100 Essential Punk Rock Albums … well, at least Tfronky thinks so

Agent Orange - "This is the Voice"Yesterday I raved about Elbow and the release of their fifth album Build a Rocket Boys! Ironic that I actually started the day listening to a genre of music that is pretty much 180° from the Britpop style of music that the lads from Manchester do better than anyone.

Punk is what I grew up on, a style of music introduced to me during my grade school years, a genre that in many ways has become more important to me as I have aged. You can look in my car CD case at anytime and I guarantee that you will be able to find multiple discs from punk bands.

The first song that I heard when I got in my car yesterday was “Modern Way” from MIA. The lead track from their second album Murder in a Foreign Place, this song easily wins out for my all-time favorite punk song. A maniacal tune that changes tempo twice, features an awesome lead-in to a barrage of guitars, bass and drums, and is highlighted by Mike Conley’s incredible vocal delivery and some of the most incendiary lyrics ever penned by a punk rock band. All this happens in a mere two minutes or so!

I played the track a couple of times before moving on to the rest of the disc I was listening to in my vehicle. While doing the Build a Rocket Boys! post yesterday, my mind wandered a bit back to that song and made me think about which punk albums made the greatest impact on me.

The problem is other than This is the Voice from Agent Orange at #1 and Murder in a Foreign Place at #2, I don’t think I could logically create a Top Ten Punk Albums list, Top Twenty for that matter. Therefore, rather than even try, here is simply a list of the 100 Essential Punk Albums in my collection.


  1. The final 98 are in alphabetical order to avoid conflict.
  2. If you are too “core” for a band like The Ramones or X, you probably should not even be reading this post. Actually, quit reading this blog, you’re too close-minded a music fan. Punk is a pretty broad genre my friends with many sub-genres. It does not have to be 100mph thrash like Gang Green or D.R.I. to be punk.
  3. However, there will be no sissy punk, a la Green Day or Blink 182 here. 😉
  4. EPs count as separate entries. For example, as much as I wanted to cheat and just list Complete Discography from Minor Threat on CD, that would not have been cool for a list like this.
  5. Various artist compilations are included in the list. How could I leave off Flex Your Head or The Future Looks Bright Ahead? However, no artist compilations such as Operators Manual from The Buzzcocks. Dangit.

Top Two:

  1. Agent Orange – This is the Voice
  2. MIA – Murder in a Foreign Place

The Other 48:

  • 7 Seconds – The Crew
  • 7 Seconds – Walk Together Rock Together
  • Adolescents – The Adolescents
  • Agent Orange – Bitchin’ Summer
  • Agent Orange – When You Least Expect It
  • Agent Orange – Living in Darkness
  • Asexuals – Be What You Want
  • Bad Brains – Bad Brains
  • Bad Brains – Rock for Light
  • Bad Religion – How Could Hell be any Worse?
  • Big Black – Songs About Fucking
  • Black Flag – Damaged
  • Born Without a Face – Freakshow
  • Buzzcocks – Another Music in a Different Kitchen
  • Channel 3 – Fear of Life
  • China White – Dangerzone
  • Christian Death – Only Theater of Pain
  • Circle Jerks – Group Sex
  • The Clash – London Calling
  • Consumers – All My Friends are Dead
  • The Cramps – Psychedelic Jungle
  • The Cramps – Stay Sick!
  • Dag Nasty – Can I Say
  • The Damned – Damned, Damned, Damned
  • Dead Kennedys – Plastic Surgery Disasters
  • Descendents – I Don’t Want to Grow Up
  • Descendents – Milo Goes to College
  • D.I. – Ancient Artifacts
  • D.I. – Horse Bites Dog Cries
  • The Dickies – We Want the World
  • Discharge – Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing
  • Doggy Style – Side by Side
  • Don’t No – Don’t No
  • Dr. Know – Plug in Jesus
  • D.R.I. – Dealing With It
  • Egg Hunt – Egg Hunt
  • Ex Pistols – The Land of Hope and Glory
  • Father Figures – Lesson Number One
  • FEAR – The Record
  • Fugazi – Fugazi (7 Songs EP)
  • Gang Green – Another Wasted Night
  • Gang Green – Sold Out
  • Gang of Four – Solid Gold
  • G.B.H. – City Baby Attacked by Rats
  • Government Issue – Boycott Stabb
  • Husker Du – Flip Your Wig
  • Husker Du – New Day Rising
  • Jawbreaker – Dear You
  • J.F.A. – Blatant Localism
  • J.F.A. – Live 1984
  • J.F.A. – Valley of the Yakes
  • Junior Achievement – Fade to Black
  • Kluged – Kick, Scream and Shout
  • Kraut – An Adjustment to Society
  • Lords of the New Church – Lords of the New Church
  • M.I.A. – M.I.A. / Genocide split album
  • M.I.A. – Notes from the Underground
  • Minor Threat – In My Eyes
  • Minor Threat – Minor Threat
  • Minor Threat – Out of Step
  • Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime
  • Misfits – Earth A.D. / Wolf’s Blood
  • Misfits – Walk Among Us
  • Ramones – It’s Alive!
  • Ramones – Leave Home
  • Scream – Still Screaming
  • Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks
  • Shattered Faith – Live!
  • Shattered Faith – Vol. 2
  • Sick of it All – Blood Sweat and no Tears
  • SNFU – And No One Else Wanted to Play
  • SNFU – The One Voted Most Likely to Succeed
  • Social Distortion – 1945
  • Social Distortion – Mommy’s Little Monster
  • SSD – Get it Away
  • State of Alert – No Policy
  • Suicidal Tendencies – Suicidal Tendencies
  • Teen Idles – Minor Disturbance
  • T.S.O.L. – Beneath the Shadows
  • T.S.O.L. – Dance With Me
  • T.S.O.L. – T.S.O.L. (The Black EP)
  • Uniform Choice – 1984 demo
  • Uniform Choice – Screaming for Change
  • Unity – Blood Days
  • Unity – You Are One
  • Vandals – Peace Thru’ Vandalism
  • Vandals – When In Rome Do As the Vandals
  • Various Artists – Flex Your Head
  • Various Artists – Repo Man soundtrack
  • Various Artists – Someone Got Their Head Kicked In!
  • Various Artists – Suburbia soundtrack
  • Various Artists – The Decline of Western Civilization soundtrack
  • Various Artists – The Future Looks Bright Ahead
  • Various Artists – This is Phoenix Not the Circle Jerks
  • Void / Faith split album
  • Wasted Youth – Reagan’s In
  • X – Los Angeles
  • Youth Brigade – Sound and Fury

