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Punk rock is an anti-establishment rock music genre and movement that emerged in the mid-1970s. Preceded by a variety of protopunk music of the 1960s and early 1970s, punk rock developed between 1974 and 1977 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, where groups such as The Clash, Ramones and The Sex Pistols were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement.
Punk bands, eschewing the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock, created short, fast, hard music, with stripped-down instrumentation and often political or nihilistic lyrics. The associated punk subculture expresses youthful rebellion, distinctive clothing styles, a variety of anti-authoritarian ideologies, and a DIY (do it yourself) attitude.
Punk rock became a major phenomenon in the United Kingdom during the late 1970s; its popularity elsewhere was more limited. During the 1980s, forms of punk rock emerged in small scenes around the world, often rejecting commercial success and association with mainstream culture. By the turn of the century, punk rock's legacy had led to development of the alternative rock movement, and new punk bands popularized the genre decades after its first heyday.
The first wave of punk aimed to be aggressively modern, distancing itself from the bombast and sentimentality of early 1970s rock. According to Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone, "In its initial form, a lot of [1960s] stuff was innovative and exciting. Unfortunately, what happens is that people who could not hold a candle to the likes of Hendrix started noodling away. Soon you had endless solos that went nowhere. By 1973, I knew that what was needed was some pure, stripped down, no bullshit rock 'n' roll". Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren recalls feeling "punk rock had to come along because the rock scene had become so tame that [acts] like Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkel were being called rock and roll, when to me and other fans, rock and roll meant this wild and rebellious music". In critic Robert Christgau's description, "It was also a subculture that scornfully rejected the political idealism and Californian flower-power silliness of hippie myth". Some participants went even further, making a show of rejecting not only mainstream rock and the broader establishment culture it was associated with, but their own most celebrated predecessors: "No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977", declared The Clash. That year, when punk broke nationwide in Great Britain, was to be both a musical and a cultural "Year Zero". Even as nostalgia was discarded, many in the scene adopted a nihilistic attitude summed up by the Sex Pistols slogan "No Future".
Punk bands often emulate the bare musical structures and arrangements of 1960s garage rock. This emphasis on accessibility exemplifies punk's DIY aesthetic and contrasts with the ostentatious musicianship of many of the mainstream rock bands popular in the years before the advent of punk. A 1976 issue of the English punk fanzine Sideburns featured an illustration of three chords, captioned "This is a chord, this is another, this is a third. Now form a band".
Typical punk instrumentation includes one or two electric guitars, an electric bass, and a drum kit, along with vocals. In the early days of punk rock, musical virtuosity was often looked on with suspicion. According to Punk magazine founder John Holmstrom, punk was "rock and roll by people who didn't have very much skills as musicians but still felt the need to express themselves through music".
Punk vocals sometimes sound nasal, and are often shouted instead of sung in a conventional sense. Complicated guitar solos are considered self-indulgent and unnecessary, although basic guitar breaks are common. Guitar parts tend to include highly distorted power chords, although some punk bands have taken a surf rock approach with a lighter, twangier guitar tone. A wild, "gonzo" attack is sometimes employed, a style that stretches from Robert Quine, lead guitarist of seminal punk band The Voidoids, back through The Velvet Underground to the 1950s recordings of Ike Turner. Bass guitar lines are often basic and used to carry the song's melody, although some punk bass players such as Mike Watt put greater emphasis on more technical bass lines. Bassists often use a plectrum rather than fingerpicking due to the rapid succession of notes, which makes fingerpicking impractical. Drums typically sound heavy and dry, and often have a minimal set-up. Production is minimalistic, with tracks sometimes laid down on home tape recorders.
Punk songs are normally between two and two and a half minutes long, though many last for less than a minute. Most early punk songs retained a traditional rock 'n' roll verse-chorus form and 4/4 time signature. However, second wave punk bands—including bands from both the post-punk and hardcore punk subgenres—often sought to break from that format. In hardcore, the drumming is considerably faster, with lyrics often half shouted over aggressive guitars. In critic Steven Blush's description, "The Sex Pistols were still rock'n'roll...like the craziest version of Chuck Berry. Hardcore was a radical departure from that. It wasn't verse-chorus rock. It dispelled any notion of what songwriting is supposed to be. It's its own form".
Punk lyrics are typically frank and confrontational, and often comment on social and political issues. Trend-setting songs such as The Clash's "Career Opportunities" and Chelsea's "Right to Work" deal with unemployment, boredom, and other grim realities of urban life. The Sex Pistols songs "God Save the Queen" and "Anarchy in the U.K." openly disparaged the British political system. There is also a strain of anti-romantic depictions of relationships and sex, exemplified by the The Voidoids' "Love Comes in Spurts". According to Search and Destroy founder V. Vale, "Punk was a total cultural revolt. It was a hardcore confrontation with the black side of history and culture, right-wing imagery, sexual taboos, a delving into it that had never been done before by any generation in such a thorough way."
