The Essential Punk Collection

By expensivebeingpunk expensivebeingpunk
updated 24 days ago

If you love Punk (with all its sub-genre), these are the albums that are essential for any proper collection.

  1. 999 - Homicide: The Best Of

    2 For Sale from $13.77

    Generally, I don't like using comps. for this (any) list, but with certain artists it seems unavoidable, not saying 999 has a lack of good songs, in fact, the opposite. Some of their songs are just to great to ignore, on various album and only an unpopular 'Best of..' album offers that selection. Anyway, 999 are another overlooked and underrated 70's UK punk band, totally unjust. The tracks on here (mainly A-sides of singles) are almost split half-half between studio and live versions and concentrates on their best period from '77 -'81, why they added 6 tracks from the '91 album 'You Us It' is not clear to me; there were plenty of good songs from their first four albums to choose from which were ignored, for example, their great cover of 'Li'l Red Riding Hood' (org. by Sam the Sham and The Pharaos) or 'Public Enemy No.1', both from 'Concrete' ('81), their last decent album until '97's 'Death in Soho'. Back to this album; it feat.2 tracks from their 1st, 2nd and 4th album, 5 from their 3rd, 3 7" only (1 A-,2 B-sides)6 from the aforementioned tbc

    Best Track: Homicide

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/homicide-the-best-of-999-mw0000033329 (w/s)

  2. Adolescents - Adolescents

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-adolescents-mw0000314471 (w/s)

    Best Track: Amoeba

  3. The Adverts - Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts

    RYM Rating 3.72 / 5.0 from 1,252 ratings
    Ranked #65 for 1978, #3,569 overall

    Best Tracks: One Chord Wonders/Bored Teenager

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/crossing-the-red-sea-with-the-adverts-mw0000223470 (w/s)

  4. Aheads - Aheads

    https://youtu.be/2VUDWTqU4bA

  5. Angelic Upstarts - 2,000,000 Voices

    RYM Rating 3.70 / 5.0 from 101 ratings
    Ranked #256 for 1981

    It's a difficult decision to chose this album over their incredible debut album 'Teenage Warning' from '79 which feat. classic tracks ('punk anthems') like 1st single 'The Murder of Liddle Towers', 'I'm an Upstart', 'Leave me alone' and the title track, but '2, 000,000 Voices' is overall the far superior album. OK, it lost a bit of the rough and raw feel that made their early punk albums so real and powerful, it's slightly polished and it dabbles with different musical styles, not just straightforward punk. The opening title track is pure punk; 'You're nicked' (a lovely short homage to Alex Harvey as intro and the added sax improves the sound immensly), 'Guns for the Afghan Rebels', 'Kids on the Street' and the absolutely brilliant 'Last Night Another Soldier' are timeless classics, all of 'em standard songs in any of their gigs (an excellent live band too, by the way). 'England', not my cup of tea, but it still has a certain charm, two tracks with a reggae influence are pretty good, only 'Mensi's Marauder' is just plain awful, spoiling what could have been an almost perfect album. Last not least, the improvement of the lyrics is colossal, showing clearly that Mensi (Anti-Fascist and Socialist with Heart and Soul) is certainly not a brainless thug. Another essential album for a punk collection (along with their debut; I just chose to use only one album per artist) from a band that should be by right equally regarded as The Clash and the Sex Pistols as most important punk bands, in fact, more so as they never sold out or strayed from their punk roots.

    Best Tracks: Two Million Voices/ You're Nicked/I Understand

  6. Bad Brains - Bad Brains

    RYM Rating 3.84 / 5.0 from 4,713 ratings
    Ranked #11 for 1982, #828 overall
    Best Track: Pay to Cum
    https://www.allmusic.com/album/bad-brains-mw0000267343 (w/s)

  7. Black Flag - Damaged

    RYM Rating 3.71 / 5.0 from 6,693 ratings
    Ranked #16 for 1981, #1,477 overall

    Best Track: Rise Above

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/damaged-mw0000198777 (w/s)

  8. Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady

    RYM Rating 4.16 / 5.0 from 3,682 ratings
    Ranked #3 for 1979, #72 overall

    Best Track: Orgasm Addict

    R.I.P. Pete (17 April 1955 – 6 December 2018)

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/singles-going-steady-mw0000651822 (w/s)

  9. Charged G.B.H* - City Baby Attacked By Rats

    RYM Rating 3.57 / 5.0 from 551 ratings
    Ranked #197 for 1982

    Best Track: Sick Boy

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/city-baby-attacked-by-rats-mw0000195827 (w/s)

