Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Punk Albums of All Time is Alt Fact!

When it comes to pissing matches and irreconcilable pluralism, no one does it better than Rolling Stone magazine.

They decided to make a list of the 40 best punk rock albums of all time. But, they limited each band to one elpee.  While I can see the reason for the limitation, I think having decided upon it, they should have realized that calling it the Top 40 Punk Albums of All Time was a falsehood.

Also, should compilation records qualify? Singles Going Steady was almost contemporaneous, sort of, but the Bikini Kill singles album came out way later. Terminal Tower was kind of Pere Ubu’s Kinks Kronikles, but does that make it chartworthy?

Might not be a bad idea for us to play around with our own Top 10s, with as many elpees from any band as you feel is warranted in, in the comments. Think I’ll invite Dave Marsh to contribute. I’m sure he’s got a Bob Seger record in mind.

So here it is. Sharpen your knives. Have fun.

While reading, listen to this, ponder (and read fast).



5 thoughts on “Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Punk Albums of All Time is Alt Fact!

  1. I guess I should trot out my Top 10. Not sure what the order is here, but how about:

    The Ramones
    The Clash
    Raw Power, Iggy and the Stooges
    Kick Out the Jams, MC5
    New York Dolls
    Rocket to Russia, Ramones
    Modern Lovers
    Marquee Moon, Television
    Pink Flag, Wire
    Never Mind the Bollocks, Sex Pistols

    Stupid exercise.

  2. The Heartbreakers’ LAMF, Dead Boys Young, Loud & Snotty and the MC5′ first are egregious ommisions. Others are arguable – The Damned, and if Television qualifies then the Only Ones should too and certainly either of Blondie’s first two albums, and where are the Talking Heads? I have to admit I didn’t like what punk became once it was codified – the opposite of what it started as. I tried to get into the Riot Grrls but it didn’t take due to a distinct lack of tunes.

    Conceptually: when the movement started catching fire here – not that it ever REALLY did, but inroads were made in 1977-1978 – it was distinctly singles oriented and I loved that. To me as a kid there was nothing better than hearing the latest SONGS. The music was best experienced on a jukebox. So in a way picking albums does the music an injustice. For example, there may never even have been an album attached to this, but it’s a great song and even an archetype:

  3. You’re right about it being singles music. That wall of picture sleeves at Bleecker Bob’s was heaven, though we sometimes struggled to fill the big hole in American 45s.

  4. There are certain talents we are born with. I could line up a 45 every time. And that was another thing about punk: the 33 RPM single. I still have this, had to get it because the album wasn’t out yet:

  5. Forgive my ignorance, but how do you find albums 32 through 40?

    I’m planning to do a blurb review/ranking commentary on all of these, since I know most of them, then my essential missing list too.

    But I plan to do a lot of things.

    Spot on with Dead Boys and Damned debuts, Gene. MC5 are a toughie for me. Although they’re one of my all-time faves, none of their albums are anywhere close to perfect. For me, the tightest is “Back In The USA” but that has its problems as well. No one in Marshland will have a clue, but I consider the first Hydromatics album to be the perfect MC5 album the MC5 never made.

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