With Patti Smith as the groundbreaker, Siouxsie Sioux, The Slits, Pauline Murray, Nina Hagen, Gaye Advert, Poly Styrene, and other punk vocalists, songwriters, and instrumentalists introduced a new brand of femininity to rock music: "They adopted a tough, unladylike pose that borrowed more from the macho swagger of sixties garage bands than from the calculated bad-girl image of bands like The Runaways. They went beyond the leather outfits to the bondage gear of Sioux and the straight-from-the-gutter androgyny of Smith. They articulated a female rage that surpassed the anger of the women's movement of the sixties".
The classic punk look among male musicians harkens back to the T-shirt, motorcycle jacket, and jeans ensemble favored by 1950s greasers (associated with the rockabilly scene). In the 1980s, tattoos and piercings became increasingly common among punk musicians and their fans.
- For more details on this topic, see Protopunk.
The "Saicos", a peruvian band, made protopunk in 1964. In the 1960s and early 1970s, bands that would later come to be recognized as punk's progenitors began springing up in many different locations. Though they did not yet form a cohesive movement and differed widely in sound, these bands were linked by a particular countercultural sensibility that set them apart from the mainstream. In contrast to the expansive utopianism of the late 1960s musical counterculture (which characterized much of rock during the era), bands now seen as protopunk tended toward minimalist, aggressive music and lyrics that often dealt with taboo subject matter. These early bands operated within small "scenes", regional or entirely local, facilitated by enthusiastic impresarios who operated clubs or organized gigs in whatever venues were available—schools, garages, warehouses—advertising via locally printed flyers and fanzines. This do-it-yourself ethic in many cases reflected an aversion to commercial success, as well as a desire to maintain creative and financial autonomy.
In 1969, debut albums by two Michigan-based bands appeared that are commonly regarded as the seminal protopunk records. In the spring, Detroit's MC5 released Kick Out the Jams. "Musically the group is intentionally crude and aggressively raw", wrote Rolling Stone critic Lester Bangs, who continued:
Most of the songs are barely distinguishable from each other in their primitive two-chord structures. You've heard all this before from such notables as the Seeds, Blue Cheer, Question Mark and the Mysterians, and the Kingsmen. The difference here...is in the hype, the thick overlay of teenage-revolution and total-energy-thing which conceals these scrapyard vistas of clichés and ugly noise.... "I Want You Right Now" sounds exactly (down to the lyrics) like a song called "I Want You" by the Troggs, a British group who came on with a similar sex-and-raw-sound image a couple of years ago (remember "Wild Thing"?)
That summer, The Stooges, from Ann Arbor, premiered with a self-titled album. According to critic Greil Marcus, the band, led by singer Iggy Pop, created "[t]he sound of Chuck Berry's Airmobile—after thieves stripped it for parts". The album was produced by John Cale, a former member of New York's experimental rock group The Velvet Underground. Having earned a "reputation as the first underground rock band", VU would inspire, directly or indirectly, many of those involved in the creation of punk.
On the East Coast, the New York Dolls updated the original wildness of 1950s rock 'n' roll in a fashion that would later become known as glam punk. In Ohio, a small but influential underground rock scene emerged, led by Devo, The Electric Eels, and Rocket from the Tombs, who in 1975 split into Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys (the latter would move to New York and become part of the city's punk scene the following year). In London, the pub rock scene stripped the music back to its basics, and provided a grounding for many of the key players in the later punk explosion, including The Clash, The Stranglers, and Cock Sparrer. Bands with a compatible sensibility were coming together as far afield as Düsseldorf, West Germany, where "punk before punk" band NEU! formed in 1971, building on the Krautrock tradition of groups such as Can. A new generation of Australian garage rock bands, inspired mainly by the Stooges and MC5, was coming even closer to the sound that would soon be called "punk": in Brisbane, The Saints also recalled the raw live sound of the British Pretty Things, who had made a notorious tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1965; Radio Birdman were playing gigs to a small but fanatical following in Sydney.
 Origin of the term punk
Preceding the mid-1970s, punk, a centuries-old word of obscure etymology, was commonly used to describe "a young male hustler, a gangster, a hoodlum, or a ruffian". As Legs McNeil explains, "On TV, if you watched cop shows, Kojak, Baretta, when the cops finally catch the mass murderer, they'd say, 'you dirty Punk.' It was what your teachers would call you. It meant that you were the lowest." The term punk rock was apparently coined by rock critic Dave Marsh in a 1970 issue of Creem, where he used it to describe the sound and attitude of ? and the Mysterians. In June 1972, the fanzine Flash included a "Punk Top Ten" of 1960s albums. That year, Lenny Kaye used the term in the liner notes of the anthology album Nuggets to refer to 1960s garage rock bands such as The Standells, The Sonics, and The Seeds. Bomp! maintained this usage through the early 1970s, also applying it to some of the darker, more primitive practitioners of 1960s psychedelic rock.
By 1975, punk was being used to describe acts as diverse as Patti Smith, the Bay City Rollers, and Bruce Springsteen. As the scene at New York's CBGB club (popularly referred to as "CBGBs") attracted notice, a name was sought for the developing sound. Club owner Hilly Kristal called the movement "street rock"; John Holmstrom credits Aquarian magazine with using punk "to describe what was going on at CBGBs". Holmstrom, McNeil, and Ged Dunn's magazine Punk, which debuted at the end of 1975, was crucial in codifying the term. "It was pretty obvious that the word was getting very popular," Holmstrom later remarked. "We figured we'd take the name before anyone else claimed it. We wanted to get rid of the bullshit, strip it down to rock 'n' roll. We wanted the fun and liveliness back."