  10. The Clash - The Clash

    RYM Rating 3.96 / 5.0 from 9,809 ratings
    Ranked #8 for 1977, #242 overall
    Best Track: White Riot
    https://youtu.be/GsVjWd1mh4w

  11. Cock Sparrer - Shock Troops

    2 For Sale from $16.00

    RYM Rating 3.74 / 5.0 from 597 ratings
    Ranked #47 for 1983, #3,990 overall

    Best Track: Because you're young

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/shock-troops-mw0000063236 (w/s)

  12. Crass - The Feeding Of The Five Thousand

    RYM Rating 3.65 / 5.0 from 1,413 ratings
    Ranked #127 for 1979, #6,694 overall

    Best Track: Bloody Revolutions

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-feeding-of-the-5000-mw0000317305 (w/s)

  13. The Damned - Damned Damned Damned

    RYM Rating 3.80 / 5.0 from 2,632 ratings
    Ranked #42 for 1977, #1,849 overall

    Best Track: New Rose

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/damned-damned-damned-mw0000193727 (w/s)

  14. Dead Boys* - Young Loud And Snotty

    RYM Rating 3.71 / 5.0 from 1,495 ratings
    Ranked #86 for 1977, #4,635 overall

    Best Track: Sonic Reducer

    4.0 out of 5 starsSnotty, certainly
    ByD. J. H. ThornVINE VOICEon 17 October 2007

    The Dead Boys never really broke through into the public's consciousness, despite being one of the earlier punk bands. On 'YLS' though, they're focussed on their anger and buzzsaw guitars, Stiv Bators muttering and cursing between his hoarse vocals. The cover shot shows the band lurking like rats in an alley and their musical world is indeed that of a disease-infested underclass. Edgy and exciting almost throughout, they slip up occasionally: 'What Love Is,' for instance, doesn't have the intensity of most of the other songs. 'Sonic Reducer' sets the pace with an arresting intro, while 'Not Anymore' relies heavily on an impassioned delivery and the blam blam of 'Ain't Nothin' To Do' is punk at its best. The live 'Hey Little Girl' is another highlight. This is a popular punk track, having been also recorded by The Banned at around the same time. 'YLS' is an important addition for anyone who likes this genre.

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/young-loud-and-snotty-mw0000613814 (w/s)

  15. Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables

    RYM Rating 4.00 / 5.0 from 8,661 ratings
    #3 for 1980, #198 overall
    https://www.allmusic.com/album/fresh-fruit-for-rotting-vegetables-mw0000189736 (w/s)

    Best Track: Kill the Poor

  16. Discharge - Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing

    RYM Rating 3.78 / 5.0 from 2,406 ratings
    Ranked #20 for 1982, #1,834 overall

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/hear-nothing-see-nothing-say-nothing-mw0000055151 (w/s)

  17. The Exploited - Punks Not Dead.

    RYM Rating 3.15 / 5.0 from 642 ratings
    Ranked #833 for 1981

    Punk is Dead - Crass vs. Punks not Dead - The Exploited
    One of the first and best albums of the 2nd wave of punk. It gets constantly slagged off for its basic musicianship and basic lyrics and there's no point arguing or denying that, but sadly those people don't seem to get that this is exactly the charm and beauty of it. I love bands like Crass too, but their not for easy listening and I choose to listen to them only at certain times, with the right frame of mind. 'Punks not dead', on the other hand, is enjoyable at any time and has been, for me, for 36 years now, totally stood the test of time. And as simple the lyrics may be, the message is clear, powerful and for myself (and thousands of other punks and others who aren't necessarily punks) identifiable. Why have they been such an influential band to hundreds of great bands like Discharge, The Casualties, Agnostic Front, etc. and why was org. guitarist Big John Duncan asked to play for so many bands (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Twisted Sister, etc.) and finally why have their songs been covered by so many great artists if they're apparently such a rubbish, untalented punk band ? A classic album, essential for any respectable and credible punk rock collection and a little masterpiece in its own way.

    Best Tracks: I believe in Anarchy

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/punks-not-dead-mw0000317297 9w/s)

  18. Fear (3) - The Record

    RYM Rating 3.61 / 5.0 from 1,292 ratings
    Ranked #118 for 1982, #7,861 overall

    Best Track: I Love Livin' In The City

    ILY Jan 27 2008

    "There's so many of us
    Let's have a war
    So you can go and die!
    Let's have a war!
    We could all use the money"
    ("Let's Have A War")

    So declares the opening statement in The Record, and combined with the progressive punk-blues boogie "Let's Have A War", it's clear that Fear mean business, both lyrically and conceptually. Oh sure it can be seen as cynical humour, but beneath the sarcasm lies a powerful message of gargantuan proportions, perhaps the ultimate message for human societies, that despite a few thousand years of civilization remain savage.

