10 Best Singles From The Golden Age Of Punk

They all meant it, man!


The golden age of punk ran from 1976 to approximately 1978, with a handful of exceptions. 1976 was effectively year zero, the time when all of the heavyweights either formed a band or shifted their existing bands into the Sex Pistols' slipstream. There were a number of key influencers who'd been stirring things up, notably the likes of Dr Feelgood, The New York Dolls, The Stooges and The Velvet Underground, but the bands they influenced quickly found their own unique mojo.

The essence of a great single has never really changed: a great tune, a memorable chorus, a distinctive sound and the ability to instantly place you in the spot where you were when you first heard it, every time it comes on the radio. All of the entries on this list tick every one of those boxes and then some. There are enough classics to fill a top 100, but with the proviso of one entry per act, this is a pretty definitive rundown.

Given how many great acts didn't make the cut - Generation X, Television, Buzzcocks, Siouxsie, Sham 69, Wire and The Ruts to name just a handful - it is testament to how great punk was and how timeless the best of the music was. Here's the ten best singles - not necessarily the ten best bands!

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The Ramones
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Lifelong music obsessive, regular contributor to US guitar magazines, sometime radio presenter, singer/guitarist in Star Studded Sham, true believer in the power of rock'n'roll and an amp turned up to 11.