 Early history
 New York
The origins of New York's punk scene can be traced back to such sources as late 1960s trash culture and an early 1970s underground rock movement centered around the Mercer Arts Center in Greenwich Village, where the New York Dolls performed. In 1974, the members of a band from Forest Hills, Queens, adopted a common surname. Drawing on such sources as the Beatles, Herman's Hermits, The Beach Boys, and 1960s girl groups, the Ramones condensed rock 'n' roll to its primal level: "'1-2-3-4!' bass-player Dee Dee Ramone shouted at the start of every song, as if the group could barely master the rudiments of rhythm".
By the following year, they were playing regularly at the lower Manhattan club CBGB. "When I first saw the Ramones," critic Mary Harron later remembered, "I couldn't believe people were doing this. The dumb brattiness." CBGB was already the regular venue for another band that played very loud, but much more complex music, Television. The band's bassist/singer, Richard Hell, created a look including "leather jackets, torn T-shirts, and short, ragamuffin hair" credited as the basis for punk visual style. Early in 1975, Hell wrote "Blank Generation", the scene's emblematic anthem of escape; a recording of the song by Hell and a new band of his, The Voidoids, would first be released in 1976. In August 1975, Television—with Fred Smith, former bassist for another CBGB band, Blondie, replacing Hell—privately recorded and released a single, "Little Johnny Jewel". As critic John Walker describes, the record is regarded as "a turning point for the whole New York scene" if not quite for the classic punk sound itself—Hell's departure left the band "significantly reduced in fringe aggression". Yet another regular performer at the club was Patti Smith, a veteran of independent theater and performance poetry, who was developing an intellectual, feminist take on rock 'n' roll. Her debut album Horses, one of the seminal punk records, was produced by John Cale and released in November 1975.
That same month, Sire Records released the first recording by the Ramones, the single "Blitzkrieg Bop". The inaugural issue of Punk appeared in December. The new magazine tied together earlier artists such as Velvet Undergound lead singer Lou Reed, the Stooges, and the New York Dolls with the array of new acts centered around the CBGB and Max's Kansas City venues: the Ramones, Television, The Heartbreakers (started in May 1975 by Richard Hell with former Dolls' guitarist Johnny Thunders, who would oust Hell early in 1976), Patti Smith, Blondie, Talking Heads, and others. The term "punk" initially referred to the scene in general, more than the sound itself. The early New York punk bands represented a broad variety of influences; though the Ramones and Richard Hell's post-Television bands were establishing a distinct style, punk rock was not yet defined by the standards of minimalism, speed, and arrogance that later emerged.
 The UK and Australia
After a brief period managing the New York Dolls, Englishman Malcolm McLaren returned to London in May 1975, inspired by the new scene he had witnessed at CBGB. He opened SEX, a clothing store which specialised in "anti-fashion", and sold the slashed T-shirts, drapes, brothel creepers and fetish gear later popularised by the punk movement. He also began managing The Swankers, who would soon evolve into the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols developed an early cult following in London, centered on a clique known as the Bromley Contingent, named after the suburb where many of the fans had grown up. Britain also had its own homegrown influences that contributed to the style and sound of the local punk scene, as described by rock journalist Clinton Heylin:
Britain's progenitors were the Sixties bands that combined a keen pop sensibility with ballsy rhythm & blues—the early Stones and Who, the Small Faces, the Yardbirds—and those glam bands who gave noise back to teenagers in the early Seventies—T.Rex, Slade and Roxy Music.
On July 4, 1976, the Ramones, the Stranglers, and the Flamin' Groovies played to a crowd of two thousand at the Roundhouse in London. The concert is seen as crucial in bringing together the nascent UK punk scene. Over the next several months, many fans of the Sex Pistols formed their own bands, including The Clash, Joy Division, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Adverts, Generation X, The Slits, and X-Ray Spex. Other groups to emerge in this milieu included The Jam, The Vibrators, Buzzcocks, and the appropriately named London.
At virtually the same time punk was starting to break in the UK, it was doing the same thing, albeit deeper underground, in Australia. Operating within a relatively limited sphere, some of the bands down under were amazed, or dismayed, to discover like-minded musicians exploring a similar path. Ed Kuepper of The Saints reports,
One thing I remember having had a really depressing effect on me was the first Ramones album. When I heard it [in 1976], I mean it was a great record...but I hated it because I knew we’d been doing this sort of stuff for years. There was even a chord progression on that album that we used...and I thought, "Fuck. We’re going to be labeled as influenced by the Ramones," when nothing could have been further from the truth.
In September 1976, The Saints became the first punk band outside of the U.S. to release a recording, the single "(I'm) Stranded". It had limited impact at home, but the British music press recognized it as a groundbreaking record. Radio Birdman soon came out with an EP, Burn My Eye, described by critic Ian McCaleb as the "archetype for the musical explosion that was about to occur". On the other side of Australia, in Perth, germinal punk act the Cheap Nasties had also formed.
