The Top Thirty Punk Songs Ever (and if you disagree, I don’t care, because traditionally punk is quite oppositional and I have decided to adopt that attitude this week, but only this week I’ll be nice again next week, promise)

Despite what I said in the title of this post, I am going to start today off by apologising. The standard of entries this week was insanely good. Everyone picked something good. Nobody picked The Sex Pistols. Loads of people picked stuff that I hadn’t heard before. Top stuff all round, you lot. Top top stuff. But, that means that a lot of brilliant suggestions couldn’t make the top 30. Hence the apology. Sorry.

The main reason people’s suggestions didn’t make the chart is that there wasn’t enough room. I briefly considered a top 40, but decided against it because I do think the top 30 as it stands is perfect. Short and sweet, like a great punk song, or something. Also, you know, effort.

Before I list the songs that didn’t quite make it, let’s look at the bonus points. There were only six this week, and I have decided to split them between two songs.

  • STP – Hey Bastard – recommended by David N Atkinson – I’m giving this three points for no other reason than it was the shortest song recommended this week. Which isn’t to say I didn’t like it – I did, very much so – but no more than a lot of songs that didn’t score this week. But the one minute run time made it stand out from the crowd. Proper punk that, your one minute song.
  • Aaliyah Rose – Warriors – recommended by David Hartley – Arguably, there would have been better weeks for nominating this song (which, by the way, I adore) but there is no arguing with Dave’s opinion that She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is “bestest, queerest, fiercest TV show in recent memory”. I’d go as far as saying it is one of the best television programmes ever made, deserving of a place among The Wire, The Expanse, The Good Wife/The Good Fight and Deadwood at the higher echelons of the form. You should get over your prejudices about animation (and what is and isn’t ‘for’ children) and watch it some time. You might enjoy it. Anyway, three points for Dave.

Right, I’m going to whizz through the songs that didn’t make the top 30 because, as I have already mentioned, I loved nearly all of them. If there isn’t a comment after your name it is because either a) I didn’t want to write ‘I loved this but I couldn’t squeeze it into the top 30, soz’ thirty times, or b) I couldn’t think of a ‘funny’ reason to disqualify it, or c) both of those things. Sorry again to those of you who didn’t score this week. Hopefully when you see the top 30 you won’t feel too hard done by.

I really am struggling with this adopting a snarly punk rock attitude thing, aren’t I? Maybe being kind is a pretty punk rock thing to do in 2021? You know, what with everyone being so mean on the internet and that? Maybe. It’s what you are getting anyway.

  • Alvvays – Plimsoll Punks – recommended by James Beck
  • Babes in Toyland – He’s My Thing – recommended by Mark G
  • Bow Wow Wow – c30 c60 c90 Go – recommended by Jeanette Greaves
  • Cabbage – Uber Capitalist Death Trade – recommended by Graeme
  • The Casualties – Unknown Soldier – recommended by Marsha Adams
  • The Clash – Rock the Casbah – recommended by Donna Morris
  • The Clash – Should I Stay or Should I Go – recommended by Sal Pagedisqualified for containing the distinctly unpunk word ‘whom’.
  • The Cramps – Lonesome Town – recommended by Lil’ Vanni Byniaeth
  • Daft Punk – Get Lucky – recommended by Fat RolandRecommending Daft Punk wasn’t a terrible idea. Picking their worst song was.
  • Dartkthrone – Shut Up – recommended by Nick
  • Flamin’ Groovies – Shake Some Action – recommended by Steven Moss
  • Fucked Up – Raise Your Voice Joyce – recommended by Sleepy
  • Fucked Up – Son the Father – recommended by Rob CutforthI was wondering if Rob would pick something Canadian – sometimes I like to picture a young Rob in an Oilers bar in Edmonton, a little bit drunk, singing along to Hawaii by The Young Canadians – and he did pick something Canadian, and I liked it, so it is disappointing all round that it didn’t make the top 30.
  • Hundred Reasons – If I Could – recommended by Tom.
  • Iggy Pop – The Passenger – recommended by Tom Mason
  • Jilted John – Jilted John – recommended by Mark Rose and Desmond
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Bad Reputation – recommended by Penny
  • Kleenex – Nice – recommended by Subfuscous
  • LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk is playing at my house – recommended by Tom A
  • The Mad Capsule Markets – Bomb Idea – recommended by Nick Rayney
  • Melt Banana – Candy Gun – recommended by Paul Graham Raven
  • The Mice – Not Proud of the USA – recommended by Dan Edmonds
  • Mogwai – Punk Rock – recommended by Jummo70 – Rumours of me realising I like some Mogwai stuff this year are true, but this still didn’t quite make my top thirty. I can imagine it properly getting on my tits after a dozen or so listens.
  • The Offspring – The Kids Aren’t Alright – recommended by Ben Thomas
  • Portrait – Five or Six – recommended by Jim Dees
  • Public Enemy – Don’t Believe the Hype – recommended by Tom Glennie
  • Pris – Blue Tack Baby – recommended by David Coates – I feel doubly bad about this not making the chart because not only did I like it but they also made their own video, which is punk in a nutshell or something.
  • Ramones – Do You Wanna Dance? – recommended by Bruno Di Gradi
  • Ramones – I Don’t Want to Grow Up – recommended by Adam Farrer
  • Robyn – Konichiwa Bitches – recommended by Arron Wright
  • Staa Marx – Crazy Weekend – recommended by Julie
  • The Stranglers – Go Buddy Go – recommended by Sherri Turner
  • The Stranglers – No More Heroes – recommended by Slugger
  • Vampire Weekend – A-Punk – recommended by Skerret
  • X-Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescent – recommended by Rebecca H
  • X-Ray Spex – Identity – recommended by GLP
  • X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage! Up Yours – recommended by Henriette Pleiger 

