Top Twenty Proto-Punk Bands: An Incomplete List

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This past July, our sister paper LA Weekly pulled its collected sources at their West Coast Sound music blog and delivered a list of the "Top 20" punk albums in history. A fairly grandiose scheme on their behalf, and thus bound to fall short in some respects, especially for those committed to the genre. Sure, you have your Ramones and your Bad Brains in there, but Internet punkers took offense to the inclusions of Refused, Green Day, and Rancid.

Personally, I wasn't offended by the listing. But, given the scope of the undertaking, and in concern of subgenres, today we'll start to complete the list with twenty proto-punk acts that laid the path followed by many of the acts included in LA Weekly's list. Your comments on the topic are most welcome below.

See also:
- Top 20 Punk Albums in History: The Complete List


20. Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
Domingo Samudio and his Pharaohs traveled the land in a cosmic hearse, spreading a gospel of piano-driven rockers that were silly and fun. Though unfortunately relegated to the "oldies" stations of today, they still provide some of the finest offerings in the kingdom of rock and roll. Campy, surfy, and progressive with those swank Arab duds, Sam and the Pharaohs were no sham!


19. Ralph Nielsen and the Chancellors
I do not know too much about this band, but I do know that this track in particular "Scream!!!," a 1962 B side, is by far one of the few songs in the whole planet that can rev up my mornings and deserves inclusion in any real rockers' musical arsenal.


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7 comments
el.dougco
el.dougco

Thank you californiauberalles,

How are Iggy & the Stooges 18? And how is Velvet Underground 9? VU was the absolute precursor to punk. And yes, where are the Modern Lovers, and Television, and maybe even Patti Smith? Even in your description of CB & his MB, your #1 choice, you fuck up, lauding Safe As Milk over Trout Mask Replica, and Clear Spot. Non-bravo.

californiauberalles
californiauberalles

Absolute crap, you're rating death above the stooges or MC5??What have you been smoking? where is Suicide, the NY dolls, the Electric Eels, the modern lovers, simply saucer etc. ??

Ydnar Orip
Ydnar Orip

Excellent article! Several of my faves on this list

los13punx
los13punx

Good list , not big on Small Faces but everything else is on point . Mc5 should be 2 or 3 , at least!

Mike Watson
Mike Watson

Brilliant insights, but then, I'd expect nothing less from Abel.

Adam Matza
Adam Matza

Usually these list articles suck, but this one is really good. I'd have VU higher, but really interesting stuff.

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