In October, The Damned became the first UK punk band to release a single, the classic "New Rose". The Sex Pistols followed the next month with "Anarchy in the U.K." In December, the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, and The Heartbreakers united for the Anarchy Tour, a series of gigs throughout the UK. Many of the shows were cancelled by venue owners after tabloid newspapers and other media seized on sensational reports about the antics of the bands and their fans. One incident that month sealed punk's notorious reputation: On Thames Today, an early evening London TV show, Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones was goaded into a verbal altercation by the host, Bill Grundy, and swore at him on live television, outraging a nation.
 The second wave
As the punk scene expanded rapidly in Great Britain during 1976, a few bands sharing elements of the emerging style began to appear around the United States. By 1977, a second wave of the movement broke in both the UK and the US, as well as in Australia and Canada. In the New York scene, punk largely gave way to No Wave, though older punk bands like The Ramones and the Cramps continued to perform. The New Jersey-based Misfits emerged during this time and by 1978 developed a style that would be known as horror punk.
Punk scenes began to spring up in other North American cities during the 1976–1979 period. In Washington, D.C., a small punk and New Wave scene arose centered around bands like Overkill, the Slickee Boys, Half Japanese, the Urban Verbs, Tru Fax and the Insaniacs, and White Boy. The Washington, D.C. scene grew considerably in 1979 with the rise of hardcore bands like the Bad Brains and Teen Idles.
Beginning in 1976–1977, a prolific California punk scene began to emerge in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Among these bands were The Weirdos, The Dils, The Screamers, The Dickies, The Go-Go's, X, The Plugz, The Zeros, and The Bags in Los Angeles, and The Avengers, The Nuns, Crime, and Negative Trend in San Francisco.  These bands often sounded very different from each other musically, reflecting the highly eclectic state of punk music during this era.
In 1978–1979, hardcore punk emerged in Southern California, with the bands Middle Class and Black Flag generally regarded as having made the earliest hardcore punk recordings.  In Los Angeles and San Francisco, hardcore was not always well-received by the older punk scene, and a rivalry developed between the two scenes. Hardcore appealed to a younger and more suburban crowd and was perceived as anti-intellectual, overly violent, and musically limited by many in the older punk scene. (In Los Angeles, this two factions were often referred to as "Hollywood punks" and "beach punks", referring to Hollywood's place as the center of the original LA punk scene and to the popularity of hardcore in suburban areas like the beach communities of South Bay and Orange County.) By 1981, hardcore had become dominant in the punk scene in California (and in much of the rest of the North America). The bands of the older California punk scene had largely split up, though a few, such as X and the Go-Go's, went on to mainstream success.
In Perth, Australia, The Victims became a short-lived leader on the scene, recording the classic "Television Addict". The Scientists, with vocalist-guitarist-songwriter Kim Salmon, soon became the local spearhead. In Melbourne, the art rock–influenced Boys Next Door featured singer Nick Cave, who would shortly become one of the world's most celebrated post-punk artists.
Though punk was to remain largely an underground phenomenon in America and Australia during the 1970s, in the UK it became a broad-based sensation. New British bands such as Wire, Crass, and Stiff Little Fingers harnessed the energy and aggression of earlier punk, while expanding its musical palette. Employing a wider variety of tempos and more complex instrumentation, the British second wave infused punk with elements of synth and noise music. In London, first wave bands such as The Slits and new entrants to the scene like The Police interacted with the Jamaican reggae and ska subcultures, incorporating their rhythms and production styles. The Clash's self-titled debut album, released in April 1977, included a cover of the recent reggae hit "Police and Thieves". (The punk phenomenon helped spark a full-fledged ska revival movement known as 2 Tone, centered around bands such as The Specials, The Beat, Madness, and The Selecter.) The Clash would later release London Calling; fusing punk with reggae, ska, R&B, and rockabilly, it would go on to be acclaimed as one of the best rock records of all time. In December 1977, one of the first books about punk rock was published: The Boy Looked at Johnny, by Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons. Declaring the punk movement to be already over, it was subtitled The Obituary of Rock and Roll. In January 1978, the Sex Pistols broke up while on American tour.
Meanwhile, punk scenes were emerging around the world. In West Germany, the Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW) movement brought together a diverse audience. NDW started with both punk bands (Abwärts, Fehlfarben, DAF) and industrial rock groups (Kraftwerk, Einstürzende Neubauten), before going mainstream with acts like Ideal, Extrabreit, and Nena. For the first time since World War II, German bands were attracting a large audience of German youth, bringing Krautrock acts back to life and opening a market for protest singers and bands. These opposing factions were united by a feeling that rock 'n' roll had lost its anti-establishment edge since the late 1960s, and that punk rock was "'against the system' politically as well as musically." In France, a scene developed out of a Parisian pre-punk subculture of Lou Reed fans calling themselves les punks, and developed around bands such as Métal Urbain and Oberkampf. Punk scenes also grew in countries such as Japan (The Stalin, Star Club), Belgium (The Kids, Cell 609), the Netherlands (The Ex, God's Heart Attack), Switzerland (Kleenex), and Sweden (Ebba Grön). In Canada, groups from Toronto such as Teenage Head, The Diodes, The Viletones, The Demics, the all-female Curse, and The Government popularized punk.