So, as you can see, excellence wasn’t quite enough this week.


  • 30 – Dead Kennedys – Holiday in Cambodia recommended by Ben Andrew, Kinky Sex Makes the World Go Round recommended by DanThis chart was always going to feature Dead Kennedys somewhere – I’m a sentimental soul and the band had too large an influence on my musical taste as a teenager for them not to be – but ultimately, these songs didn’t quite tick my ‘ooh, that’s a good recommend’ box. Something off Bedtime for Democracy, or Moon Over Marin, with it’s beautifully lazy, almost-too-slow guitar line, would have served you better. – two points
  • 29 – Berurier Noir – Vivre Libre Ou Mourir – recommended by Sam WhyteMy twenty-six day streak on Duolingo means I can translate one word in the title of this song. Which is one more than I could twenty-six days ago, so go me, yeah? On a less self-interested note, this song is great. – two points
  • 28 – The Golden Cups – Hey Joe – recommended by Mat PringleThe ridiculous feedback was very much appreciated. – three points
  • 27 – Cabaret Voltaire – Nag Nag Nag – recommended by Stephen May and MikeHonestly, I find most of Cabaret Voltaire’s output a bit baffling. It’s just noise, isn’t it? They were very punk though, and this song is one of their better ones. – four points
  • 26 – The Ghost of a Thousand – Bored of Math – recommended by Chris Bissette I suspect Punk week was always going to be too much pressure for Chris. There were too many records he wanted to share and for him to whittle it down to just one? Well, it’s impossible, isn’t it? What he picked was great, but he will probably be a bit disappointed with a relatively low score – five points
  • 25 – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Constipation Blues – recommended by Michael ConleyA song which is both awful and great. Stupid and puerile and yet, I don’t know, something else as well. It isn’t a punk song but it is also, very obviously, a punk song. – six points
  • 24 – The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog – recommended by James BattissonWeird to think that this was released before The Beatles split up. It feels like there should be a space between the two. But there wasn’t. Just music doing its thing, arguing (as it always does) against the legitimacy of genre. Oh well, eh? – seven points
  • 23 – The Damned – Nasty recommended by Scout Tzofiya, New Rose recommended by LeightonOne of the many many bands labelled ‘the first’ as if that could be in any way measured. Cracking band though. Even when they stopped being punk and did that Eloiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise one they were alright. – eight points
  • 22 – 10-Feet – Vibes by Vibes – recommended by Al KennedyQuite silly. Agreeably so. – nine points
  • 21 – The Saints – (I’m) Stranded – recommended by Chris *Wear Your Dang Mask* So much better than The Sex Pistols that it isn’t funny. Oh, OK then. It’s a little bit funny. – ten points
  • 20 – Benefits – Flag – recommended by Dan WilliamsLess of a song, more of a scream of pure rage, but also, you know, a song. – eleven points
  • 19 – Wayne County & The Electric Chairs – Fuck Off – recommended by Graham Cox and Richard JonesA band that even managed to make Jools Holland sound good. Nice work, Jayne. – twelve points
  • 18 – REM – Oddfellows Local 151 – recommended by Plashing Vole – While, obviously, you could have punk without REM, you couldn’t have REM without punk. Plus, you know, REM. – thirteen points
  • 17 – Saul Williams – List of Demands – recommended by tbJust an excellent song. No more explanation is needed really. Especially as I have been typing this post for ages now. – fourteen points
