37.2k voters

The Best Punk Bands Of All Time

Updated July 13, 2020 562.4k votes 37.2k voters 533.6k views389 items

List RulesThe 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.

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    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 emerged...  more

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    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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    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 achieving...  more

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  • 4
    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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    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 1977...  more

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    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", he was the...  more

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    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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    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 Stevenson's...  more

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    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 influence on...  more

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    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 Scabies....  more

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    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 religious...  more

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    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 after the...  more
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    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 together,...  more

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    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 Dave...  more

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    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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  • 16
    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 Kross...  more
  • 17
    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, with...  more

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  • 18
    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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  • 19
    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, backing...  more

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  • 20
    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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    Fugazi (; foo-GAH-zee) is an American post-hardcore band that formed in Washington, D.C. in 1987. The band consists of guitarists and vocalists Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto, bassist Joe Lally and...  more

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    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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    NOFX is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California. They were formed in 1983 by vocalist/bassist Fat Mike (formerly of False Alarm) and guitarist Eric Melvin. Drummer Erik Sandin...  more

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    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 Records...  more

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    The New York Dolls were an American hard rock band formed in New York City in 1971. Along with the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, they were one of the first bands of the early punk rock scenes....  more

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