This list was inspired by my finding the "Best Punk Album In The World... Ever" in my collection. Given that only two of these six songs are on that compilation I think we have to assume that the title is misleading (and given that The Motors and the fucking Tubes are on it!!). Punk, for the sake of this list, is going by a fairly narrow definition - music made in the late 70s and early 80s by young scruffy people with guitars.
I was never a punk, I liked punk music and owned Clash and Damned albums and a fair few punk singles, but I was a headbanger (which is probably why the punk bands I generally liked were very much on the rock side of punk rock - see my previous ascii illustration).
But for all my denim and leather and loud music and lusciously thick and greasy hair (swoon) I still loved pop music. Top of The Pops was still regularly viewed right into the mid 80s and I still bought singles in Boots and Smiths which is where a couple of these tracks stem from.
There is no Clash or Damned or Buzzcocks because none of them made songs that I love as much as these (except maybe The Buzzcocks who came very close to being on this list and would definitely be here if it was a Top 7).
- The Members - The Sound of the Suburbs
I have enduring memories of The Members performing Sound of the Suburbs on Top of The Pops (although it wasn't this performance so they must have been on twice - or it was on a different TV show). They looked so ordinary. Sound of the Suburbs is like a punk version of one of my other favourite songs, Pleasant Valley Sunday.
- The Rezillos - Top of the Pops
I love Faye's voice, I love the anti-corporate lyrics and the gorgeous irony of their ToTP appearance (and the major label that it was released on), and I love just how it makes me feel.
- Fatal Microbes - Violence Grows
I suspect there's a whole swathe of people who have John Peel to thank for their love of Violence Grows, I'm one of them. Honey Bane's delivery is perfect. I also remember Peel playing it years later as a comparison with Wipe it Away by Bleach. Didn't Boy George write about his love of this song in Take it Like a Man?
- The Slits - Typical Girls
I'm pretty certain that I came late to Typical Girls (and The Slits), I do own a 7" somewhere but bought it at a record fair years afterwards. I di remember a school friend lending me Cut (I guess I probably had to smuggle it into the house) and I had a tape of it around but probably never listened as much as I should have.
- The Newtown Neurotics - Blitzkrieg Bop
I saw The Newtown Neurotics a couple of times in the mid 80s. This is obviously a cover of The Ramones track but has a wonderful anti-war lyric and one of my favourite song endings ever... "and we've gone"
- Television Personalities - Part Time Punks
Part Time Punks was all I knew of the Television Personalities until quite recently. I can't remember how or when I became aware of this song and it wasn't until the TVPs back-catalogue arrived on eMusic that I discovered that they were much more than just this one track.