Top 10 Most Important and Influential Punk Bands

Here's a list of the most important bands that did something great for the genre.
The Top Ten
1 Sex Pistols The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1975. Although they initially lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are considered one of the most influential acts in the history ...read more.

There's no question about their importance and influence as a punk band, but anybody who states them as their favourite punk band has very little knowledge about punk. Usually people who mention them, only know a couple of punk bands; most likely people who consider Green Day and the liksees of punk bands too. No offense, not everybody is into punk.

Sex Pistols beat the p! $$ out of the Clash. No Ramones and Sex Pistols means no Clash. That "the only band that mattered" is a load of pretentious tripe. Ramones and Sex Pistols are better and should be higher than Clash. Clash are good by the way.

2 The Ramones The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first band to define the punk rock sound.

The first Punk Rock band. They defined everything.
But Stooges, MC5 and other proto-punk bands should ahead of 'em, as they influenced The Rmones!

The Ramones not being at number one shows the bias of the person who made this list. Offspring over the NY Dolls? LOLLOLOLOLO

Massive speed of Johnny Ramone for his rhythm guitar. inspired a lot of punk and metal guitarists.

They should be number 1 on this list

3 Iggy and the Stooges The Stooges, also known as Iggy and the Stooges, are an American proto-punk band from Ann Arbor, Michigan, first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003. Although they sold few records in their original incarnation, and often performed for indifferent or hostile audiences, the Stooges are ...read more.

Arguably the first punk band. Paved the way for every band on here. The only bands I can see being ahead would be Sex Pistols for solidifying the punk mindset, and Black Flag for starting hardcore

More important than sex pistols.

They should be number one.

4 The Clash The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk.

I'm the guy who made this list, and I didn't put Green Day on this list, and I am going to be pissed if they get number one. They already are in the top ten, and that is dumb. Seriously.

One of the most important and influential (punk) bands ever, but it would be a sad world if they were the only (punk) band that mattered.

Yes, the Clash are most certainly the most important band out there! They weren't called 'The Only Band That Mattered' for nothing!

Were great punks...then they evolved and dissolved. One of the most versatile bands ever. If u don't own Sandanista...you have no right. Know your rights!

5 Black Flag Black Flag was an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of ...read more.
6 Dead Kennedys Dead Kennedys are an American hardcore punk band formed in San Francisco, California in 1978. The band was one of the first American hardcore bands to make a significant impact in the United Kingdom.

Who puts them on the list and uses a 'the' in front of their name. I totally agree about their importance, though.

7 Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk, punk rock, and alternative rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1986. The members include Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tré Cool (drums) and Jason White (guitar) . Green Day are associated with punk rock, pop punk and alternative ...read more.

Green Day <3
One of the most amazing bands ever. Innovative music at its best. Billie Joe Armstrong is a perfect lead singer.
They've produced albums like Dookie, American Idiot, Nimrod, Kerplunk. Its impossible not to like them.

Either people don't understand the word punk or the word importance, or maybe both. What's important or innovative about copying other bands?

Green Day sucks. So badly. They are not punk, they are poseurs

Not quite sure where their importance lies.

8 The Weirdos

L.A.’s first punk band. Named as an influence by almost all Southern California punk bands. Bands like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, The Descendents, Adolescents, Wasted Youth, D.I., Symbol Six, and T.S.O.L. have all stated on record that The Weirdos were a major if not primary influence for them.
“The Weirdos...the band that infected us all” - Symbol Six

Southern California’s first punk band. Named by pretty much all Southern California punk bands as an inspiration.

9 Misfits Misfits are an American Horror Punk band often recognized as the progenitors of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk rock and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery.

I know their horror punk but still important to the punk community

10 Middle Class
The Contenders
11 New York Dolls
12 MC5 MC5 was an American rock band from Lincoln Park, Michigan, formed in 1964. The original band line-up consisted of vocalist Rob Tyner, guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith, bassist Michael Davis, and drummer Dennis Thompson.
13 Minor Threat Minor Threat was an American hardcore punk band, formed in 1980 in Washington, D.C. by vocalist Ian MacKaye and drummer Jeff Nelson.

