Checkout the below listed latest and best top 10 best Punk Rock Song songs of all time 2017, What makes a great punk rock song? That question is about as difficult as defining what a punk rock song. Typically, you can recognize a song that nobody considers to be an example of punk much easier than a song everybody agrees is a punk. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, and most of the following making this list of the top 10 best punk rock songs will fit quite nicely within that exception. Others, perhaps, may stimulate argument in the search for a consensus on what is punk rock and what is not. But then, wasn’t stimulating argument one of the foundational points of punk?
- 10. Where were You? by the Mekons
- 9. Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones
- 8. Pump it Up by Elvis Costello
- 7. The Sound of the Rain by The Dils
- 6. Psycho Killer by Talking Heads
- 5. Warsaw by Joy Division
- 4. True Love, Pt. 2 by X
- 3. I Found that Essence Rare by Gang of Four
- 2. Janie Jones by The Clash
- 1. God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols
Here we present the list of top 10 best Punk Rock Song songs of all time 2017.
10. Where were You? by the Mekons
You will get no argument that The Mekons have reached places in their long, varied career where the music they have produced is a long, long way from being considered punk. “Where were You?” does not belong in that category. The admittedly simple musical composition results in an intensely emotional buildup as the song get louder and the singer gets more desperate. Some might argue that punk rock was not about love songs and some might argue that “Where were You” is a song about love. The mixture is perfect, however; it is a punk love song supreme. After all, the object of profound emotional is not there.
9. Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones
“Hey ho, let’s go! Hey ho, let’s go!” may well be the most iconic kickoff to any punk rock song that exists; certainly it has to qualify as the most iconic kickoff to any American punk rock song. When you think if American punk, you have to think about either The Ramones or X. Sure, there are plenty of other great American punk rock bands—maybe even a few with a claim to being better—but none with a claim to be as seminal. Of course, it must be admitted that The Ramones always kind of seemed like the Monkees to the Beatles that were X, but both seemed more like the Rolling Stones to The Who of punk: the Sex Pistols. “Blitzkrieg Bop” is punk as fun. It’s a kicky sort of power pop with a dirty punk underbelly. Fortunately, it is the kind of song you never get tired of hearing and cannot get out of your head once you hear it.
8. Pump it Up by Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello is one of the progenitors of punk; he is punk’s poet of intrigue. And yet…most of Costello’s music—even on those first few albums—do not really sound all that punky. We’re not even talking about “Alison” here. Most of those songs that earned Elvis Costello his iconic status as punk rock’s “Angry Young Man” are really not infused with the raw vibrancy of the Ramones or even the danger that everything could just go straight to hell if he gets his way that permeates pretty much song by the Sex Pistols. Except for “Pump it Up.” Those insistent drums that almost sound like they are about to break loose and go off on their own creates the punkiest rhythm of any Elvis Costello song. Sure, it’s not as blistering in its anger as his cover of “What’s So Funny ‘bout Peace, Love and Understanding” but “Pump it Up” has something going for it that even that brilliant record does not. What that something is remains undefinable except to say that it is pure punk.
7. The Sound of the Rain by The Dils
Before they became the seminal punk-country band Rank and File, the Kinman brothers heade up the pure L.A punk band The Dils. On their second album, Rank and File did a cover of a song they originally recorded as the Dils called “The Sound of the Rain.” Sonically, the cover version far outstrips the original; it is a gorgeous piece of audio. It also features the lyrics:
“I don’t listen to the cops
They talk with wood and lead.”
That’s figurative language; that’s art. The original version is a bit different
“I don’t listen to the cops
I wish they all were dead.”
That’s literal language. That’s the different the between art and punk.
6. Psycho Killer by Talking Heads
Before they became arty, they were punky. Were Talking Heads really a punk rock band? Nah, not really. But “Psycho Killer” has all the hallmarks of a great punk rock song and even if it wasn’t made by a punk rock band, that really seems hardly to matter at all. After all, punk rock is all about DIY and anyone can be let in if they follow certain rules. “Psycho Killer” follows the rules. It’s on the list.
5. Warsaw by Joy Division
Never has one band evolved their sound so much in such a short period of time. “Warsaw” was recorded on June 3, 1978 and it seemed to introduce a typical punk rock band onto the scene filled with anger and energy, but possessed of an atypical potential for more than a thunder as a one-hit wonder. Just two years later these same four guys from Manchester recorded “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Some bands spend decades-long careers without ever making such an astonishing leap in style, confidence and competence. Three years after that—and three years after the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis—the remaining three members of the band along with new recruit Gillian Gilbert released “Blue Monday” in their new incarnation as New Order. The journey from the pure raw punk power that is “Warsaw” to uncanny control of pure technology that is “Blue Monday” is jaw-dropping. What may be even more jaw-dropping is that if “Warsaw” is any indication, Joy Division could well have gone on to make everyone forget the Sex Pistols if they’d so desired.
4. True Love, Pt. 2 by X
Argument material, for sure. By the time X recorded “True Love, Pt. 2” many hardcore fans did not even consider them a punk band anymore. But X can hardly be compared to the Mekons. When the Mekons changed direction, it was fully engaged and all systems go. Maybe the anger and energy of “True Love, Pt. 2” does not match that which permeates every song on their debut album Los Angeles, but just because they managed to become a little more sophisticated musically is no reason to trash them. “True Love, Pt. 2” is most definitely one of the top ten punk songs of all time. No question.
3. I Found that Essence Rare by Gang of Four
Almost every description of Gang of Four takes pains to position within the context of the punk rock movement as post-punk. Sometimes that genre seems utterly empty and just the creation of useful shorthand by rock critics. Gang of Four was, in reality, no more of a punk rock band in the style of the Pistols and the Clash any more than Joy Division, but they were inspired by the spirit of punk. They took the anger and energy and stripped down simplicity of punk rock to a whole new level by introducing a sophistication both musically and lyrically that just simply does not fit within the punk template. And then there is “I Found that Essence Rare.” Like Joy Division’s “Warsaw” it is a song that sticks out from the rest of their discography. Not quite to the degree of the Joy Division example, true, but “I Found that Essence Rare” even almost manages to seem out of place on their debut album Entertainment! It is unapologetically punk rock right down to its foundation. Yes, it is lyrically more complex than anything the Pistols ever produced, but somehow it still feels like it would be more at home in a Sex Pistols concert than a Gang of Four concert.
2. Janie Jones by The Clash
“Janie Jones” is unquestionably not the best song by the Clash. Half a dozen songs at least clamor for that title and deserve it more than “Janie Jones.” On the other hand, no other song by the Clash feels quite so punky as “Janie Jones.” It does not matter that you cannot understand the lyrics any more than it matters that understanding the lyrics offers little help in understanding the song. The quality of punk rock brilliance to be found in “Janie Jones” lies in the sound. It starts off like it is already trying to catch up with itself and that breathless quality never stops.
1. God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols
Well, of course, when it comes down to the essentials, the best punk rocks of all time always leads back to the Sex Pistols. Most other great punk bands lasted longer and many were better, but you can’t escape history and truth: the Sex Pistols were punk; without them, everything would have been different. “Anarchy in the U.K.” is probably the more iconic punk song, but it lacks the distinctive lyric that sums the entire punk movement up better than any other lyric in any other song. When Johnny Rotten snarls, “we mean it, man!” you believe him. And by believing that he means, you believe that anything is possible.
You know it when you hear it. Punk rock. Is it still being made? Hard to tell since the delivery of off-the-mainstream rock to mainstream listeners is further removed from the punk sensibility than ever. Even if punk does die, however, we still have the brilliance of what exists.