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Best Punk Album in The World...Ever

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On an LP that can barely contain its own fury, singer Dave Dictor sings about animal rights, transvestite rights, police oppression – “what you gonna do? The mafia in blue, hunting for queers, n_____s, and you” – the craven morality of slumlords, and, even, the idea that John Wayne was a Nazi. The past tense is important, cos he’s “not any more”, not since “life evened the score”, anyway. Prior to the release of American Idiot, Rob Cavallo called a meeting at the headquarters of Warner Bros. Records in Burbank, California, for the company’s press officers and sales team. As well producing Green Day’s seventh album, Cavallo was also the president of the label.

The Best Punk Album In The WorldEver! by Various Artists The Best Punk Album In The WorldEver! by Various Artists

When Billie Joe Armstrong inserted a chant of “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” into Green Day’s performance of the song Bang Bang at the American Music Awards in 2016, he introduced a battle-cry that would resound at protest rallies across the United States for years to come. The slogan in its original form, to which Armstrong replaced the word “war” with the name “Trump”, is taken from the song Born To Die from Millions Of Dead Cops, the finest hardcore punk album ever made. An exercise in nihilism this is not; the pronounced morality of Los Angeles is drawn from the atonality with which it’s delivered. As the music critic Greil Marcus once wrote, ‘X’s vision isn’t fragmented, it’s not second-hand, and its ambition is to discredit any vision that suggests there’s more to life than X says there is.’ 11. Bad Brains, Attitude: the Roir Sessions (1982)

It’s a wonder that Millions Of Dead Cops never runs out of steam, let alone targets. As the album ends with the words “and there’s no God in Heaven, so get of your knees”, the sensation is of being beaten bloody by something close to perfection. 6. Refused, the Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts (1998)

The Best Punk Album In The WorldEver! 2 by Various Artists The Best Punk Album In The WorldEver! 2 by Various Artists

They were the unlikeliest of saviors. Suffer was the band’s first album for five years – its predecessor had sold in the hundreds – and their singer, Greg Graffin, was a full-time student at UCLA (today he is a lecturer in evolution at Cornell University). His co-songwriter, Brett Gurewitz, had spent years learning to produce music; when the time came to record his own band, the results were powerful and rich. Bay Dream, the melodic second album from LA’s Culture Abuse, is the only album on this list to feature a member with an acute disability. Singer David Kelling has cerebral palsy, and aims to use his group’s music to change people’s perceptions of the condition by which he is burdened. “No one with cerebral palsy ever gets the girl, or comes in first place, or anything,” he has said. “I hope to change that.” 48. The Rezillos: Can't Stand The Rezillos (1978)

Partly political, conceptual, supple, ambitious – the record features not one, but two nine-minute songs – catchy and complete, American Idiot is the sound of a group testing both themselves and the boundaries of the genre they so capably represent. This is what Telegraph readers said: While Johnny Rotten sang about anarchy with all the comprehension of a child playing with a hand-grenade – although not even a child would have considered rhyming the word ‘anarchist’ with ‘antichrist’ – for Crass such matters were far more serious. During a career of infamy and provocation, the Epping collective produced a homemade tape that purported to contain a private conversation between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan – the Prime Minister was made aware of its existence – and had their music criticised in the House of Commons. With The Feeding Of The 5000, they laid down a marker for hardcore militancy for generations to come. 26. Social Distortion, Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell (1992)

The Best Punk Album in the WorldEver, Part 2 - AllMusic The Best Punk Album in the WorldEver, Part 2 - AllMusic

Beloved of everyone that has heard it, …And Out Come The Wolves is the finest American punk record of the nineties. It also happens to be only the third native release of its kind to have attained platinum status in its country of origin.

Propelled by the melodic and mischievous songwriting of Glen Danzig, the Misfits played songs about Martians and zombies with the kind of revelry that Ed Wood Jr. might have brought to The Beach Boys. Silly, yes; a classic, certainly. 13. The Damned, Damned Damned Damned (1977) It can surely only be a matter of time before the question "what is punk?" enters the lexicon of philosophical head-scratchers. It’s a sound, for sure, as anyone who has heard the Ramones' first album will know. But it’s also a quality, something that might loosely be termed "attitude", a nebulous vapor that can be attributed to many, from Billie Eilish to Dominic Cummings. What a puzzle.

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