Sorry guys, never was a fan of The Germs. Yes, I realize I did not include earlier material from The Flag. I know there is only one Jerks album here. Last, Velvet Underground and The Stooges barely did not make the list. This was tough! Enjoy and feel free to rip me and the picks as you wish.




  1. Dave Marsh · March 8, 2011

    I don’t know too many of those albums, but the ones I DO know I totally agree with. Punk was popular when I was in my 30s and early 40s, so I sorta missed out. Sure do enjoy some of it now, though. Thanks for the great list, Frank.

  2. tfronky · March 8, 2011

    Well, here I go. The Symbol 6 EP definitely should be on this list.

  3. SKAmanda · October 5, 2011

    I just stumbled across this and this is actually a pretty great list. There is nothing on the list I can say I disagree with. Although, I do think along with Damned, Damned, Damned, I would add Machine Gun Etiquette, but that’s just my opinion. I too am not a big fan of The Germs, so I’m pretty happy with the list, I think I would also have to add the album Punk Rock Confidential by The Queers and Boogadaboogadaboogada! by Screeching Weasel. Nice job though, man. This is the first list of great punk albums that didn’t include terrible bands like Blink and Greenday which is super gnarly.

    • tfronky · October 5, 2011

      Thanks for your comments! “Machine Gun Etiquette” is a great album, you’re absolutely right.

      It would have been painful for me to include any sissy-punk on this list, so Green Day and Blink were absolute no-nos. Putting them on the same list with Minor Threat and Agent Orange would have been criminal.

  4. Jesse Michaels · December 5, 2011

    No Operation Ivy?? Fail.

    • tfronky · December 5, 2011

      Mixing punk and ska in this manner – bigger fail. Rancid coming out of the ashes of Operation Ivy – biggest fail.

  5. John · December 5, 2011

    I’m a list junkie and love to add my own entries but I had to stop at the end of the C’s ’cause my wife was getting mad…

    Agent Orange – Bloodstains 45
    Alley Cats – Nothing Means Nothing 45
    Ambient Noise – I Was There At The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 45
    Amuck – Compilation Lp
    Angry Samoans Inside My Brain Lp
    Angry Samoans – Back From Samoa Lp
    Angst – S/t 12-Inch Lp
    Authorities – Soundtrack For Trouble 45
    Avengers – S/t 12-Inch Lp
    Back To Front Vol. 1-5 – Compilation Lp’s
    Bad Brains – Pay To Cum 45
    Bad Brains – Rock for Light Lp
    Bags – Survive 45
    Battalion Of Saints – Fighting Boys & Death R Us Cd
    Beach Blvd – Compilation Lp
    Big Boys – Frat Cars 45
    Big Boys – Where’s My Towel Lp
    Big Boys – Fun Fun Fun 12″
    Big Boys – Lullabies Help The Brain Grow Lp
    Big Boys – No Matter How Long The Line Is…Lp
    Black Flag – Nervous Breakdown 45
    Black Flag – Jealous Again 12″
    Black Flag – Damaged Lp
    Black Flag – Louie Louie 45
    Bloodstains Across California – Compilation Lp
    Chain Gang – Son Of Sam 45
    Cheifs – Blues 45
    (Name Too Offensive) – I”m Gonna Punch You In The Face 45
    Clitboys – We Don’t Play The Game 45
    Controllers – Neutron Bomb 45
    Controllers – Slow Boy 45
    Corpsegrinders – Rites 4 Whites 45
    Cracked Actor – Nazi School 45
    Cramps – Songs The Lord Taught Us Lp
    Cramps – Gravest Hits Lp
    Cramps – Smell Of Female Lp
    Crash Kills Five – What Do You Do At Night 45

    • tfronky · December 6, 2011

      That’s a great list John, lots of amazing stuff here! Thanks for contributing!

  6. Pingback: Best Concerts of 2011 | The Musings of Frank Gallardo
  7. Pingback: F is for Father Figures | The Musings of Frank Gallardo
  8. Pingback: T is for T.S.O.L. | The Musings of Frank Gallardo
  9. Pingback: ROUND II – A is for Agent Orange | The Musings of Frank Gallardo
  10. Pingback: I just saved Brooke Shields from drowning so I want Agent Orange to play my birthday party | The Musings of Frank Gallardo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s