I know that attempting to quantify “punk” is a messy thing, so this is more of a gut feeling kind of thing. What song or even album would be the first that you reach for when someone says “Play some punk rock”?
Never Mind the Bollocks… is the epitome of punk to me. It’s the first thing I think of.
Certainly not the “most Punk” of all time, but *I Wanna be Sedated *popped into my mind first.
Oh but whattabout the Cretin Hop?
The only one’s I can reach for, because they’re the only ones I own:
Hey Ho Let’s Go (Ramones GH) and RATM’s Renegade.
I’m sure they’ll be real punks posting here soon.
Beef Bologna by Fear.
I don’t know if it’s the most punk song of all time, but it cracks me right up and that should count for something. Right?
These days - now that the canon is fixed and the influence of punk is most scene in more recent bands like Green Day, etc.? Ramones by the Ramones, with Blitzkreig Bop as Track 1. You could argue for either Anarchy in the U.K. or God Save the Queen, but I like the Ramones goofiness and Wall-of-Sound sensibilities…(and we can get into distracting discussions focused on I Wanna Be Your Dog by Iggy and the Stooges, or some Velvet Underground, not to mention the Clash…). John Peel (famous and influential Brit DJ…) would argue for Teenage Kicks by the Undertones…
If you were in the 70’s and ask that question, there would be no 1 answer. How can you play
- Blitzkrieg Bop
- Psycho Killer by Talking Heads
- Venus de Milo by Television
- One Way by Blondie, etc.
and hear a common thread? Back then, punk was a downtown, indie attitude a lot more than it was a style of music. Everything fit under the punk tent if it was quirky and outside. That’s changed dramatically since then…
How to choose?
or possibly the Buzzcocks, or even Wire’s Pink Flag.
I’ve always argued that Stepping Stone by the Monkees was the perfect punk song, but sometimes I just like to argue.
Most Punk Song of all time is different from my default if someone were to say “hey man, play some Punk Rock.” I don’t really have an opinion on the former.
If someone were to really ask me to play some Punk Rock, I’d put on Park. But really, Park qualifies as the most Emo band of all time, because no matter what changing definition you use, Park is emo. They even are hardcore punk like the original, which is why I’d put them on if asked to play punk. I don’t have a lot of other hardcore stuff that I still listen to.
Oh, I have the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, I just wouldn’t play them cause I’m tired of them.
The Sex Pistols are a classic intro to Punk. So are The Ramones, with their tongue-in-cheek style. Then there’s Bad Religion. Good classic Punk with tie right ‘sound’. Social Distortion, Suicidal Tendencies, D.I., T.S.O.L., Toy Dolls (for more ‘jokey’ punk)… But when I think of the ‘Most Punk’ song, I always think of Fuck Christmas by Fear. Starts slow, it’s short, but definitely has the Punk sensibility that can offend a lot of people.
Preach it. I used to catch the 12 o’clock retro show on KROQ. Every day they played I Wanna Be Sedated, as if it was the only song ever recorded by The Ramones. Gods, I got sick of that song!
My first thought was My Way by the Sex Pistols.
Anarchy in the UK is what popped into my head.
Is that the one that the Sex Pistols covered?
The song that popped into my head was “This Ain’t Havana” by the Ramones but I have been listening to that one a LOT.
So probably “My Way” or “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
ETA: Or maybe even “Bodies.”
I guess I would concede that the Pistols have the identifiably punkest song: Holidays in the Sun. Starts of with the simplest drum beat possible, then you think okay, they’ll lay on some guitar or a more complex dum beat, but they repeat it with a stompy type percussion. And they lyrics of course are a big middle finger to everyone.
TV Party by Black Flag just popped into the ole brain.
“Minor Threat” by Minor Threat
“Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies
Dead Kennedys’ “Too Drunk to Fuck”
Reaching out to a different punk scene, I’ve always thought that the music and lyrics of “Petroleum Distillation” by Fifteen absolutely epitomize everything punk should be about, and I say this as a huge fan of the Clash, the Ramones, Social Distortion, the Descendents, and Rancid, among others.