 Subgenres and derivative forms
As the early media hype surrounding punk ebbed in the late 1970s, the movement fragmented into subgenres, some that gained broad popularity, others that became closely linked with underground cultures. The early unity between arty, middle-class bohemians and working-class punks began to fracture, leading to the rise of New Wave and post-punk on one side, and hardcore punk and Oi! on the other. Anarcho-punk bands used their music for a committed political agenda, while pop punk groups created blends like that of the ideal record, as defined by Mekons cofounder Kevin Lycett: "a cross between Abba and the Sex Pistols". A wide variety of other styles emerged, many of them fusions with long-established genres.
 New Wave
- For more details on this topic, see New Wave music.
New Wave and its attendant subculture arose along with the earliest punk groups; indeed, "punk" and "New Wave" were initially interchangeable. Over time, however, the terms began to acquire different meanings: bands such as Talking Heads, Blondie, Devo, and The Police that were experimenting with instrumentation, incorporating dance-oriented rhythms, and working with more polished production were called "New Wave" rather than "punk". Combining elements of early punk music and fashion with a far more pop-oriented and less "dangerous" style, New Wave artists such as The Cars and Elvis Costello became very popular on both sides of the Atlantic. New Wave became a catch-all term for mainstream punk-inspired music, encompassing disparate styles such as 2 Tone ska, the mod revival based around The Jam, the New Romantic phenomenon typified by Duran Duran, and synthpop groups like Depeche Mode. New Wave became a pop culture sensation with the debut of the cable television network MTV in 1981, which put many New Wave videos into regular rotation. However, the music was often derided at the time as being silly and disposable.
- For more details on this topic, see Post-punk.
In the UK, a wide variety of post-punk bands emerged, including The Fall, Joy Division, Gang of Four, and Public Image Ltd. Some bands classified as post-punk, such as Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, had been active before the punk scene itself had coalesced; others, such as The Slits and Siouxsie & The Banshees, transitioned from punk into post-punk. The music was often experimental, like that of the New Wave bands; defining them as "post-punk" was a sound that tended to be less pop and more dark and abrasive—sometimes verging on the atonal, as with Wire, and Subway Sect. Drawing inspiration from such art rock sources as Captain Beefheart, David Bowie, and Krautrock, post-punk also explored new lyrical approaches: The Fall's Mark E. Smith wrote "oblique observations of Northern underclass grotesquerie".
Post-punk brought together a new fraternity of musicians, journalists, managers, and entrepreneurs; the latter, notably Geoff Travis of Rough Trade and Tony Wilson of Factory, helped to develop the production and distribution infrastructure of the indie music scene that blossomed in the mid-1980s. Smoothing the edges of their style in the direction of New Wave, a number of post-punk bands such as New Order (descended from Joy Division) and U2 crossed over to a mainstream U.S. audience. Others, like Gang of Four, The Raincoats and Throbbing Gristle, who had little more than cult followings at the time, are seen in retrospect as significant influences on modern popular culture.
A number of U.S. artists were retrospectively defined as post-punk; Television's debut record Marquee Moon, released in 1977, is seen by many as the seminal album in the field. The No Wave movement that developed in New York in the late 1970s, with artists like Lydia Lunch, is often treated as the phenomenon's U.S. parallel. The term is also applied to the later work of Ohio protopunk pioneers Pere Ubu. One of the most influential American post-punk bands was Boston's Mission of Burma, who brought abrupt rhythmic shifts derived from hardcore into a highly experimental musical context. In 1980, Australia's Boys Next Door moved to London and changed their name to The Birthday Party, which would evolve into Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. King Snake Roost and other Australian bands would further explore the possibilities of post-punk. Later art punk and alternative rock musicians would find diverse inspiration among these predecessors, New Wave and post-punk alike.
- For more details on this topic, see Hardcore punk.
Hardcore punk, characterized by fast, aggressive beats and often politically aware lyrics, emerged in the United States in the late 1970s. According to author Steven Blush, "Hardcore comes from the bleak suburbs of America. Parents moved their kids out of the cities to these horrible suburbs to save them from the 'reality' of the cities and what they ended up with was this new breed of monster". Hardcore was the American punk standard for much of the 1980s.
Described by critic Jon Savage as "a rush of claustrophobic nihilism", hardcore emerged in the Southern California punk scene in 1978–1979, followed shortly in Washington, D.C., and then spreading throughout North America and internationally.   Among the earliest hardcore bands were Black Flag and Middle Class in Southern California and the Bad Brains in Washington, D.C. They were soon joined by such bands as the Minutemen, The Descendents, Circle Jerks, The Adolescents, and TSOL (Southern California) and the Teen Idles, Minor Threat, and State of Alert (Washington, D.C.). Also, some second wave punk bands, such as the Dead Kennedys, came to redefine themselves as hardcore. A substantial New York hardcore scene emerged around 1981, led by bands such as Agnostic Front, The Cro-Mags, Murphy's Law, and Youth of Today. Other major hardcore bands included Minneapolis's Hüsker Dü and Vancouver's D.O.A.
