Top 10 Greatest Punk Songs

artist: Misc date: 05/03/2013 category: wtf?
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votes: 66
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Top 10 Greatest Punk Songs
This week we asked UG readers to vote for the greatest punk songs of all time. After hundreds of nominations and thousands of votes, the results are in. US punk bands have done well for themselves in this chart, which is great because American punk has been an integral part of rock culture. Still, it's a shame not to see more British punk acts when the country generated so much great music during this period. Democracy rules, though, and you'll probably agree the final list has plenty of good results. We'll leave it to you to decide if the final top 10 is up to scratch in the comments. For now, hit play and get your air drums out: it's time to shave yourself a mohawk and listen to the greatest punk songs ever.

10. The Stooges "Search and Destroy"

How better to start than with what is arguably the original punk band? These guys were punk before punk was even invented. And then, when punk came around for real, the released albums like "Raw Power" to show their garage rock sound still had more attitude than a city has electricity. Iggy Pop mixed this track, you know - and in 1997 he teamed up with Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson for another more aggressive remix.

9. Black Flag "Rise Above"

Check out this video to know what live punk in the 1980s was all about. Black Flag were like a condensed version of everything great about hardcore punk, from the sweat and compassion to the intensity of their social message. Bands like this wrote music that couldn't sell out by default, and their integrity will always be intact for it.

8. Refused "New Noise"

When Refused released their 1998 swan song "The Shape of Punk to Come," they probably had no idea how true that would be. It became a template for post-hardcore acts, with their explosive sound being emulated off by hundreds of acts since. "New Noise" is only one bombastic example of what this album sounds like.

7. Green Day "Longview"

Green Day's first major label single started life as a bass riff written by Mike Dirnt when he was on acid. "I was frying on acid so hard," he said. "Later, it took me a long time to be able to play it, but it made sense when I was on drugs."

6. Suicidal Tendencies "Institutionalized"

Suicidal Tendencies' defining song was re-recorded in 1993 and won a Grammy - which sounds a little too mainstream for this list's punk attitude, so we're posting the original. It tells the story of singer Mike Muir and his run-ins with friends and parents. The funk elements were introduced by bassist Rob Trujillo, who of course is better known now as the Metallica bassist.

5. Misfits "Astro Zombies"

Inspired by the 1968 film of the same name, this song appeared on their 1982 album "Walk Among Us" which was mostly compiled of older songs that were being re-recorded again. Eagle-eyed fans will notice a photo of the band in the album sleeve is of a 1979 version of the band lineup, with Bobby Steele and Joe Image instead of Doyle and Googy who perform on the album. There's a distinct echo of Black Flag's "Rise Above" in the intro, but it quickly dives into Misfits' awesome signature sound.

4. The Clash "London Calling"

This list proves that "London Calling" is one of the defining British punk songs. Drawing influence from reggae on the baseline, Joe Strummer's frantic wailing is one of the most important moments in political music history. If you don't know what it's like to experience the dark side of London, this is it.

3. Sex Pistols "Anarchy in the UK"

Frontman Johnny Rotten might be turning less and less likeable in his old age, depending on your opinion (with this apparently sexist outburst being a recent tipping point), but you can't deny he's going to be the poster boy for punk rock for centuries to come.

2. Dead Kennedys "Holiday in Cambodia"

This single helped the band catch the attention of Polydor, but singer Jello Biafra threatened to leave the group if they sold out to the label. He didn't need to bother; they lost interest when they found out their next single would be titled "Too Drunk to F--k."

1. Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop"

Ramones might not play aggressive punk like their musical brethren, but they took the garage rock sound of The Stooges and made it more fun and accessible than ever. The entire pop-punk genre owes its existence to this anthem, which says a lot about its impact on Western music. All together now: "Hay! Ho! Let's go!"
That's the end of our top 10 greatest punk songs list, as voted by UG readers. Actually, that's not quite the end. There was one song which won far more votes than the Ramones, or any other act on this list. Drum roll please ... Britney Spears, congratulations, you're the real winner of our poll with your hardcore punk track "Oops! I Did It Again." Come and collect your prize! Of course, we all know that Britney's song is real punk, despite the fact we haven't included it in the final list. So let's just pretend these songs are just "those ten which are still below 'Oops! I Did It Again.'" Let us know what you think of the final results, and how you would improve them, in the comments - and hit the Facebook 'like' button if you want to share the greatest punk songs ever with your friends.
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