The Best '80s Punk Songs 

Ranker Music
Updated January 27, 2020 713 votes 121 voters 5k views 32 items

What are the best punk songs to hit the charts during the 1980s? When you think about the 1980's, the decade featured a ton of new(ish) genres, and while punk began more in the 1970s, the '80s featured some of the best tracks the genre had to offer. Let's rank the best '80s punk songs that helped to define the decade and establish a genre that persists to this day.

Punk songs from the 1980s include a wide variety of tracks from the genre. Folks who aren't too familiar with punk have likely sang along to hits like "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash while fans who know the genre a bit more than most are likely listening to Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized" even to this day. The decade also featured many memorable bands like The Ramones, which dropped huge hits like "Psycho Therapy" before undergoing a genre shift that would take the band into more of a pop style. Other incredible tracks that helped to define the decade often associated with the genre itself include "Mirror in the Bathroom," "Orgasm Addict," and "This Ain't No Picnic" by The Minutemen.

Vote up your favorite '80s punk songs on this ranked list, and add any tracks that aren't here already.

list ordered by
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Should I Stay or Should I Go The Clash
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The Clash

Albums: Combat Rock

Composer: The Clash, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Topper Headon

Length (seconds): 3:39

More Rock in the Casbah 

#10 of 118 The Best Songs with Rock in the Title #50 of 115 The Best Party Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

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Too Drunk to F*ck Dead Kennedys
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Suicidal Tendencies

Albums: Suicidal Tendencies

Composer: Mike Muir, Louiche Mayorga

Length (seconds): 3:49

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Nazi Punks F*ck Off Dead Kennedys
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Orgasm Addict Buzzcocks
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Albums: Subterranean Jungle

Composer: Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone

Producer: Glen Kolotkin, Richie Cordell

Length (seconds): 2:35

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Black Flag

Albums: Damaged

Producer: Black Flag, Spot

Length (seconds): 2:28

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Mirror in the Bathroom The Beat

Albums: Special Beat Service, I Just Can't Stop It

Composer: Dave Wakeling, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Morton

Producer: Bob Sargeant

Length (seconds): 3:3

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Let's Have a War FEAR
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Albums: Pleasant Dreams

Composer: Joey Ramone

Producer: Graham Gouldman

Length (seconds): 2:31

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Hüsker Dü

Albums: Zen Arcade

Composer: Grant Hart

Producer: Hüsker Dü, Spot

Length (seconds): 2:39

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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Albums: Bad Reputation

Composer: Joan Jett, Richie Cordell, Kenny Laguna, Martin Kupersmith

Length (seconds): 2:44

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Live Fast Die Young Circle Jerks

Albums: Group Sex, Group Sex / Wild in the Streets

Composer: Greg Hetson, Keith Morris

Producer: Circle Jerks, Cary Markoff

Length (seconds): 1:33

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Let’s Lynch the Landlord Dead Kennedys

Albums: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

Composer: Jello Biafra

Length (seconds): 2:12

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Sailin’ On Bad Brains
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Suburban Home Descendents
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Punk Rock Girl The Dead Milkmen
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Just Like Heaven The Cure
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John Wayne Was a Nazi MDC

Albums: Millions of Dead Cops

Composer: Dave Dictor

Length (seconds): 2:27

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Guilty of Being White Minor Threat

Albums: Screaming at the Wall

Length (seconds): 1:18

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When the Sh*t Hits the Fan Circle Jerks
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So What Anti-Nowhere League
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A.N.T.S. Adam and the Ants
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Butcher Baby The Plasmatics