Top 10 Punk Anthems

Script written by Sean Harris. Pull on your band t-shirt and break out the strong-hold hair gel ‘cause this is gonna be all killer, no filler! For this list, we’ve chosen songs that have helped defined the punk music genre but are also sure to get you pumped. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 punk anthems. Special thanks to our users Sam Estes, jose armandiux wasdf and heyheyjchey for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Sean Harris.

Pull on your band t-shirt and break out the strong-hold hair gel ‘cause this is gonna be all killer, no filler! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 punk anthems.

For this list, we’ve chosen songs that have helped defined the punk music genre but are also sure to get you pumped.

#10: “Institutionalized” (1983)
Suicidal Tendencies

We begin with a track that overtook MTV like no other punk song had before it. “Institutionalized” wasn’t a chart success, but it did stumble into our stream of consciousness, and made a lot of noise doing so! A hectic, hoarse account of damaging relationships with friends, and more importantly, with parents, it became a staple soundtrack to growing up, and to busting out! “All he wanted was a Pepsi,” and now he’s got a top ten finish!

#9: “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” (2005)
Dropkick Murphys

Who needs lotsa lyrics when you have this much energy! The song is 14 lines of sheer adrenaline! Dropkick Murphys hail from Massachusetts, so this could be seen as a homecoming jam – it’s certainly been adopted for many a local interest: notably being on the soundtrack to Boston-based crime flick, “The Departed! It’s Celtic chaos; it’s proof that punk didn’t die at the turn of the century!

#8: “Basket Case” (1994)
Green Day

They’re pop punk royalty, Dookie is their standout album, and “Basket Case” is the Green Day anthem! With this song, the trio took the ‘90s and shook them wide-awake! It was written in response to lead singer Billie Joe’s mental health issues, and has since become a go-to track for anyone who feels like an outsider. It’s frank, it’s fun, it’s sing-along, it’s shout-along. A real crowd pleaser, we definitely “have the time to listen to them whine”!

#7: “Rise Above” (1981)
Black Flag

This is the punk movement boiled down to its fundamentals. Society says that we should behave in a certain way, but we want to do things differently. Society can mock us, laugh at us or punish us, but we’ll fulfill the track’s title, and “rise above”! In writing this record, Black Flag gave us the anarchy instruction booklet, the how-to of hardcore! It’s a classic that’s just gotten better with age; it’s still relevant, and still riot-worthy!

#6: “Holiday in Cambodia” (1980)
Dead Kennedys

If attacking global politics is your aim, then punk music is one of the best mediums to do it through! The Dead Kennedys do not hold back on this track in which they condemn the infamous Pol Pot dictatorship in Cambodia, and trash the complacent westerner who’s oblivious to it all. The Kennedys know who’s to blame, and they live a lot closer to home than we’d care to admit! Just edging out the band’s “Too Drunk to Fuck”, this track’s too angry to overlook!

#5: “Time Bomb” (1985)
Rancid

The ska punk sound is one that sizzles with angst, and Rancid are a band that nails it! We might have included “Ruby Soho”, or any of their bullish back-catalogue, but “Time Bomb” takes it, and deservedly so. Another tale of an outsider, the Cadillac driving, white shoes-wearer is a boy who’s fallen in with the wrong sort. It’s gang culture and inevitable tragedy; it’s raw vocal chords and a pulsating hook. A time bomb that’s ticking all the right boxes!

#4: “London Calling” (1979)
The Clash

The pace slackens and the gloom intensifies for our next track. Lead vocalist of The Clash, Joe Strummer was an avid news reader, and the apocalyptic lyrics in “London Calling” are reflective of his global anxieties. It’s the late 1970s... an ice age was coming, the Cold War was rife, and London was susceptible to flooding. Strummer put problem to pen and paper, and produced the murky magnificence that we have today. With records like “White Riot” and “I Fought The Law,” The Clash was anti-authority incarnate – but this brooding number tops them all!

#3: “Bro Hymn” (1991)
Pennywise

In third place, we have to-the-point lyrics, and to-the-heart sentiment. “Bro Hymn” is for anyone who has ever lost a friend. Pennywise bassist Jason Thirsk wrote it originally for three of his friends; however, when he died in 1996, the band re-recorded it and released it as “Bro Hymn Tribute”, this time memorializing “Jason Matthew Thirsk” in the lyrics. Punk music just got personal, and as such has made it onto our podium!

#2: “Blitzkrieg Bop” (1976)
Ramones

First wavers Ramones were punk pioneers and legacy builders. “I Wanna Be Sedated” is just edged out by “Blitzkrieg Bop”, their debut single – and it’s an enduring classic that’s often covered, or at least sampled, in modern rock shows. Ironically, the band admits they borrowed the idea for the song’s chant from bouncy bubblegum-ers The Bay City Rollers. But “Hey! Ho! Let’s go” has since evolved into a mantra: it set the tone for their live gigs, and also forpunk music in general. It’s so simple that it’s special!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Banned From the Roxy” (1978) Crass
- “Straight Edge” (1981) Minor Threat
- “Lust for life” (1977) Iggy Pop
- “Stickin’ in My Eye” (1992) NOFX

#1: “Anarchy in the U.K.” (1976)
Sex Pistols

The blueprint for everything that followed, The Sex Pistols’ debut single is nearly as shocking today as it was back then. Originally released with EMI, the label quickly pulled the plug on Johnny Rotten and company following unprecedented controversy and unpredictable publicity. The opening lines are immortal, the music is raw, the anger is palpable. With this and later record, “God Save the Queen”, The Pistols defined anti-establishment, slapped society in the face, and revolutionized the music industry!

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite punk anthem? For more anarchistic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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