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Rolling Stone lists the 40 greatest punk albums of all time

Dead Kennedys
Rolling Stone’s 40th favorite punk album

Last month, Rolling Stone ranked the 40 best emo albums of all time, and today they’re back with the 40 greatest punk albums of all time. Now, this is the same magazine that told you John Cougar Mellencamp, Sting and Jackson Browne all had some of the 100 best albums of the 1980s and Black Flag and Minor Threat did not, so it’d be understandable if you don’t care what they think the best punk albums of all time are, but this list is actually rock solid. There isn’t one bad album on it, and it incorporates tons of styles and eras. It accounts for mainstream pop punk with blink-182 and Green Day (and if you don’t expect those bands to end up on lists like these at this point, you’re just a snob); OG post-punk with Joy Division, Gang of Four, Devo and more; post-punk revival with Yeah Yeah Yeahs; proto-punk with The Stooges and New York Dolls; Nirvana; the one straight-up punk Replacements album; and the only 2010s band is — for my money (and apparently also Rolling Stone‘s) — the best punk band of this decade, White Lung. There’s no surprise what #1 is, and there’s no real reason to argue it either.

The only real disappointment for me is the complete absence of NYHC (you’d think at least one album Walter Schreifels was involved in would make a list like this). But for the most part, it’s a great list for someone exploring the genre for the first time.

Check out the full list below and read RS‘ commentary here.

Rolling Stone’s 40 Best Punk Albums of All Time
40. Dead Kennedys, ‘Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables’ (1980)
39. Devo, ‘Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!’ (1978)
38. White Lung, ‘Deep Fantasy’ (2014)
37. Blink-182, ‘Enema of the State’ (1999)
36. Crass, ‘Penis Envy’ (1981)
35. Fugazi, ’13 Songs’ (1989)
34. Joy Division, ‘Unknown Pleasures’ (1979)
33. The Slits, ‘Cut’ (1979)
32. The Misfits, ‘Walk Among Us’ (1982)
31. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Fever to Tell’ (2003)
30. Sonic Youth, ‘Evol’ (1986)
29. The Replacements, ‘Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash’ (1981)
28. The Germs, ‘(GI)’ (1979)
27. Minor Threat, ‘Complete Discography’ (1989)
26. Flipper, ‘Generic’ (1982)
25. Mission of Burma, ‘Vs.’ (1982)
24. The Jam, ‘All Mod Cons’ (1978)
23. Pere Ubu, ‘Terminal Tower’ (1985)
22. Bikini Kill, ‘The Singles’ (1998)
21. Richard Hell and the Voidoids, ‘Blank Generation’ (1977)
20. X-Ray Spex, ‘Germfree Adolescents’ (1978)
19. Bad Brains, ‘Bad Brains’ (1982)
18. Green Day, ‘Dookie’ (1994)
17. Television, ‘Marquee Moon’ (1977)
16. Descendents, ‘Milo Goes to College’ (1982)
15. New York Dolls, ‘New York Dolls’ (1973)
14. Sleater-Kinney, ‘Dig Me Out’ (1997)
13. Hüsker Dü, ‘Zen Arcade’ (1984)
12. Patti Smith, ‘Horses’ (1975)
11. The Buzzcocks, ‘Singles Going Steady’ (1979)
10. Nirvana, ‘Nevermind’ (1991)
9. X, ‘Los Angeles’ (1980)
8. Black Flag, ‘Damaged’ (1981)
7. Minutemen, ‘Double Nickels on the Dime’ (1984)
6. Wire, ‘Pink Flag’ (1977)
5. Gang of Four, ‘Entertainment!’ (1979)
4. The Stooges, ‘Funhouse’ (1970)
3. The Sex Pistols, ‘Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols’ (1977)
2. The Clash, ‘The Clash’ (1977)
1. Ramones, ‘Ramones’ (1976)

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