Bands/Musicians The Best Classic Punk Bands  

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2.3k votes 286 voters 6.2k views 39 items

When punk rock first emerged in New York City and London in the 1970s, the bands were some of the exciting and dangerous in the world. Now, years after those electrifying early days, it's hard to admit, but they now fall in the new category of classic punk bands. It may be weird to say, and with good reason since punk bands were supposed to burn out, but these groups have managed to become firmly entrenched in history with their contribution to punk rock music.

So, what groups can be considered the best classic punk bands? Starting at the beginning of punk, groups like the Sex Pistols, The Ramones and Dead Boys have been instrumental in making punk rock accessible to the masses, even if that wasn't the intention of the music. Thus, their legacy has outlived those particular bands time playing music, and can be considered in the pantheon of classic punk. Bands who should be on this list are punk icons and have influenced the artists of today.

This is a list of classic punk bands. Every band who should be on this list is considered a true giant in punk rock. If you think someone is missing, feel free to add them to this list. This list answers the questions "who are the best classic punk bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest classic punk musician ever?" It's up to you to determine who deserves to be on this list and near the top, so vote wisely. (39 items)
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list ordered by

1
106 35
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

2
112 39
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Pop punk, Rock music, Classic Punk

3
101 35
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
shawnwalker added Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

4
86 29
Dead Kennedys is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Sm2016376 added Psychobilly, Anarcho-punk, Skate punk

5
78 35
Misfits is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Horror punk, Heavy metal, Classic Punk

6
48 25
Sham 69 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Punk rock, Oi!

7
38 24
The Exploited is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Street punk

8
40 26
The Dead Boys is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Rock music, Classic Punk, Punk rock

9
29 16
Bad Religion is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
dan808 added Pop punk, Crossover thrash, Melodic hardcore

10
23 12
Bad Brains is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Reggae

11
36 27
Johnny Thunders & the Heartbre... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Classic Punk

12
30 21
Stiff Little Fingers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Punk rock

13
22 13
The Descendents is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added The Descendents

14
22 14
The Adverts is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Punk rock

15
35 30
Cock Sparrer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Punk rock, Oi!

16
12 7
Flipper is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added Noise rock, Sludge metal, Punk rock

17
16 12
The Minutemen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added The Minutemen

18
20 17
999 is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Pop punk, Punk rock

19
14 11
Wire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added Electronic music, Experimental rock, Industrial music

20
26 25
Johnny Thunders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Rock music, Protopunk, Rhythm and blues

21
17 15
Angelic Upstarts is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Punk rock, Oi!

22
13 13
The Vandals is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added The Vandals

23
2 0
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
queenidleteen added Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

24
15 18
Devo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

25
14 18
Charged GBH is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Street punk