dishrags
1979
Punk
Vinyl, 7″
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Bush Tetras

Punk, Post-Punk, No Wave

Cynthia Sley, Pat Place, and Laura Kennedy of Bush Tetras (formed 1979) were hugely influential in the new wave and post-punk scenes, especially in New York City. The group (minus Kennedy, who passed away) has since reformed.

Too Many Creeps
Bush Tetras
1980
Post-Punk, No Wave
Vinyl, 7″

Shonen Knife

Punk, Garage Rock, Pop Rock

Shonen Knife (formed 1981) pioneered punk and alternative rock in Japan as an all-female band. They often mix harder riffs with pop melodies and untraditionally upbeat lyrics. The group is still going strong today.

Burning Farm
Shonen Knife
2016
Alternative Rock, Punk
Vinyl, Reissue
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