Last week, we dropped our massive list of the 50 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time. Of course, it was met with the internet's typical mix of outrage and disgust, snark and backhanded compliments. So we asked you if you could do better in picking in the single best album that punk has had to offer, and you responded across social media with snotty, mohawked picks spanning the late Seventies to the current day. Below, are the top five vote-getters.
Compared to the raucous movements that emerged in its wake (hardcore, oi!, etc.), this watershed double album's eccentric blend of rockabilly, ska, hard rock and R&B hardly even registers as "punk," sonically or aesthetically. But the legendary status of songs like "Train in Vain" and the title track stems from their populist appeal — by playing to the audience's musical sensibilities, as opposed to preaching or brow-beating, Joe Strummer and Co. etched their name into only the punk canon, but also in the cultural discourse of the Eighties writ large.
NOFX's most commercially successful outing to date, Punk in Drublic saw Fat Mike and friends take their hypercaffeinated, hooky-as-hell post-hardcore assault to new levels of punchy catchiness. As a result, this Nineties classic would serve as a seminal influence to everyone from Blink-182 and Sum 41 to Unwritten Law and Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows.
It just took one LP, a volley back across the pond following the Ramones' self-titled debut, to set the U.K. ablaze with punk in the Seventies — Nevermind the Bullocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. Filled with just as much attitude as it has riffs, the effort is not only an excellent release, it's also a near-perfect introduction to the genre, and a yin to the Ramones' proverbial yang, a snarling and nasty record as opposed to the Americans' darkly melodic offering.
Few bands truly tapped into that contagious combination of fun and evil like Lodi, New Jersey's Misfits did on Walk Among Us. The record is a cauldron of horror movie and sci-fi references, all soundtracked by razor-quick, proto-thrash singalongs. It's undeniably dark — establishing Glenn Danzig's satirically nihilistic outlook on the world — but also an undeniably infectious good time. No wonder when the formerly basement-dwelling band finally reunited after years of public acrimony, they could sell out arenas.
The Ramones aren't just the foundation of punk rock, but they also marked the return of raw, stripped-down rock & roll after a decade of bloated prog and "rock" with jazz influences. The boys from Forest Hills wanted simple yet volatile — the MC5, Stooges and others were the blueprint — and we got it with the band's self-titled effort. Full of streamlined, fast-paced riffs and Fifties-style melodies, Ramones stands as a perfect pairing of melody and heaviosity.