The lyrical content of hardcore songs, typified by Dead Kennedys' "Holiday In Cambodia", was often critical of commercial culture and middle-class values. Straight edge bands like Minor Threat, Boston's SS Decontrol, and Reno, Nevada's 7 Seconds rejected the self-destructive lifestyles of many of their peers, and built a movement based on positivity and abstinence from cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs.
In the early 1980s, bands from the Southwest and southern California such as JFA and NOFX created a rhythmically distinctive style of hardcore known as skate punk. Skate punk innovators also pointed in other directions: Austin, Texas's Big Boys helped establish funkcore, while Venice, California's Suicidal Tendencies had a formative effect on the metal-influenced crossover thrash style. Toward the end of the decade, crossover thrash spawned the metalcore fusion style, and the superfast thrashcore subgenre developed in multiple locations. In 1985, Embrace and Rites of Spring, formed by veterans of the Washington, D.C., hardcore scene, launched the less musically restrictive emo movement.
- For more details on this topic, see Oi!.
In the UK, late 1970s bands such as Cockney Rejects, Cock Sparrer, The Exploited, The 4-Skins, and Sham 69 sought to realign punk with a working class, street-level following. The style was originally called real punk or streetpunk; Sounds journalist Garry Bushell is credited with labelling the genre Oi! in 1980. The name is partly derived from the Cockney Rejects' habit of shouting "Oi! Oi! Oi!" before each song, instead of the time-honoured "1,2,3,4!". Oi! band's lyrics sought to reflect the harsh realities of living in Margaret Thatcher's Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A subgroup of Oi! bands dubbed "punk pathetique"—including Splodgenessabounds, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, and Toy Dolls—had a more humourous and absurdist bent.
The Oi! movement was fueled by a sense that many participants in the early punk scene were, in the words of The Business guitarist Steve Kent, "trendy university people using long words, trying to be artistic...and losing touch". The Oi! credo held that the music needed to remain unpretentious and accessible. According to Bushell "Punk was meant to be of the voice of the dole queue, and in reality most of them were not. But Oi was the reality of the punk mythology. In the places where [these bands] came from, it was harder and more aggressive and it produced just as much quality music."
Most Oi! bands in the initial wave were apolitical or left wing. However, many Oi! bands began to attract a Nazi skinhead following, even though the bands did not support their politics. Although racist skinheads sometimes disrupted Oi! concerts by shouting fascist slogans and starting fights, some Oi! bands were reluctant to endorse criticism of their fans from what they perceived as the "middle-class establishment". In the popular imagination, the movement thus became associated with the far right. On July 3, 1981, a concert at Hamborough Tavern in Southall featuring The Business, The 4-Skins, and The Last Resort was firebombed by local Asian youths who mistakenly believed that the event was a neo-Nazi gathering. Following the Southall riot, press coverage increasingly associated Oi! with the extreme right, and the movement soon began to lose momentum.
- For more details on this topic, see Anarcho-punk.
Anarcho-punk developed alongside the British Oi! and American hardcore movements. With a primitive, stripped-down musical style and ranting, shouted vocals, bands such as Crass, Subhumans, Flux of Pink Indians, Conflict, Poison Girls, and The Apostles attempted to transform the punk rock scene into a full-blown anarchist movement. As with straight-edge, anarcho-punk is based around a set of principles, including prohibitions on wearing leather, eating meat, and drinking milk. The movement would spin off several subgenres of a similar political bent. Discharge, founded back in 1977, established D-beat in the early 1980s, while others developed the extreme style known as crust punk. The anarcho-punk scene also spawned bands that incorporated the death metal sound to create the fusion style grindcore.
 Pop punk
- For more details on this topic, see Pop punk.
With their love of the Beach Boys and the classic girl group sound, the Ramones had pointed the way to what would become known as pop punk from the earliest days of the punk scene. In the late 1970s, UK bands such as the Buzzcocks and The Undertones, the latter strongly influenced by glam rock, combined pop-style tunes and lyrical themes with punk's speed, concision, and chaotic edge. In the early 1980s, some of the leading bands in southern California's hardcore scene emphasized a more melodic approach than was typical of their peers: Bad Religion "layered their pissed off, politicized sound with the smoothest of harmonies"; the Descendents "wrote almost surfy, Beach Boys–inspired songs about girls and food and being young(ish)". Epitaph Records, founded by members of Bad Religion, was the base for many future pop-punk bands, including NOFX, who brought their ska-influenced skate-punk rhythms to the mix. Groups that fused punk rock with pop melodies—such as The Queers and Screeching Weasel—began appearing around the country, in turn influencing bands like Green Day and blink-182, who would bring pop punk to the mainstream. Bands like The Vandals and Guttermouth were also influential for blending pop melodies with humorous and offensive lyrics. Pop punk bands like Good Charlotte and Sum 41 maintained the popularity of the genre in the mainstream into the early 2000s. The music of such mainstream latter-day bands is criticized by many punk devotees; in critic Christine Di Bella's words, "It's punk taken to its most accessible point, a point where it barely reflects its lineage at all, except in the three-chord song structures."
