The Filth and the Fury: 10 Definitive Punk Rock Songs

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The following list is a survey of various songs that were important to the genre of punk rock at different times in its development, from the early rumblings of the late 1960s through the year punk broke in 1991. What links these songs is the punk ethic that says you don’t have to be talented or good-looking to be in a great rock and roll band. Punk espoused DIY, anti-establishment ethos that put instruments into the hands of people who may never have gotten the opportunity to be in a band otherwise. Punk has been defined as freedom, anger, a fashion statement, youthful rebellion, and corrupting garbage. Whatever ‘punk’ may mean to you, here’s a list of some of the genre’s most important songs.

“Heroin,” The Velvet Underground

Lou Reed’s house band for Andy Warhol is frequently cited as one of the earliest punk bands, writing dark, twisted, dissonant songs almost a decade before the movement would really blossom in New York City. The Velvet Underground weren’t very popular when they were together in the 1960s, but the group was hugely influential to the punks that came after them. It has been said about the group that though not many bought their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, everyone who did formed a band. “Heroin” is one of Reed’s darkest and most twisted songs, an ode to the drug that makes him “feel just like Jesus’ son.”

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