Music

The Best Classic Punk Bands 

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Updated July 5, 2019 4.4k votes 441 voters 9.9k views 220 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. (220 items)
list ordered by
1
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
2
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
3
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
4
Dead Kennedys is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
5
Misfits is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
6
Bad Brains is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
7
Sham 69 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
8
Stiff Little Fingers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
9
Black Flag is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
10
The Damned is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
11
Bad Religion is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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The Exploited is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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The Dead Boys is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
The Dead Boys

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14
Buzzcocks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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Johnny Thunders & th... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers

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The Descendents is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
Kassie Lanzarotta added The Descendents
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The Stooges is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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Johnny Thunders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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The Adverts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
punksnotdead added
20
Cock Sparrer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
21
Social Distortion is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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Iggy Pop is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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Angelic Upstarts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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Minor Threat is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands
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The Replacements is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Punk Bands