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Punk rock
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Punk rock

Punk rock
Stylistic origins: Psychedelic rock, pub rock and garage rock - proto-punk
Cultural origins: Mid 1970s US, United Kingdom and Australia.
Typical instruments: Vocals - Guitar - Bass - Drums
Mainstream popularity: More success in the UK than US. Some success for pop punk, especially ska punk and Two Tone
Derivative forms: Alternative rock - Hardcore - Emo
Alcopunk - Anarcho-punk - Anti-folk - Gothic rock - Hardcore - Horror punk - New Wave - Oi - Pop punk - Post-punk
Anti-folk - Death rock - Psychobilly - Ska punk - Two Tone
Other topics
Cassette culture - DIY - Punk pioneers - First wave - Second wave - Punk cities - Punk movies - Fanzine
Punk rock is the anti-establishment music movement of the period 1976-80, exemplified by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Damned. This term is also used to describe subsequent music scenes that share key characteristics with those first-generation "punks." The term is sometimes also applied to the fashions or the irreverent "do-it-yourself" attitude associated with this musical movement.

Table of contents
1 Origins
2 Punk attitudes and fashion
3 Post-1970s punk
4 Sound Samples
5 See also
6 References
7 External links


The term "punk rock" (from 'punk', meaning rotten, worthless, or snotty; also a prison slang term for a person who is sexually submissive) was originally used to describe the untutored guitar-and-vocals-based rock and roll of US bands of the mid-1960s such as The Seeds and The Standells, who now are more often catagorized as "garage rock." "Punk rock" was coined by rock critic Dave Marsh, who use it to describe the music of ? and the Mysterians in the May, 1971, issue of Creem magazine. The term was adopted by many rock music journalists in the early 1970s. For example, in the liner notes of the 1972 anthology album Nuggets, critic and guitarist Lenny Kaye uses the term "punk-rock" to refer to the Sixties "garage rock" groups, as well as some of the darker and more primitive elements of '60s psychedelia. Shortly after the time of those notes, Lenny Kaye formed a band with avant garde poet Patti Smith. Smith's group, and her first LP released in 1975, directly inspired many of the mid-70s punk rockers, so this suggests a path by which the term migrated to the music we now know as punk.

In addition to the inspiration of those "garage" bands of the sixties, the roots of punk rock also feed on the abrasive, dissonant style of The Velvet Underground, the sexually and politically confrontational Detroit bands The Stooges and MC5, the UK pub rock scene, and "glam rock" or "art rock" acts of the early seventies, such as David Bowie, Roxy Music, and The New York Dolls.

In the mid-1970s, influential punk bands emerged separately in three different corners of the world: The Ramones in New York, The Saints in Australia, and the Sex Pistols in London. In each case, these bands were operating within a small "scene" which included other bands as well as enthusiastic impresarios who operated small nightclubs that provided a showcase and meeting place for the emerging musicians (the 100 Club in London, CBGB's in New York, and The Masque in Hollywood are among the best know early punk clubs). In the UK, punk interacted with the Jamaican reggae & ska subcultures. The reggae influence in evident in the first releases by the Clash, for example, and by the end of the decade punk had spawned the 2 Tone ska revival movement, including bands such as The Specials, Madness and The Selecter.

Punk attitudes and fashion

An important feature of punk rock was an evident desire to return to the concise and simple approach of early rock and roll. Punk rockers rejected what they saw as the pretension, commercialism and pomposity which had overtaken rock music in the 1970s, spawning superficial "disco" music and grandiose forms of heavy metal, progressive rock and "arena rock".

Punk rock emphasised simple musical structure and short songs, extolling a "DIY" ("do it yourself") ethic that insisted anyone could form a punk rock band (the early UK punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue once famously included drawings of three chord shapes, captioned, "this is a chord, this is another, this is a third. Now form a band"). Punk lyrics introduced a confrontational frankness of expression in matters both political and sexual, dealing with urban boredom and rising unemployment in the UK—e.g., the Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen" and "Pretty Vacant"—or decidedly anti-romantic depictions of sex and love, such as the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck" or the Sex Pistols' "Submission."

The influence of the cultural critique and the strategies for revolutionary action offered by the European situationist movement of the 1950s and 60s is apparent in the vanguard of the British punk movement, particularly the Sex Pistols. This was a conscious direction taken by Pistols prime movers Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, and is apparent in the artwork of the Situationist-affiliated Jamie Reid, who designed many of the band's graphics.

The punk phenomenon expressed a whole-hearted rejection of prevailing values that extended beyond the qualities of its music. British punk fashion deliberately outraged propriety with the highly theatrical use of cosmetics and hairstyles--eye makeup might cover half the face, hair might stand in spikes or be cut into a "Mohawk" or other severe shape--while the clothing typically modified existing objects for artistic effect--pants and shirts were cut, torn, or wrapped with tape, safety pins were used as face-piercing jewelry, a garbage bin liner might become a dress.

Punk devotees created a thriving underground press. In the UK Mark Perry produced Sniffin' Glue. In the United States magazines such as Maximum RocknRoll, Profane Existence and Flipside were leading a movement of fanzines. Every local "scene" had at least one primitively published magazine with news, gossip, and interviews with local or touring bands. The magazine Factsheet Five chronicled the thousands of underground publications in the 1980s and 1990s.

Post-1970s punk

In the 1980s a second wave of anti-establishment and "DIY" bands came into their own in the United States and the UK. MDC, Crass, Hüsker Dü, Bad Brains, Vice Squad, X, Picture Frame Seduction, The Exploited, Minor Threat, JFA, The Dicks and many others had little impact on the music industry charts, but nonetheless had a huge effect on popular culture. The period from approximately 1980 to 1986 is considered the peak of hardcore punk.

A thriving Punk Rock subculture can still be found in many cities. Krakow and Jarocin in Poland are renowned among punks today as having two of the most thriving and colourful street punk cultures. Punk rock underwent a brief commercial renaissance in the 1990s with bands like Rancid, Green Day, The Offspring.

Sound Samples

See also

Extensive lists of relevant bands and so on can be found at the following sub-pages:


External links