Music

The Best Punk Bands Of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated February 23, 2020 630.8k votes 33.8k voters 484.4k views 380 items

List Rules The definition of "punk" is nebulous - if you don't consider a band punk, feel free to vote em down

Punk rock is one of the most popular rock subgenres. The subject of who is the greatest punk band has fueled argument and debate for decades. Punk and punk inspired musical acts are more common than ever but the underground punk acts of the 70s and 80s will always be remembered for creating a culture for rebellion. From 80s punk to today's top punk bands, which are the best punk rock bands of all time and the best punk bands ever? These punk rocks are also making some of the best rock songs of 2019.

Good punk bands aren't hard to find, there's plenty of great punk music out there, thanks to the many punk groups on this list. Don't see your favorite punk rockers below? Click Rerank to add your list of your favorite punk bands here or vote up the punk acts you love and help create the definitive list of the greatest famous punk bands of all time.

list ordered by
1
Dead Kennedys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Dead Kennedys is an American hardcore punk band formed in San Francisco, California in 1978. The band became part of the American hardcore punk movement of the early 1980s. They gained a large ...more

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#281 of 620 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time #67 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Best Dead Kennedys Albums of All Time

2
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The Clash were an English rock band formed in London in 1976 as a key player in the original wave of British punk rock. They have also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that ...more

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#54 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #33 of 561 The Most Hipster Bands The Best Clash Songs of All Time

3
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and ...more

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#122 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #85 of 561 The Most Hipster Bands #1,023 of 1,038 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

4
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens in 1974. They are often cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite ...more

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#45 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #83 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time Were The Ramones The Most Dysfunctional Band That Stayed Together?

5
Iggy Pop is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Corey Watson added
James Newell Osterberg Jr. (born April 21, 1947), better known as Iggy Pop, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. Designated the "Godfather of Punk", ...more

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#349 of 1,042 The Best Singers of All Time #40 of 398 The Best Frontmen in Rock The Best Iggy Pop Albums of All-Time

6
Stiff Little Fingers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Stiff Little Fingers are a punk rock band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. They formed in 1977, at the height of the Troubles. They started out as a schoolboy band called Highway Star (named ...more

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#977 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #1,182 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

7
The Damned is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The Damned are an English rock band formed in London, England in 1976 by lead vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James, bassist (and later guitarist) Captain Sensible, and drummer Rat ...more

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#1,262 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #612 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time The Best Damned Albums of All Time

8
Misfits is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Misfits are an American punk rock band often recognized as the progenitors of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery. Founded in ...more

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#415 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #549 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

9
Buzzcocks is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto. They are regarded as a seminal ...more

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#1,375 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #87 of 319 The Best Bands With Animal Names

10
Black Flag is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Black Flag is an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole ...more

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#304 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #262 of 620 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time

11
Bad Religion is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Bad Religion is a punk rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1979. The band makes extensive use of soaring 3-part vocal harmonies, guitar solos and lyrics that often contain ...more

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#473 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #144 of 344 The Greatest American Rock Bands The Best Bad Religion Songs

12
Descendents is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The Descendents are a punk rock band formed in 1977 in Manhattan Beach, California by guitarist Frank Navetta, bassist Tony Lombardo and drummer Bill Stevenson. In 1979, they enlisted ...more

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#958 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #194 of 217 The Best Musical Artists From California

13
The Cramps is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
pigonthewing added
The Cramps were an American punk band formed in 1976 and active until 2009. The band split after the death of lead singer Lux Interior. Their line-up rotated frequently during their existence, ...more

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#1,337 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #248 of 344 The Greatest American Rock Bands The Best Cramps Albums of All Time

14
Bad Brains is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Bad Brains are an American rock band formed in Washington, D.C. in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band's members have objected to this term to ...more

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#490 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #245 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Best Bad Brains Songs

15
Siouxsie & the Bansh... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Siouxsie and the Banshees were a British rock band, formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been widely influential, both over their ...more

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#1,124 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #17 of 156 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever #190 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

16
Minor Threat is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Minor Threat was an American hardcore punk band, formed in 1980 in Washington, D.C. by vocalist Ian MacKaye and drummer Jeff Nelson. MacKaye and Nelson had played in several other bands ...more

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#199 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #13 of 39 Punk Bands with the Best Lyrics

17
Public Image Ltd is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Roy Osengar added
Public Image Ltd are an English post-punk band formed by singer John Lydon, guitarist Keith Levene and bassist Jah Wobble and drummer Jim Walker. Personnel has changed frequently over the ...more

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#736 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #235 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

18
The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The Stooges, also known as Iggy and the Stooges, were an American rock band formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1967 by singer Iggy Pop, guitarist Ron Asheton, drummer Scott Asheton, and bassist ...more

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#210 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #145 of 561 The Most Hipster Bands

19
Circle Jerks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Circle Jerks (stylized as Ciʀcle JƎʀᴋs) were an American hardcore punk band, formed in 1979 in Los Angeles, California. The group was founded by former Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and Redd ...more
20
U.K. Subs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The U.K. Subs are an English punk band, among the earliest in the first wave of British punk. Formed in 1976, the mainstay of the band has been vocalist Charlie Harper, originally a singer in ...more

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#1,558 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #18 of 225 The Best Classic Punk Bands

21
The Exploited is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The Exploited are a Scottish hardcore punk band from Edinburgh, Scotland, formed in 1979 by Stevie Ross and Terry Buchan and later joined by his brother Wattie Buchan. They signed to Secret ...more

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#22 of 39 Punk Bands with the Best Lyrics #284 of 409 The Best British Rock Bands/Artists The Best Exploited Albums of All Time

22
Social Distortion is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Social Distortion is an American punk rock band formed in 1978 in Fullerton, California. The band currently consists of Mike Ness (lead vocals, lead guitar), Jonny Wickersham (rhythm guitar, ...more

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#27 of 39 Punk Bands with the Best Lyrics #160 of 409 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s The Best Social Distortion Albums of All Time

23
Rancid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Rancid is an American punk rock band formed in Berkeley, California in 1991. Founded by former members of the band Operation Ivy, Rancid is often credited as being among the wave of bands which ...more

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#1,447 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #12 of 39 Punk Bands with the Best Lyrics

24
Crass is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
Crass were an English punk rock band formed in 1977 which promoted anarchism as a political ideology, a way of life and a resistance movement. Crass popularised the anarcho-punk movement of the ...more

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#502 of 502 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #18 of 39 Punk Bands with the Best Lyrics

25
Germs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Punk Bands Of All Time
The Germs were an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, United States, originally active from 1976 to 1980. The band's main early lineup consisted of singer Darby Crash, ...more

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#917 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #137 of 221 Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album