 Other fusions and directions
From 1977 forward, punk crossed lines with many other popular music genres. Los Angeles punk bands laid the groundwork for a wide variety of styles: The Flesh Eaters with deathrock; The Plugz with Chicano punk; and Gun Club with punk blues. The Meteors, from South London, and The Cramps, from New York by way of Cleveland, were innovators in the psychobilly fusion style. Social Distortion, from southern California, helped spark the related punkabilly form. Milwaukee's Violent Femmes jumpstarted the American folk punk scene, while The Pogues did the same on the other side of the Atlantic, influencing many Celtic punk bands. The Mekons, from Leeds, combined their punk ethos with country music, greatly influencing the later alt-country movement. In the United States, varieties of cowpunk played by bands such as Nashville's Jason & the Scorchers and Arizona's Meat Puppets had a similar effect.
Other bands pointed punk toward future rock styles or its own foundations. New York's Suicide, who'd played with the New York Dolls at the Mercer Arts Center, and L.A.'s The Screamers and Nervous Gender were pioneers of synthpunk. Chicago's Big Black was a major influence on noise rock, math rock, and industrial rock. Garage punk bands from all over—such as Medway's Thee Mighty Caesars, Chicago's Dwarves, and Adelaide's Exploding White Mice—pursued a version of punk that was close to its roots in 1960s garage rock. Seattle's Mudhoney, one of the seminal grunge bands, has been described as "garage punk".
 Legacy and recent developments
 Alternative rock
- For more details on this topic, see Alternative rock.
The underground punk movement produced countless bands that either evolved from a punk rock sound, or applied its spirit and DIY ethics to very different kinds of music. During the early 1980s, British bands like New Order and The Cure developed new musical styles based in post-punk and New Wave. American bands such as Hüsker Dü and their protégés The Replacements bridged the gap between punk genres like hardcore and the more expansive sound of what at the time was called "college rock".
A 1985 Rolling Stone feature on the likes of Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, Minutemen, and The Replacements declared, "Primal punk is passé. The best of the American punk rockers have moved on. They have learned how to play their instruments. They have discovered melody, guitar solos and lyrics that are more than shouted political slogans. Some of them have even discovered the Grateful Dead." By the end of the 1980s, these bands, who had largely eclipsed their punk forebears in popularity, were classified broadly as alternative rock. Alternative rock encompasses a diverse set of styles—including indie rock, gothic rock, and grunge, among others—unified by their debt to punk rock and their origins outside of the musical mainstream.
As alternative bands like Sonic Youth, who had grown out of the No Wave scene, and Boston's Pixies started to gain larger audiences, major labels sought to capitalize on a market that had been building underground for the past ten years. In 1991, Nirvana emerged out of Washington State's grunge music scene, achieving huge commercial success with their second album, Nevermind. The band cited punk as a key influence on their style. "Punk is musical freedom" wrote singer Kurt Cobain. "It’s saying, doing, and playing what you want". Nirvana's success fueled the alternative rock boom that had been underway since the late 1980s and helped define that segment of 1990s popular music. The resulting shift in popular taste is chronicled in the film 1991: The Year Punk Broke, which features Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, and Sonic Youth.
 Queercore and riot grrrl
Parallel with the alternative rock phenomenon, new underground punk movements coalesced during the 1990s. Punk bands working in many different styles—including Mukilteo Fairies, Sister George, God Is My Co-Pilot, Fifth Column, Team Dresch, and Pansy Division—joined in the queercore movement. The openly gay punk musicians of an earlier generation had helped pave the way, including Jayne County, Phranc of Nervous Gender, Tomata du Plenty and Tommy Gear of The Screamers, Andy Martin of The Apostles, Randy Turner of Big Boys, and Gary Floyd of The Dicks. At 1991's International Pop Underground Convention in Olympia, Washington, "Love Rock Revolution Girl Style Now", a bill of all female-led bands featuring Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, Bikini Kill, and several others heralded the emerging riot grrrl phenomenon. Bikini Kill's lead singer Kathleen Hanna, the iconic figure of riot grrrl, would move on to the electro art punk group Le Tigre. Singer-guitarists Corin Tucker of Heavens to Betsy and Carrie Brownstein of Excuse 17, a group active in both the queercore and riot grrrl scenes, would later cofound the widely celebrated punk band Sleater-Kinney.
- For more details on this topic, see Emo (music).
During the same period, the influence of Washington, D.C.'s Fugazi, formed out of the dissolution of Embrace, was setting off a second, much broader based wave of emo bands. Groups like Antioch Arrow generated new, more intense subgenres like screamo, while Texas Is the Reason and others brought emo closer to indie rock. Bands such as Seattle's Sunny Day Real Estate and Mesa, Arizona's Jimmy Eat World broke out of the underground; attracting national attention, they were soon branded with the "alternative rock" label. By the turn of the century, emo had arguably surpassed hardcore, its parent genre, as the roots-level standard for U.S. punk, though some underground music fans claim that typical latter-day emo bands barely qualify as punk at all.
 The punk revival
Along with Nirvana, many of the leading alternative rock artists of the early 1990s acknowledged earlier punk acts (both famous and obscure) as influences, helping to inspire a punk rock resurgence. In 1994, California punk bands like Green Day, The Offspring, Rancid, and Bad Religion had substantial crossover success with the aid of MTV and popular radio stations like KROQ-FM. Although Green Day and Bad Religion were already on major labels, indie record companies like Epitaph also benefited from punk's revival. Green Day and The Offspring's enormous commercial success paved the way for bankable pop punk bands such as blink-182, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, and Sum 41 over the following decade. The Vans Warped Tour and the mall chain store Hot Topic brought punk even further into the U.S. cultural mainstream.
