Punk Rock Jukebox

In recent interviews plugging his band's new album, Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness has been talking a lot about punk rock. It's a subject in which he is well versed: His group debuted back in the very early Eighties with a snot-slinging sound that stood in stark contrast to the loud-fast blur of the hardcore then developing on the West Coast. The band played punk old-style, with meaty hooks, ham-fisted power chords, and slurred vocals delivered in a mock British drawl. White Light White Heat White Trash, Social Distortion's latest album and first in four years (and the album they'll be plugging at their September 20 concert at the Edge in Fort Lauderdale), is meant to return punk to the primal energy of its roots, Ness claims, adding that he believes the ferocious sound of vintage punk has been gone for too long.

Well, he's wrong. Punk rock has always been around, with great records coming out every year since it made its unofficial debut about two decades ago. The proof is listed below -- the 101 greatest punk records of the last twenty years, arranged roughly in chronological order. Not every punk record worth hearing made the cut, and limiting each band to one entry means some classic songs are missing. Likewise, I drew the line at sorta punks like '77-era Elvis Costello and Talking Heads, and left out Patti Smith because she was never much of a punk anyway. Same goes for Tom Verlaine. Aside from revealing my affinity for lists and the depth of my musical obsession, this numbered endeavor may prove to Mike Ness and anyone who cares that the music didn't merely exist for one or two years before degenerating into glossy new wave and the radio-ready retro rebellion of Green Day.

Defense rests.

1. The Modern Lovers, "Roadrunner"
2. Pere Ubu, "Final Solution"
3. Ramones, "Blitzkrieg Bop"
4. The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the U.K."
5. The Clash, "White Riot"
6. The Damned, "Neat Neat Neat"
7. The Adverts, "One Chord Wonders"
8. Richard Hell and the Voidoids, "Blank Generation"
9. Buzzcocks, "Boredom"
10. Crime, "Hotwire My Heart"
11. The Dead Boys, "Sonic Reducer"
12. The Saints, "I'm Stranded"
13. The Vibrators, "Stiff Little Fingers"
14. X-Ray Spex, "Oh Bondage Up Yours!"
15. The Raincoats, "Fairytale in the Supermarket"
16. Stiff Little Fingers, "Alternative Ulster"
17. Wire, "12XU"
18. Mekons, "Where Were You?"
19. Swell Maps, "Let's Build a Car"
20. Television Personalities, "14th Floor"
21. Kleenex, "U"
22. Liliput, "Split"
23. Chelsea, "Right to Work"
24. The Jam, "In the City"
25. Sham 69, "Borstal Breakout"
26. The Lurkers, "Ain't Got a Clue"
27. Au Pairs, "Kerb Crawler"
28. Essential Logic, "Wake Up"
29. Joy Division, "Leaders of Men"
30. Gang of Four, "Damaged Goods"
31. Public Image Ltd., "Public Image"
32. X, "Los Angeles"
33. Devo, "Mongoloid"
34. The Heartbreakers, "Born to Lose"
35. The Cramps, "Human Fly"
36. Flipper, "Getaway"
37. The Fall, "Fiery Jack"
38. Weirdos, "Neutron Bomb"
39. Dils, "Class War"
40. The Germs, "Lexicon Devil"
41. XTC, "Statue of Liberty"
42. The Eat, "Communist Radio"
43. Bad Brains, "Pay to Cum"
44. Magazine, "Shot by Both Sides"
45. The Urinals, "Ack Ack Ack"
46. Rezillos, "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight"
47. Chain Gang, "Son of Sam"
48. Nervous Eaters, "Just Head"
49. Radio Birdman, "Burn My Eye"
50. Black Flag, "Rise Above"
51. Proud Scum, "I Am a Rabbit"
52. The Queers, "This Place Sucks"
53. Mission of Burma, "Academy Fight Song"
54. Dead Kennedys, "Holiday in Cambodia"
55. Scavengers, "Mysterex"
56. Social Distortion, "Mommy's Little Monster"
57. HYsker DY, "In a Free Land"
58. The Angry Samoans, "Right Side of My Mind"
59. Avengers, "We Are the One"
60. Meat Puppets, "In a Car"
61. Minor Threat, "In My Eyes"
62. The Gordons, "Future Shock"
63. The Stains, "John Wayne Was a Nazi"
64. Really Red, "Crowd Control"
65. 2.3, "Where To Now"
66. The Clean, "Getting Older"
67. Nig-Heist, "Walking Down the Street"
68. Descendents, "Suburban Home"
69. F-Word, "Shut Down"
70. Red Cross, "Annette's Got the Hits"
71. The Replacements, "Color Me Impressed"
72. The Minutemen, "History Lesson Pt. 2"
73. Necros, "Tighten Up"
74. The Mighty Caesars, "Confusion"
75. Screaming Trees, "Transfiguration"
76. Squirrel Bait, "Kid Dynamite"
77. Mudhoney, "Touch Me I'm Sick"
78. Thee Headcoats, "Youngblood"
79. The Dead C., "Bad Politics"
80. Superchunk, "Slack Motherfucker"
81. Gaunt, "Jim Motherfucker"
82. Compulsive Gamblers, "Bad Taste"
83. Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
84. Pixies, "Planet of Sound"
85. New Bomb Turks, "I'm Weak"
86. Pipe, "Ashtray"
87. L7, "Pretend We're Dead"
88. Supercharger, "Sooprize Package for Mr. Mineo"
89. The Grifters, "Soda Pop"
90. The Mummies, "Stronger Than Dirt"
91. The Oblivians, "Ja Ja Ja"
92. Bikini Kill, "Suck My Left One"
93. Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, "Baboon's Liver"
94. Inhalants, "Misanthrope"
95. The Simpletones, "Pet Rock"
96. Rocket from the Crypt, "Pigeon Eater"
97. Teengenerate, "Sex Cow"
98. The Motards, "I'm a Criminal"
99. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, "Bent"
100. The Ripoffs, "Wild Jane"
101. The Yips, "1000% Fox


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >