Punk rock

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Punk rock
Stylistic origins: Rock 'n' Roll - Rockabilly - Garage - Frat rock - Psychedelic - Pub rock - Glam rock - Protopunk
Cultural origins: mid-1970s United States, Australia & United Kingdom.
Typical instruments: Vocals - Guitar - Bass - Drums - occasional use of other instruments
Mainstream popularity: Mostly underground; Topped charts in UK. International commercial success for pop punk and ska punk.

<tr><th align="left" valign="top">Derivative forms:</th><td valign="top">Alternative rock - Emo - New Wave - Post-punk</td></tr><tr><th align="center" bgcolor="crimson" colspan=2 valign="top"><font color="{{{bgcolor|}">Subgenres</font></th></tr>}">Subgenres</th></tr>}} }}<tr><td align=center colspan="2" valign="top">Anarcho-punk - Christian punk - Crust punk - Garage punk - Hardcore punk - Horror punk - Oi!</td></tr><tr><th align="center" bgcolor="crimson" colspan=2 valign="top"><font color="{{{bgcolor|}">Fusion genres</th></tr>}}<tr><td align=center colspan="2" valign="top">Anti-folk - Chicano punk - Death rock - Folk punk - Funkcore - Jazz punk - Deathcountry - Psychobilly - Ska punk - 2 tone - Pop punk</td></tr><tr><th align="center" bgcolor="crimson" colspan=2 valign="top"><font color="{{{bgcolor|}">Regional scenes</th></tr>}}<tr><td align=center colspan="2" valign="top">Belgium - Brazil - Argentina - Germany</td></tr><tr><th align="center" bgcolor="crimson" colspan=2 valign="top"><font color="{{{bgcolor|}">Other topics</th></tr>}}<tr><td align=center colspan="2" valign="top">Punk timeline - DIY ethic - Punk forerunners - First wave punk - Second wave punk - Punk movies - Punk zines - Punk fashion</td></tr>

Punk rock is an anti-establishment rock music movement with origins in the United States, United Kingdom<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="savage"> Savage, Jon, "England's Dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock", Faber and Faber, 1991. ISBN 0-312-28822-0</ref>, and Australia<ref>Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2003, "Misfits and Malcontents" (Downloaded 1/11/06); www.punk77.co.uk, (no date) "The Saints"; (Downloaded 1/11/06); Billboard, 1992-2005, "The Saints" (Downloaded 1/11/06)] </ref> around 1974-1975, exemplified by bands such as The Saints (band), the Ramones,<ref name="rrhf">Template:Cite web</ref> Sex Pistols,<ref name="BBC1">Template:Cite web</ref> The Damned, and The Clash.

The term punk is used to describe the associated subculture, involving youthful aggression, specific clothing styles, ideologies, and a DIY (do it yourself) attitude. The cities of London, New York City and Los Angeles have been key locales for punk bands, venues and audiences.

Contents

[edit] Characteristics

Punk bands often emulate the bare musical structures and arrangements of 1960s garage rock bands. This emphasis on accessibility exemplified punk's DIY aesthetic, and contrasted with the ostentatious musicianship of many of the mainstream rock bands popular in the years before the advent of punk. In 1976, the English punk fanzine Sideburns included drawings (later reproduced in Sniffin' Glue) of three chords, captioned: "This is a chord, this is another, this is a third. Now form a band".<ref name="punkinUK">Template:Cite web</ref> Typical punk instrumentation includes a drum kit, one or two electric guitars, an electric bass and vocals. Drums typically sound heavy and dry, and often have a minimal set-up — with a snare drum, one mounted or standing tom, one floor tom, one bass drum, hi-hats, one or two crash cymbals and a ride cymbal.

In the early days of punk rock, musical virtuosity was often looked on with suspicion; complicated guitar solos were considered self-indulgent and unnecessary, although basic guitar breaks were still common, even in early punk songs. Bass guitar lines are often basic and used to carry the songs melody, although some punk bass players such as Mike Watt put greater emphasis on more technical bass parts. Guitar parts tend to include highly-distorted power chords, although some bands take a surf rock approach with lighter, "twangier" guitar tones. Production is minimalistic, with tracks sometimes laid down on home tape recorders. Punk vocals sometimes sound nasal, and are often shouted instead of sung in a conventional sense.

Most punk songs have a verse-chorus form and a 4/4 time signature. Punk songs are normally around two to two and a half minutes long, but many last only a few seconds. Punk rock songs tend to have faster tempos than those of the rock songs that came before them. Drum beats are usually simplistic, with quarter note grooves and not very technical bass or snare drum patterns. However, in hardcore punk the drumming is considerably faster and quite technical.

By the mid-1970s, punk lyrics began to involve confrontational frankness and commentaries on social and political issues. Songs such as The Clash's "Career Opportunities" and "London's Burning" and Chelsea's "Right to Work", dealt with unemployment, boredom, and other grim realities of urban life. The Sex Pistols songs "God Save the Queen" and "Anarchy in the U.K." were openly disparaging of the British political system. Others were violent or anti-romantic in depictions of sex and love, such as The Voidoids' "Love Comes in Spurts".

[edit] History

[edit] Origins

Image:Punks.jpg
UK Punks, circa 1986

The phrase punk rock (from punk, meaning a hoodlum or ruffian, or a worthless person<ref>[1], Ask Oxford. Accessed 19 November 2006.</ref><ref>Punk, Merriam-Webster online. Accessed 22 March 2006.</ref>) was originally applied to the untutored guitar-and-vocals-based rock of United States bands of the mid-1960s such as The Standells, The Sonics, and The Seeds—bands that are now often categorized as garage rock.

The term punk rock was coined by rock critic Dave Marsh, who used it to describe the music of ? and the Mysterians in the May 1971 issue of Creem magazine,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> and it was adopted by many rock music journalists in the early 1970s. In the liner notes of the 1972 anthology album Nuggets, Lenny Kaye uses the term punk-rock to refer to the 1960s garage rock bands, as well as some of the darker and more primitive practitioners of 1960s psychedelic rock. Shortly after he wrote those notes, Kaye formed a band with avant-garde poet Patti Smith. Smith's group, and her first album, Horses (released 1975), directly inspired many of the mid-1970s punk rockers.<ref name="TM">Template:Cite web</ref> The term punk was later used outside of the original connotation in a magazine of the same name created by Legs McNeil, John Holmstrom and Ged Dunn, dedicated to The Dictators, The Stooges, New York Dolls, TV reruns and beer. The magazine helped change the meaning of the word from garage rock to mean the emerging genre from New York, Detroit and London.

Punk rock may have been influenced by the snotty attitude, on- and off-stage violence, aggressive instrumentation, overt sexuality and political confrontation of artists such as The Who, the Rolling Stones, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, The Velvet Underground, Alice Cooper, The Stooges, the MC5, The Deviants, and the New York Dolls. Other likely influences include the English pub rock scene, and British glam rock and art rock acts of the early 1970s, including David Bowie, Gary Glitter and Roxy Music. Early punk rock also displays influences from other musical genres, including ska, funk, and rockabilly.

Punk rock served as a reaction against 1970s popular music such as disco music, heavy metal, progressive rock<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> and arena rock. Punk also rejected the remnants of the 1960s hippie counterculture. The cultural critiques and strategies for revolutionary action of the European Situationist movement of the 1950s and 1960s influenced the vanguard of the British punk movement, particularly the Sex Pistols. Their manager, Malcolm McLaren, consciously embraced situationist ideas, which are also reflected in the clothing—designed for the band by Vivienne Westwood—and in the band's promotional artwork, much of it designed by the Situationist-affiliated Jamie Reid.

The British punk movement may have drawn upon the do-it-yourself attitude of the Skiffle music craze that emerged amid the post-World War II austerity in Britain. Punk rock in Britain coincided with the end of post-war consensus politics that preceded the rise of Thatcherism. This led many British punk bands to express an angry attitude based on social alienation.<ref name="savage"/>

[edit] Early emergence

The first ongoing music scene that was assigned the "punk" label appeared in New York in 1974-1976, centered around bands that played regularly at the clubs Max's Kansas City and CBGB. This had been preceded by a nascent underground rock scene at the Mercer Arts Center, picking up from the demise of The Velvet Underground. The Mercer scene, forming in 1971, featured the New York Dolls and Suicide, but came to an abrupt end in 1973 when the building collapsed.<ref>Heylin, Clinton, From the Velvets to the Voidoids: A Pre-Punk History for a Post-Punk World, 1993, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-017970-4</ref> The CBGB and Max's scene included The Ramones, Television, Blondie, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers (fronted by a former New York Doll), Richard Hell and The Voidoids, and the Talking Heads. The "punk" title was applied to these groups by early 1976, when Punk Magazine first appeared, featuring these bands alongside articles on some of the immediate role models for the new groups, such as Lou Reed and Patti Smith (who were the cover subjects of the first and second issues, respectively).

At the same time, a less celebrated, but nonetheless highly influential, scene had appeared in Ohio, including The Electric Eels, Devo, and Rocket from the Tombs (who in 1975 split into Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys).

During this same period, bands that would later be recognized as "punk" were formed independently in other locations, such as The Saints in Brisbane, Australia, The Modern Lovers in Boston, and The Stranglers and the Sex Pistols in London. There was no unified, international subculture connecting these bands in the early 1970s and many bands were amazed or even dismayed to discover like-minded musicians exploring similar sounds. Ed Kuepper of The Saints said:

One thing I remember having had a really depressing effect on me was the first Ramones album. When I heard it [in 1976], I mean it was a great record ... but I hated it because I knew we’d been doing this sort of stuff for years. There was even a chord progression on that album that we used ... and I thought, 'Fuck. We’re going to be labeled as influenced by the Ramones,' when nothing could have been further from the truth.<ref> Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2003 ibid.</ref>

These early bands also operated within small "scenes", often facilitated by enthusiastic impresarios who either operated venues, such as clubs, or organised temporary venues. In other cases, the bands or their managers improvised their own venues, such as a house inhabited by The Saints in an inner suburb of Brisbane. The venues provided a showcase and meeting place for the emerging musicians (the 100 Club in London, CBGB in New York, and The Masque in Hollywood are among the best known early punk clubs).

While the London bands may have played a relatively minor role in determining the early punk sound, the London punk scene would come to define and epitomize the rebellious punk culture. After a brief stint managing the New York Dolls at the end of their career in the US, Englishman Malcolm McLaren returned to London in May 1975. He started a clothing store called SEX that was instrumental in creating the radical punk clothing style.<ref name="Robb">Robb, John, "Punk Rock: An Oral History", Elbury Press, 2006. ISBN 0-09-190511-7</ref> He also began managing The Swankers, who would soon become the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols soon created a strong cult following in London, centered on a clique known as the Bromley Contingent (named after the suburb where many of them had grown up), who followed them around the country.<ref name="brom">Template:Cite web</ref>

An oft-cited moment in punk rock's history is a July 4, 1976 concert by the Ramones (with The Stranglers) at the Roundhouse in London. Many of the future leaders of the UK punk rock scene were inspired by this show, and almost immediately afterward, the UK punk scene found its feet.<ref name="rrhf"/> By the end of 1976, many fans of the Sex Pistols had formed their own bands, including The Clash, Joy Division, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Adverts, Generation X, The Slits, and X-Ray Spex. Other UK bands to emerge in this milieu included The Damned (the first to release a single, the classic "New Rose"),<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The Jam, The Vibrators, Buzzcocks, and the appropriately named London.