  • 16 – Buzzcocks – Promises – recommended by Sex PoliceWeird to think that a load of people only know the name of this band from the crap title of one of the worst television shows ever made [Bite me if you disagree btw, half of every episode was dedicated to bullying members of the public and/or being creepy to the female guests – most panel shows are ghastly but that one was particularly grim]. Sorry. Got distracted there. – fifteen points
  • 15 – Death Grips – Takyon – recommended by GeisterhausHip hop is punk, yeah? I think so. I think all hip hop is pretty punk. Even (Insert a funny reference to a commercial/bad rapper here later, if you can be bothered to be mean about somebody). But nobody in hip hop is quite as punk as Death Grips are. Which means I should have probably given them more points. Too late now though. – sixteen points
  • 14 – The Fall – Frightened – recommended by David BruceAh, The Fall. The thinking person’s Radiohead. Lovely stuff. seventeen points
  • 13 – Sloppy Jane – Where’s My Wife – recommended by EmPunk lends itself well to ‘question songs’ Ever fallen in love? Is Vic there? How much is that doggy in the window? Where do broken hearts go? And here’s another one, and a very good one at that. – eighteen points
  • 12 – The Dead Milkmen – Punk Rock Girl – recommended by Georgia BoonThe Dead Milkmen showing their more sensitive side? Maybe. It’s certainly more radio friendly than some of the stuff off their debut, which was all I had heard by them until this week. I don’t really know where I’m going with this. – nineteen points
  • 11 – The Dicks – The Dicks Hate the Police – recommended by William MallinHasn’t aged a minute in twenty eight years. Depressingly, that’s mostly because it is still relevant.  twenty points
  • 10 – Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized – recommended by Pavel KondovA great choice on at least six levels. maybe more. – twenty-two points
  • 9 – Dream Nails – Vagina Police – recommended by NealHe’s having quite a tournament for somebody who spent a large proportion of his teenage years listening to The Wildhearts, isn’t he? – twenty-four points
  • 8 – Wire – Outdoor Miner – recommended by Nick PortnellIs it unfair to say that this song sticks out in Wire’s back catalogue like an orchid on an industrial estate? Probably. It is proper gorgeous though. – twenty-six points
  • 7 – The Bellrays – Fire on the Moon – recommended by Graham WattAwesome. – twenty-eight points
  • 6 – Television Personalities – Part Time Punks – recommended by Nick GarrardArguably the best single of that era. I won’t be taking questions. – thirty points
  • 5 – Little Simz – Boss – recommended by Picky BastardsIt’s been a rough few weeks for Picky Bastards. First a couple of underperforming selections on here, and then a load of Housemartins fanatics take over their poll to find the best UK number one single (clue: it isn’t Caravan of fucking Love, lads). So it’s nice to see normality returning with this recommendation which is, it goes without saying, a banger – thirty-two points
  • 4 – Bob Vylan – We Live Here – recommended by Daniel Carpenter – That variation on the chorus at the end… *Carl doing a chef’s kiss gif* – thirty-four points
  • 3 – The Slits – Typical Girls recommended by Justin Chisnall, I Heard It Through the Grapevine recommended by BenThe best band of the first punk era, obvs. thirty-six points
  • 2 – Guz – Fuck the Cops – recommended by Sam BailI google translated the verses and they seem to be largely about sandwiches which implies a level of cultural significance that was beyond me. The chorus is very catchy though. Very catch indeed. – thirty-eight points
  • 1 – Fulu Miziki – (a song possibly called) Miziki Ya Fula – recommended by John Power JrEasily the most punk thing that has ever existed. Home made instruments. Home made costumes. Not playing by anyone’s rules. Have a look if you don’t believe me… – forty points