Top 10 Most Important Albums in Punk Music History

The Top Ten
1 Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols - Sex Pistols

It's very easy to make the claim that the Sex Pistols were nothing more than a calculated way to sell a specific image to a targeted demographic because, well... it's kind of true. However, whether the Pistols were posing or not is almost irrelevant when it comes to the importance of Never Mind the Bollocks and the influence it had on punk bands to come. Even if the Sex Pistols weren't as big on anarchy as they claimed to be (although who says that they couldn't be disaffected with the government while also making money playing music? ), that doesn't change the very real anger and sense of danger that took a hold of future punk bands.

2 Ramones - Ramones

I know... Iggy, the dolls, the velvet underground, paved the way. But I was there, this started it, this made punk take off. Now check out all the other albums, we've heard this one enough.

They shaped the entire genre. All the other bands on this list wouldn't exist without them.

Half of the others on this list would not even exist were it not for The Ramones!

3 Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables - Dead Kennedys

Can't get my head 'round this list. "most important" in what context? Influentially, artistically, commercially, politically, historically,...? I can honestly say, I like the entire Top 20 albums for various reasons, but can't understand in what way 'Sandinista' could be more important than 'Never mind the Bollocks' or even 'London Calling', while 'The Clash' (debut) isn't even in the Top 20. How can 'Nervous Breakdown' (excellent album) be #1? I haven't looked further than this page yet, but voted for this album, as I understand the importance in the way of influential, great musicianship, lyrics, innovative,... Maybe, you should make it clearer what importance stands for.

4 London Calling - The Clash

This record marks the point where punk rock shed its limits. Before this, punk was a limited range of sounds, but after this, punk was an idea about expression.

Best distillation of music, lyrics, thought and voice in all of punk. The Clash made an album for the ages. It resonates with both American punk and European.

This album should be in the top five of the all time best albums, so why it's down at #12 below Sandinista! I cannot understand.

5 Suffer - Bad Religion

This album reignited the punk sound during a time when the genre was in a bit of a slump (not to say nothing awesome was happening but...). It influenced so many bands after it, in sound and style. This album is as important today as it was when it was released. Bad Religion are a consistent and always relevant band. Amazing album by arguably the best punk band of all time.

While I consider "Against the Grain" and "Generator" to be superior albums as a whole, as far as importance in the history of punk rock here you have it.

6 Raw Power - Iggy & the Stooges

Essential to everything that came after. Put the rage back in garage.

The first punk album, no questions asked.

This is the real father of punk.

7 Nervous Breakdown - Black Flag

I have a Black Flag tattoo, and I have been to different countries and found people with the same tattoo all over the place. Sure, Ramones started this, the Sex Pistols added the craziness but Black Flag brought the power, rawness, and completely took it to a whole new level.

Listen to everything else that was out at the time. Most punk bands still sounded like Television, Talking Heads, Modern Lovers etc. which are great bands, but this was the first release to really crank up the volume and aggression that we all associate with punk today.

8 Dookie - Green Day

Don't spit all over this, it may not be punk in the traditional sense, but it popularized its 90s derivate pop-punk.

Popularized pop punk but didn't invent anything still felt like including it.

9 The Clash - The Clash
10 Rocket to Russia - The Ramones

Black Flag!? come on, without the ramones no boyfriend at all...but he, I miss The Stooges in this a billboard-poll or what!?

If it wasn't for the Ramones most of these bands wouldn't even be here.

One of their first albums that helped the genre.

The Contenders
11 New York Dolls - New York Dolls
12 American Idiot - Green Day
13 Kick Out the Jams - Mc5

First punk album (1969).
Sorry for the double, but the first I added didn't have the band's name with it.

14 L.A.M.F. - Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers
15 Damned Damned Damned - The Damned
16 Milo Goes to College - Descendents

Influential, but not necessarily for what people in the comments here say. I'd say it was more important in influencing skatepunk and pop-punk, with love songs and themes of angst. It is still a Hardcore album, but it is much less heavy than your typical hardcore album. More melodis. That's what makes it stand out. Also, it's catchy. And great overall.

This is the definition of Hardcore Punk. As punk as it gets. So punk in fact that there's a song called "I'm Not A Punk". That's punk rock.

This album should be top 5. From start to finish this album is a masterpiece. No!, ALL!

17 Damaged - Black Flag
18 Suicidal Tendencies - Suicidal Tendencies

Important because Suicidal is one of the creators of the genre crossover thrash.

Important because of the song "Institutionalized" aka "All I Wanted Was A Pepsi".

It popularized crossover thrash.

19 In My Eyes - Minor Threat

Basically, If most punk albums changed the political view on their fans and made them wear different cloths, what Ian McKay did by singing the song "Straight Edge" is change their whole perception of what life is, in anthropological therms one could say that he ripped apart the the whole value system of punk kids and placed there the "Straight Edge" seed. The most important album in Punk history is this one.

Not as important as other albums so it's not as high.

20 Bad Brains - Bad Brains

Influenced lots of hardcore punk bands.

21 Energy - Operation Ivy

My favorite album of all time. Start to finish perfection.

Amazing album still listening to it today.

22 Walk Among Us - Misfits

To this day the best album I have ever heard!

23 Smash - The Offspring

Smash opened a new world of music to me back in the days. So I consider it most important.

I grew up on The Offspring. Bad Habit, Gotta Get Away, Self Esteem... some of my favourites to this day.

Like "Dookie", this album was responsible for the 90's punk revival scene.

24 Enema of the State - Blink-182
25 And Out Come the Wolves - Rancid

No one does it better than Rancid, and Out Come the Wolves is their all-time best!

Classic, relevant, and still fresh!

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