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Punk rock, or punk, is a fast, hard-edged, lyrically frank and (usually) politically anti-establishment genre of rock music which originated in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Its roots can be traced to garage rock, but it has also been stylistically influenced by psychedelic rock and glam, what with its bare instrumental and musical structures, heavy use of electric guitars, hardcore vocal arrangements, repetitive (almost forced) rhythm, and frank and sometimes confrontational lyrics. Influential figures that helped define the genre include The Ramones, The Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Who, Iggy and The Stooges, Television, Patti Smith, Husker Du, and Generation X.
What is Punk Music?One of the principal characteristics of punk CDs and punk records is the fast, aggressive styles of the pieces. The philosophy behind the genre, after all, is to be modern and unsentimental, and to reject the mainstream via do-it-yourself ethics and frank social and political commentary. As is evident in the works of pioneering punk artists and punk bands like The Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash, punk records tend to have the same bare musical structures and arrangements of garage rock, with short songs; heavy, relentlessly rhythmic, and power-chorded electric guitar instrumentation; unconventional vocals that almost shout out the lyrics; and themes that bluntly tackle issues such as sex, politics, social mores, the grimness of urban life, and rebellion.
The History and Pioneers of Punk MusicPunk music emerged from a rock subculture that embraced anti-establishment ideologies and rejected political idealism, among all other things tame. It was in mid-seventies New York that the first notable punk rock scene came into view, with punk rock bands like The Ramones, Wayne County, Patti Smith, Television, The Heartbreakers, The Talking Heads and Johnny Thunders performing and sharing their musical influences in the Bowery District. In the United Kingdom, meanwhile, where unemployment rates were at a high and the political situation became dire, the Sex Pistols strongly expressed rebellion through their music. From this, the band began to develop a large following, most of which was comprised of angry, out-of-work youths. Other notable punk rock bands and artists in the UK that soon followed the Sex Pistols’ suit were The Clash, the Slits, Generation X, Cock Sparrer, Sham 69, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Meanwhile, in Australia, punk bands like The Saints were responsible for influencing a similar DIY-embracing rock culture to take shape.
Throughout the late 1970s, until the 1980s, punk music gained greater recognition in the mainstream. It also began to evolve and be significantly influenced by pop. Punk bands and artists The Misfits, Black Flag, Fear, NOFX, and The Offspring began to incorporate pop characteristics into their records and helped the punk genre thrive, albeit with more fusion and less anger and nihilistic tendencies.
Punk Rock Bands and Artists from the 90s to the PresentJust before the nineties started, a band called Sweet Children made an appearance. They would later come to be known as Green Day. This punk rock band then created the next wave of punk, along with punk artists and bands such as Blink-182, MxPx, the Living End (in Australia), and Bikini Kill.
Today, new punk bands and artists continue to emerge – fusing the styles of their 1970s predecessors with elements from other genres such as alternative, ska, and hardcore. Sum 41, Simple Plan, Yellowcard, Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World, AFI, and Reel Big Fish are among the many punk bands and artists that have achieved commercial success worldwide.
Punk Rock Record LabelsRecord labels commonly associated with punk music include Anagram Records (Anti-Nowhere League, The Exploited, Eater), Deep Elm (The Appleseed Cast, Settlefish, Burns Out Bright), and Cleopatra (The Adicts, The Exploited, Howard Jones, Agent Orange).
Punk Records and Punk CDsListen to the hard-edged sound of punk rock music and its many variations. Ramones CDs, The Talking Heads CDs, Sex Pistols CDs, The Clash CDs, The Who CDs, Iggy and The Stooges CDs, Television CDs, Patti Smith CDs, Clash CDs, Black Flag CDs, NOFX CDs, The Offspring CDs, Green Day CDs, Blink-182 CDs, Sum 41 CDs, Simple Plan CDs, Yellowcard CDs, Good Charlotte CDs, and Fall Out Boy CDs, among other Punk records and Punk CDs by Punk bands and artists from 1970s onwards, are available at MusicStack. Punk vinyl LPs are also available.
Popular Punk Artists