Ian Mackaye has become one of the most influential faces of the punk genre. Minor threat should definitely rank higher

14 Bad Brains Bad Brains is an American hardcore punk band formed in Washington, D.C., in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band's members have objected to this term to describe their music.

They should be ahead of Green Day on this list.

15 Bad Religion Bad Religion is an American punk rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1979. The band makes extensive use of soaring three-part vocal harmonies, guitar solos and lyrics that often contain religious and political commentary.

What makes Bad Religion one of the most important punk bands is not only because they've released so many great albums, but they came from the same scene as bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, The Dead Kennedys and The Circle Jerks. Not to mention they're the ones who started one of the most influential indie labels of all time (Epitaph Records), and went on to influence and inspire many notable bands (such as The Offspring, NOFX and Pennywise) as well as today's pop-punk and post-hardcore bands.

Great band but their new album is mediocre

16 Death Death was an American death metal band formed in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner. Death is considered to be one of the most influential bands in heavy metal and a pioneering force in death metal. Its debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, has been widely regarded as the first death metal record, while the band's ...read more.

Who is death you ask? Well technically they are the FIRST PUNK BAND, they started in 1971, this was about 4-8 years before the punk bands that are considered iconic like The Sex Pistols, NOFX, Kennedys, and so on formed. These guys are the ones who practically defined the genre of Punk music. They are and will be the most important punk band ever.
Hell they even have a documentary on it, "a band called death"

Nice to see they're mentioned for once.

17 Rancid

In my opinion, they had two of the best punk albums of all time - Lets Go! &...And Out Come the Wolves. Additionally, they are still putting out great music, and great shows.

18 Crass

One of the most influential and important Anarcho- punk bands; thanks to their label (studio) so many other bands were able to release great albums.

19 My Chemical Romance My Chemical Romance was an American rock band from Jersey City, New Jersey, active from 2001 to 2013. For much of their career, the band consisted of lead vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, bassist Mikey Way, and drummer Bob Bryar.

This is emo, not punk, the same for green day and sum 182

I understand why many people think they are emo, but they aren’t. Gerard Way even confirmed in an interview that he hates being lumped up with emo Justine because they toured with emo bands, and even said the genre is “ garbage”. So, the other comment is wrong, they’re pop-punk.

20 The Adverts

T.V. Smith is a living (punk) legend!

21 The Saints

Most important Punk-Band from Australia, released debut-album '(I'm) Stranded' before 'Never mind the Bollocks' or 'The Clash' came out.

Sadly, left their punk roots after 2 (maybe 3) albums.

22 The Cramps
23 Nina Hagen Band Nina Hagen Band was a German punk rock band consisting of Nina Hagen (vocals), Reinhold Heil (keyboard), Herwig Mitteregger (drums), Bernhard Potschka (guitar) and Manfred Praeker (bass), that formed in 1978 and disbanded in 1979. ...read more.

In Germany, she's known as 'The Mother of Punk', even though, it was pretty self-acclaimed. She was fundamental for 'Deutsch-Punk', when she came over from East to West Germany (in the days of 'The Berlin-Wall' when hardly anybody else did (alive) and released debut-album 'Nina Hagen Band', provoking with lyrics about sex (lesbian sex in public toilet on 'Auf'm Bahnhof Zoo'), religion (singing 'God is dead' on 'Auf'm Friedhof'), feminism (against pregnancy on 'Unbeschreiblich Weiblich' und 'Pank'), society (anti-T.V. on 'T.V.-Glotzer' a superb cover of The Tubes' 'White Punks on Dope'), etc. She also played with The Slits and featured in Dutch Punk-Movie 'Cha Cha' with Herman Brood and Lene Lovich.

24 Suicidal Tendencies Suicidal Tendencies is an American crossover thrash band founded in 1980 in Venice, California by vocalist Mike Muir, who is the only remaining original member of the band. The band is often credited as one of "the fathers of crossover thrash".

They are one of the most important punk bands because they invented and popularized the crossover thrash genre during the 80's, along with D.R.I. and other emerging bands from that era.

25 Fugazi Fugazi is an American punk rock band that formed in Washington, D.C. in 1987. The band consists of guitarists and vocalists Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto, bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty.

Basically invented post hard-core.

8Load More
PSearch List