In December of 1976, the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, and Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers united for the Anarchy Tour, a series of gigs throughout the UK. Many of the gigs were cancelled by venue owners,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> after tabloid newspapers and other media seized on sensational stories regarding the antics of both the bands and their fans. The notoriety of punk rock in the UK was advanced by an infamous televised incident that was widely publicised in the tabloid press: on Thames Today, a London TV show, guitarist Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols was goaded into a verbal altercation by the host, Bill Grundy, swearing at him on live television in violation of then-accepted standards of propriety.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

One of the first books about punk rock — The Boy Looked at Johnny by Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons (December 1977) — declared the punk movement to be already over: the subtitle was The Obituary of Rock and Roll. The title echoed a lyric from the title track of Patti Smith's 1975 album Horses.<ref>Burchill, Julie, Parsons, Tony, "The Boy Looked At Johnny: The Obituary of Rock and Roll", 1978, Pluto Press, UK, ISBN 0-86104-030-9</ref>

During the later 1970s, between 1977 and 1978, a second wave of bands emerged, heavily influenced by those mentioned above. These included The Misfits (from New Jersey), Black Flag (from Los Angeles), Stiff Little Fingers (from Northern Ireland), and Crass (from Essex). Some of these bands would later lead the movement towards the hardcore subgenre.

In London, punk interacted with the Jamaican reggae and ska subcultures.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> This reggae influence is evident in much of the music of The Clash, The Police and The Slits, for example. By the end of the 1970s, punk had spawned the 2 Tone ska revival movement, including bands such as The Beat (The English Beat in U.S.), The Specials, Madness, and The Selecter.

Gradually, punk became more varied and less minimalist, with bands such as The Clash and The Police incorporating other underground musical influences like ska and rockabilly and even jazz into their music, but the message of the music remained the same; it was subversive, counter-cultural, rebellious, politically incorrect and often anarchist. Punk rock dealt with topics like problems facing society, oppression of the lower classes, the threat of a nuclear war, and such. Often it was personal but no less critical: many songs concerned the individual's personal problems, such as being unemployed, or having particular emotional and/or mental issues (e.g. depression). Punk rock was a message to society that all was not well and all were not equal.

[edit] Subgenres of punk

Image:Ebbaflagga12.jpg
The Swedish punk band Ebba Grön, a poster from 1981

While it is thought that the style of punk from the 1970s had a decline in the 1980s, many sub-genres branched off playing their own interpretation of punk rock.

New Wave and its attendant subculture arose along with the earliest punk groups; indeed "punk" and "New Wave" were originally interchangeable terms. Soon after the term gained popularity, a division emerged between the two genres: music that tended more toward experimentation, lyrical complexity, or more polished production, notably bands such as Talking Heads, Television and Devo, were called "New Wave" rather than "punk".<ref name="rip">Reynolds, Simon, "Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984", Faber and Faber, 21 April 2005, ISBN 0-571-21569-6</ref> Combining elements of early punk music and fashion with a far more pop oriented and less "dangerous" style in the early 1980s, typified by artists such as The Cars, Blondie, Elvis Costello, The Police and even Duran Duran, New Wave became one of the most popular music movements of its time.

The United States saw the emergence of hardcore punk, which is known for fast, aggressive beats and, in many cases, politically or socially aware lyrics. Early hardcore bands include Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Bad Brains, Social Distortion, The Descendents, early Replacements, Bad Religion, and The Germs and the movement developed via Minor Threat, Minutemen and Hüsker Dü, among others. In New York, there was a large hardcore punk movement led by bands such as Agnostic Front, The Cro-Mags, Murphy's Law, Sick of it All, and Gorilla Biscuits. Other styles emerged from this new genre including skate punk, emo and straight edge.

Music samples:

</div> In the UK, meanwhile, diverse post-punk bands emerged, such as Joy Division, Throbbing Gristle, The Fall, Gang of Four, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and Public Image Ltd, with the latter two bands featuring veterans of the original British punk rock movement. Sometimes confused with New Wave, post-punk was closely tied to the emerging indie scene and independent record labels such as Rough Trade Records and Factory Records. The music was often dark, arty, abrasive, and experimental, drawing inspiration from sources such as Krautrock, dance music, and David Bowie.

Oi! is a subgenre of punk rock that sought to align punk with a working-class street-level following. Many of the prominent bands predated the naming of the genre by a few years; it wasn't until the 1980s that journalist Garry Bushell gave Oi! its name, partly derived from the Cockney Rejects song "Oi! Oi! Oi!".<ref name="Robb"/> This movement featured bands such as Cock Sparrer, Sham 69, Blitz and The Blood.