Following the lead of Boston's Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Long Beach, California's Sublime, ska punk and ska-core became widely popular in the late 1990s. The original 2 Tone bands had emerged amid punk rock's second wave, but their music was much closer to its Jamaican roots—"ska at 78 rpm." Ska punk bands in the third wave of ska created a true musical fusion with punk and hardcore. The success of Rancid's 1995 album ...And Out Come the Wolves helped fuel this ska revival, and ska punk bands such as Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake continued to attract fans into the 2000s. Other bands with roots in hardcore, such as AFI, also had chart-topping records in the new millennium. Celtic punk, with bands such as Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys merging the sound of Oi! and The Pogues, reached broad audiences. The Australian punk rock tradition continued with groups such as Frenzal Rhomb, The Living End, and Bodyjar. A growing number of bands bridged the divide between punk and the rock styles it had originally rebelled against: "The Hold Steady, The Constantines, and...Call Me Lightning have drawn from punk and classic-rock history in equal doses, merging the former's spitfire energy with the latter's sense of larger-than-life grandeur."
With punk's renewed visibilty came concerns among some in the punk community that the music was being co-opted by the mainstream. Committed participants in the scene argued that by signing to major labels and appearing on MTV, punk bands like Green Day were buying into the system that punk was created to challenge. Many punk fans "despise 'corporate punk rock', typified by bands such as Sum 41 and Blink 182". Such controversies have been part of the punk phenomenon since The Clash were widely accused of "selling out" when they signed with CBS Records in 1977. By the 1990s, punk rock was sufficiently ingrained in Western culture that punk trappings were often used to market highly commercial bands as rebels. Marketers capitalized on the style and its connotations of hipness to such an extent that a 1993 ad campaign for an automobile, the Subaru Impreza, claimed that the car was "like punk rock". Although the commercial mainstream has exploited many elements of punk, numerous underground punk scenes still exist around the world.
 See Also
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- ^ McLaren, Malcolm, "Punk Celebrates 30 Years of Subversion", BBC News, August 18, 2006. Retrieved on January 17, 2006.
- ^ Christgau, Robert, "Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain" (review), New York Times Book Review, 1996. Retrieved on January 17, 2007.
- ^ Harris (2004), p. 202
- ^ Sabin (1999), p. 101
- ^ Robb (2006), foreword by Michael Bracewell
- ^ Murphy, Peter, "Shine On, The Lights Of The Bowery: The Blank Generation Revisited", Hot Press, July 12, 2002; Hoskyns, Barney, "Richard Hell: King Punk Remembers the [ ] Generation", Rock's Backpages, March 2002.
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- ^ Chong, Kevin, "The Thrill Is Gone", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, August 2006. Retrieved on December 17, 2006.
- ^ Palmer (1992), p. 37
- ^ Shuker (2002), p. 159
- ^ a b Blush, Steven, "Move Over My Chemical Romance: The Dynamic Beginnings of US Punk", Uncut, January 2007.
- ^ Sabin (1999), pp. 4, 226; Dalton, Stephen, "Revolution Rock", Vox, June 1993.
- ^ Savage (1991), p. 440
- ^ Strohm (2004), p. 188
- ^ "Proto-Punk", All Music Guide. Retrieved on January 11, 2007.
- ^ Ross, Alex. "Generation Exit: Kurt Cobain". The New Yorker, April 1994. Retrieved January 02, 2007.
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- ^ Neate, Wilson. "NEU!" Trouser Press LLC. Retrieved on January 11, 2007.
- ^ Unterberger (2000), p. 18
- ^ Leblanc (1999), p. 35
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- ^ The title echoed a lyric from the title track of Patti Smith's 1975 album Horses
- ^ Burns (1995), p. 313
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- ^ See. e.g., Schild, Matt, "Stuck in the Future", Aversion.com, July 11, 2005. Retreived January 21, 2007.
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- ^ Reynolds (2005), p. xxi
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- ^ Reynolds (1999), p. 96
- ^ Reynolds (2005), pp. xxvii, xxix
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- ^ See, e.g., Marquee Moon review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide; Television: Marquee Moon (remastered edition) review by Hunter Felt, PopMatters. Both retrieved January 15, 2007.
- ^ See, e.g., Buckley (2003), p. 13
- ^ See. e.g., Reynolds (1999), p. 336; Savage (2002), p. 487
- ^ Harrington (2002), p. 388
- ^ Sabin (1999), p. 4; W, Matt. " 10 Bands that Are Leading Post-Punk's Third Wave", October 26, 2005. associatedcontent.com. Retrieved on December 30, 2006.
- ^ See, e.g., Leblanc (1999), p. 59
- ^ Savage (1991), p. 440
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- ^ Quoted in Robb (2006), pp. 469–470
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- ^ http://www.garry-bushell.co.uk/oi/index.asp
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- ^ Knowles (2003), p. 44
- ^ Klein (2000), p. 300
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