    "Elimate the incompetents
    Differences don't exist in harmony
    Survival is superiority
    We don't need no hands across the sea /
    Hatred is purity
    Weakness is disease
    Where we bury you
    It's manifest destiny!"
    ("Foreign Policy")

    The music that accompanies the message is similarly sharp and to the point. From tributes to rock 'n' roll and rockabilly fused with hardcore ("Beef Baloney"), to progressive-punk with Middle-Eastern flavoured guitar ("Camarillo"), straight hardcore locomotives ("I Don't Care About You") and so on.

    "Steal the money from your mother,
    Buy a gun
    We destroy the family
    Kill your mother
    And father!"
    ("We Destroy Family")

    There's a surprise around every corner. The free-jazz brass in "New York's Alright if You Like Saxophones" is typical of their ambiguous personality, it can be taken both as a serious musical gesture and as also a light-hearted comment. "Foreign Policy" exhibits a sound that is both anthemic and also manifesting an elegant melancholic melody. "We Destroy Family", one of their more powerful musical gestures, features an epileptic repetitive rhythm-guitar phrase, while the lead guitar veers towards terrifying psychedelic chaos, and in the end both are combined in a supersonic delirium. "Disconnected", which stops and starts between a chaotic free-form jam and a punk-boogie steamroller, shows just how far Fear are from the typical punk band.

    "I wanna fuck you to death,
    I don't wanna smell your breath.
    Piss on your warm embrace
    I just wanna cum in your face!
    I don't care if you're dead,
    and I don't care if you're erect"
    ("Fresh Flesh")

    The Animals cover "We Got To Get Out Of This Place" is adapted to their progressive discordant punk and fitted towards the message of the group's manifesto. Incredible tension is containted within the disintegrating phases and wild outburst of "Getting The Brush". Ditto for the adrenalin overdrive "Gimme Some Action", while the last two songs contain the most powerful messages.

    "Life seems so futile"
    ("Getting The Brush")

    I don't like to use reviews by someone else, but I agree totally and could have not worded it so excellently.

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-record-mw0000691130 (w/s)

  19. Germs - (GI)

    RYM Rating 3.65 / 5.0 from 1,681 ratings
    Ranked #113 for 1979, #6,047 overall

    Best Track: Lexicon Devil

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/gi-mw0000312385 (w/s)

  20. Heartbreakers* - L.A.M.F.

    RYM Rating 3.92 / 5.0 from 1,377 ratings
    Ranked #31 for 1977, #1,157 overall

    Best Track: Born to lose

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/lamf-mw0000109699 (w/s)

  21. Leftöver Crack - Fuck World Trade

    RYM Rating 3.46 / 5.0 from 479 ratings
    Ranked #567 for

    Best Track: Born to Die

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/fuck-world-trade-mw0000154517 (w/s)

  22. M.D.C.* - Millions Of Dead Cops

    RYM Rating 3.63 / 5.0 from 724 ratings
    Ranked #127 for 1982, #8,894 overall

    Best Track: John Wayne was a Nazi

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/millions-of-dead-cops-mw0001468661 (w/s)

  23. Minor Threat - Complete Discography

    RYM Rating 4.04 / 5.0 from 3,280 ratings
    Ranked #4 for 1989, #234 overall

    Best Track: Straight Edge

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/complete-discography-mw0000654973 (w/s)

  24. The Modern Lovers - The Modern Lovers

    RYM Rating 3.95 / 5.0 from 5,374 ratings
    Ranked #5 for 1976, #347 overall

    Best Track: She Cracked

    5.0 out of 5 starsMasterpiece!
    ByCornishpastyon 22 February 2016

    This album is a masterpiece. J Richman was in love with the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, and their influence is apparent in all the songs here. But Richman adds his own unique style and charm to the recordings, and the whole thing is a delight. It was released a few years after it was recorded, presumably to cash in on the successful, later, version of "Roadrunner" which was a hit, at least in the UK. The ballads, "Hospital" and "Girlfriend" are beautiful, "Pablo Picasso" is a work of genius, it's all great stuff. His later work was much more childish, still with its own charm, but not a patch on this. There is a version of this album with several bonus tracks including some different songs and some different versions of the songs on the original album - that is the one you should get if you can.

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-modern-lovers-mw0000654368 (w/s)

  25. New York Dolls - New York Dolls

    RYM Rating 3.74 / 5.0 from 3,759 ratings
    Ranked #57 for 1973, #1,877 overall

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/new-york-dolls-mw0000196899 (w/s)

    Best Tracks: Trash