The wit, wisdom, zen, and philosophy of Paul Diamond Blow.

Top Ten Punk Rock Bands of All Time (according to Paul Diamond Blow)
Who Are the Top Ten Punk Rock Bands of All Time? Here They Are, so Punk it Up, Punk Rockers!

by Paul Ace Diamond "Huggy" Blow

Why did the punk rocker cross the road? Because he was stapled to the chicken. Or maybe he was stapled to Sid Vicious. As an ex-punk rocker, I've listened to more than my share of punk rock records and seen my more than my share of punk rock bands over the last 20 years and I love it. There are many styles of punk rock (hardcore, pop-punk, East Coast, West Coast, cross-over, etc., etc.) and the truth is that most punk rock really DOES suck! Most of the punk rock bands I've come to love are from either England or New York... go figure. Without further ado, here is my personal list of the top ten punk rock bands of all time, so let's punk it up, punk rockers!

10) the Sex Pistols
< Why do I put the Sex Pistols at number ten on my "top ten punk rock bands" list and not at number one, like most people do? Because the Sex Pistols were actually a manufactured band -- manufactured and marketed by their genius manager Malcolm McLaren. Heck, Sid Vicious never even played bass on the Sex Pistols recordings and could barely play the bass at their live shows. However, I still do respect the Sex Pistols as innovators of the British punk rock scene and I do admire the intellect and lyrics of vocalist Johnny Rotten (a true punk rock icon and free thinking individual) who later formed the very cool post-punk band Public Image Ltd. I also must give kudos to the musicianship of drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones, the two members who drove the band musically. The Sex Pistols songs were actually pretty rocking tunes, compared to most punk rock music, and their debut album Never Mind the Bollucks is a true punk rock classic. And what the heck... Sid Vicious is the most notorious punk rocker EVER and raised the bar pretty high for all others by being a genuine wild man, killing his girl friend, and dying of a heroin overdose at an early age. Now that's PUNK RAWK!

9) Generation X
The British punk rock band from the late 1970's that gave birth to the solo artist we know and love as Billy Idol! Billy Idol was actually the band's guitar player until he switched to vocal duties when the original singer left and it was Billy's vocals that really made this band stand out from all the rest of the early British punk rock bands. In fact, the song "Dancing With Myself" (made famous as a Billy Idol solo song) first appeared on Generation X's last studio album, Kiss Me Deadly in 1981. Generation's best album was their debut, Generation X, which included some excellent tunage including "Youth Youth Youth," "Kiss Me Deadly," and "One Hundred Punks".

8) the Dictators
What would it sound like if KISS was a punk rock band??? The Dictators! Wild man Handsome Dick Manitoba leads this troop of N.Y. punk rock bad boys with catchy, punk party ROCK, with an emphasis on the ROCK! The Dictators formed way back in 1973 and have been breaking up and reforming ever since, it seems. Their best album was Blood Brothers which included the hits "Baby Let's Twist" and "Minnesota Strip." Handsome Dick Manitoba and bassist Andy Shernoff (who wrote most of the Dictators' songs) also briefly rocked in a band called Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, a band which released one killer album and then quit. Handsome Dick now owns a bar in New York City called Manitobas... check it out!

7) GBH
One of the best English spikey-haired hardcore bands of all time. These guys ruled back in the 1980s with their brand of metallic hardcore. Fast, furious, and packed with sizzling Marshall-driven power chords, yeah! Although they were at their peak back in the 1980s, GBH continues to shred out the hardcore tunage even today. Their best albums: the debut, City Baby Attacked by Rats (1982) and the follow-up album City Baby's Revenge (1984).

6) Discharge
Discharge was the absolute best of the English spikey hardcore bands, even better than GBH. Metallic hardcore punk, with thunderous hardcore beats and guitarist Bones wailing away on the power chords. This band absolutely CRUSHES!!! The most bone-crushing, meanest hardcore you will ever hear. Discharge's album Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing is a real hardcore punk rock classic, a must have for any punk rock enthusiast.

5) Toilet Boys
From New York City, the Toilet Boys played a style of glammy, catchy punk rock tunage with sizzling Marshall amps and a drag queen (Miss Guy) on lead vocals. The drag queen often times sings off key, but still, this is trashy punk rock so it don't matter! This band is amazing and has put out several great albums that freaking rock my world, in fact the Toilet Boys are what I've been playing lately when I want to gear up for a night out on the town. The Toilet Boys best song: "Another Day in the Life." Check 'em out on myspace...

4) the Stooges
Even though the Stooges were more of a garage band, I've got to put them on my "top ten punk rock bands" list, just 'cos they were real innovators in punk music, and of course Iggy Pop is one of my favorite singers of all time as well as a genuine icon in the punk rock scene. Raw Power is my personal favorite Stooges album, it features the song "Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell" -- one of my all time favorite punk rock songs. Go, Iggy, go!

3) Misfits
I always loved the way Glenn Danzig sang for this band, even though I never cared for his solo, metal stuff. Danzig actually made this band, in my own humble opinion, without him they would've been anywhere as popular. The Misfits have the riffs, the "whoa-whoa" choruses, the horror-shlock image, and the songs are catchy as all get out! My personal favorite Misfit songs: "Skulls," "I Turned Into a Martian," "Devils Whorehouse," and "Astro Zombies." Nothing gets a punk rock party going like a little Misfits! The Misfits are still playing last time I checked, but really... they ain't the Misfits without Danzig,

2) the Damned
The Damned are an English punk band that formed in 1976 and were one of the most popular British punk bands in the early days of punk rock right along with the Clash and the Sex Pistols. The main difference between the Damned and most other punk rock bands is that the Damned actually wrote great songs that had both awesome hooks and melody... two things that most punk rock bands lack. Plus, the Damned have a singer who can actually sing -- Dave Vanian. I've always loved Dave Vanian's deep voice, he's one of the best singers to ever grace a punk rock band. The Damned's best album was Machine Gun Etiquette (released in 1979) which contained some of their greatest hits including "Smash it Up," a song which became an instant punk rock classic. The Damned later morphed into a gothic style rock band and scored major success with their Phantasmagoria album (1985). The Damned continue to rock even now with original members Dave Vanian and guitarist Captain Sensible. Captain Sensible, by the way, is one of punk rock's most flamboyant guitar players ever and is super cool in his own right.

1) Ramones
I think it is safe to say that the Ramones single-handedly invented punk rock music (sorry, Sex Pistols fans!). Back in the day, when I was a budding punk rocker, the first time I saw the Ramones debut album I said, "The Ramones aren't punk rock -- their hair's too long!" I soon ate my words, and became a big fan of the band. In fact, the Ramones have become my favorite band of all time. They've got the look: black leather jackets, torn jeans, bowl haircuts -- they've got the sound: fast, loud guitars & drums. They've got the songs: so many darn good catchy songs full of camp and humor, too many to even begin to list here. Most of all, they've got one of the best singers in rock'n'roll history: Joey Ramone, not your average punk rock singer, no -- he actually knows how to use his voice, and the man writes some of the funniest lyrics in rock! I love it... the Ramones are not just a punk rock band, no, they are a true rock'n'roll band, and throughout their long career have covered all the angles, playing many styles including hardcore punk, pop-rock, ballads, and even an occasional country-fried tune, all done in their own unique, slightly cheesy style. Sadly, most of the original members have passed away (Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee) but the Ramones have left behind scores of great albums and continue to be one the most influential rock bands of all time.

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