Bands sharing the Ramones' bubblegum pop influences formed their own brand of punk, sporting melodic songs and lyrics more often dealing with relationships and simple fun than most punk rock's nihilism and anti-establishment stance. Along with the Ramones, such bands as the Buzzcocks, The Rezillos and Generation X led the way to pop punk.

[edit] Legacy and recent developments

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The underground punk movement in the United States and the United Kingdom produced countless bands that either evolved from a punk rock sound, or applied its spirit and DIY ethics to a completely different sound. By the end of the 1980s, these bands had largely eclipsed their punk forebearers and were termed alternative rock. As alternative bands like Sonic Youth and the Pixies started to gain larger audiences, major labels sought to capitalize on a market that had been growing underground for the past 10 years.

In 1991, Nirvana achieved huge commercial success with their album, Nevermind. The band cited punk as a key influence on their music.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Although they sometimes labelled themselves as punk rock and championed many unknown punk icons (as did many other alternative rock bands), Nirvana's music was equally akin to other forms of garage rock, indie rock and heavy metal that had existed for decades. Nirvana's success fueled the alternative rock boom that had been underway since the late 1980s, and helped define that segment of 1990s popular music. The resulting shift in popular taste was chronicled in the film 1991: The Year Punk Broke, which featured Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, and Sonic Youth.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Praise for previously obscure punk acts by the popular alternative rock artists helped lead to a punk rock resurgence in popular culture in the 1990s, especially in North America. In 1994, bands like Green Day, The Offspring, Rancid, and Bad Religion experienced massive crossover success with the aid of MTV and major radio stations like KROQ-FM.<ref name=punkbroke>Gold, Jonathan. "The Year Punk Broke". SPIN. November 1994.</ref> While some bands signed to major labels (Green Day signed to Reprise Records in 1994),<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> indie labels like Epitaph Records (started by Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion and the home of the skate punk sound of The Offspring, Pennywise, NOFX, and Rancid), also benefited from punk's resurgence. Green Day's commercial success paved the way for a wave of pop-punk at the turn of the century. Examples of bands labelled as pop punk include blink-182, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte and Sum 41. The late 1990s also saw a ska punk revival, which continued into the 2000s with bands like Streetlight Manifesto, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Some in the punk community were wary of the music being co-opted by the mainstream.<ref name="punkbroke" /> By the late 1990s, punk rock was so ingrained in Western culture that punk trappings were sometimes used to sell commercial bands as rebels. Some punk rockers complained that by signing to major labels and appearing on MTV, punk bands were buying into the system that punk was created to rebel against (although punk's earliest pioneers also released work on major labels).

Many of the popular indie rock bands of the 2000s have been heavily influenced by garage rock, protopunk and early punk rock. Examples include The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Vines, The Hives, The White Stripes, The Strokes and The Libertines.

[edit] See also

[edit] Sound samples

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

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[edit] External links

Punk rock
2 Tone - Anarcho-punk - Anti-folk - Art punk - Celtic punk - Cowpunk - Crust punk - Dance-punk - Deathcountry - Death pop - Deathrock - Digital hardcore - Electro rock - Emo - Folk punk - Gaelic punk - Garage punk - Glam punk - Gothabilly - Hardcore punk - Post-hardcore - Horror punk - Jazz punk - Mod revival - Nazi punk - New Wave - No Wave - Noise rock - Oi! - Pop punk - Post-punk - Protopunk - Psychobilly - Punk blues - Punk Pathetique - Queercore - Riot grrrl - Scum punk - Ska punk - Skate punk - Streetpunk - Synthpunk - Taqwacore
Other topics
DIY ethic - Forerunners of punk music - First wave punk musicians - Second wave punk musicians - Punk subculture - Punk movies - Punk fashion - Punk ideology - Punk visual art - Punk dance - Punk literature - Punk zine - Rock Against Communism - Straight edge
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Punk rock

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