10 Greatest Classic Punk Albums of All Time

Mick Jones, Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of The Clash performing in 1981. Photo by Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock (88910j)

Punk started in the 70s and took the music world by storm. It’s a genre not defined by complex rhythms and shredding guitar solos – it’s all about the attitude. Here are ten of the best classic punk albums of all time.

The Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks

It’s difficult to think “punk” without responding with “The Sex Pistols.” The UK’s response to the Ramones were the epitome of punk stands for and Never Mind the Bollocks is iconic.

Black Flag – Damaged

Branded at the time as an “an anti-parent record,” Damaged is about as angry and anti-everything as a record can get.

Sleater Kinney – Dig Me Out

Punk’s final gasp in the late ’90s. These girls brought punk to the indie-rock scene.

Husker Du – Zen Arcade

What happens when punk meets the art form of the concept album? Zen Arcade.

The Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables

The Dead Kennedys’ debut album is more musically technical than The Sex Pistols, who Jello Biafra satirizes in a couple of tracks.

The Clash – The Clash

A gnarly, edgy album that sounds like the world is about to get turned upside down.

Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power

Iconic not just for the album cover.

X-Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescence

Poly Styrene proved that punk wasn’t just for boys. Her angry, feminist rants over catchy and creative music is a treat.

Ramones – Ramones

“Blitzkrieg Bop” birthed a new era and the Ramones’ debut album gave us all of the attitude with none of the substance.

The Clash – London Calling

The Clash’s third album is a punk album which borrows from a range of styles including reggae, jazz, pop and ska. It manages to be musically adventurous while maintaining the bite that defines The Clash’s sound.