The origins of punk are a hotly debated topic. Some say it really began in the 1960s with bands like The Sonics, the Stooges, MC5, and Velvet Underground. Others argue its true birth was in the 1970s with bands like the Ramones, New York Dolls, and Blondie.

What’s generally agreed is that the punk movement took off in mid-1970s New York, fueled in part by the notorious Manhattan venue CBGB’s. It migrated to England shortly thereafter due to the rapid popularity of the Sex Pistols and their dedicated group of fans, known as the Bromley Contingent. That group would itself spark other British punk bands, including Siouxsie and the Banshees and Generation X.

Punk is still a popular social and cultural movement today, albeit not as strong as two decades previous. Despite the ever-growing iPod and music download trends, new punk bands continue to release vinyl albums as well as CDs and mp3s. These new vinyl albums are eagerly snapped up by fans young and old, but the real demand in terms of collectibility is for original independent releases by some of the first punk bands to hit the scene.

In the late 1970s, punk was a force to be reckoned with. It had divided into multiple subgenres, many of which still exist today. Some of the most popular punk subgenres are anarcho punk, Oi!, and hardcore.

Politically and socially motivated, anarcho punk focuses on activism and speaking out against issues such as animal abuse, government intervention, and consumerism. Some of the most notable anarcho punk bands included Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, and the Subhumans.

Oi!, which came to prominence in the late 1970s, was punk for the working-class. Common topics of Oi! music included songs about poverty and police brutality. Contrary to popular belief, it was not a skinhead movement. In fact, many Oi! bands—Angelic Upstarts, Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects, and Oxymoron among them—vocally spoke out against racism.

Faster and heavier than many other punk styles, hardcore came on the scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. While some hardcore bands, most notably Minor Threat, preached a Str...

Despite the disagreements over punk’s origins and the range of preferences among fans for its various styles, the goals, characteristics, and message easily bridge the differences. Punk was all about DIY, from do-it-yourself clothing to self-released records. An anti-consumerist movement, the heart of the punk scene relied on self-expression and individual identity outside of the societal norm. Both the music and the mindset were often aggressive and confrontational, inciting activism and rebellion against an unjust society.

Today, vintage punk record collectors seek out the independent records released by the original punk labels. Dischord Records, founded by Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson of The Teen Idles and Minor Threat, issued albums and 45s by artists such as Lungfish, Youth Brigade, and Fugazi (which was started by MacKaye after Minor Threat disbanded). Among the most collectible records in the label’s catalog is Minor Disturbance by The Teen Idles—the label formed purely to release this album, which debuted after the band broke up.

SST Records, which was founded by Greg Ginn of Black Flag, promoted Black Flag’s work, as well as the output of Husker Du, Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, and Bad Brains. Considered the first hardcore album, only 500 copies of Black Flag’s 1978 Nervous Breakdown were released, making it one of the holy grails for hardcore record collectors.

Just about all of the releases by Crass Records, created by the band of the same name, are in high demand, as are the punk compilation records released by Killed By Death, known among collectors as KBD.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas pays homage to international female opera singers of the LP era. Chronicling more than 800 singers, the… [read review or visit site]



Despite its mysterious title, 317X is plain and simple—an online gallery of vintage LPs, with a 1950s vintage fee… [read review or visit site]

Jesse Barron's collection of Beatles 45s, picture sleeves, magazines, books, and memorabilia. Browse singles and al… [read review or visit site]

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

This great site, from the Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors, offers detailed background information an… [read review or visit site]

The Remington Site

The Remington Site

Since 1999, the Remington Site has offered classical music collectors a glimpse into Remington Records, an independ… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Sex Pistols Original 7" Anarchy In The U.k. Gaye Adverts Collection Punk Gg Allin~always Was, Is And Shall Be~orig '80 Orange Records Lp~autographed~punkMinor Threat Out Of Step Ep Rare 2nd Press No Stripe 1983 Ex Bad Brains JudgeThe Zipps - Don't Tell The Detectives / Friends - Uk 1979 Rip Off 45 - KbdGorilla Biscuits Start Today Lp Mint Glow In The Dark Embossed Youth Of Today The Eu's Arse / Impact Orig7" W / Inserts Class Italian Kbd Hardcore Punk 1983Buzzcocks Original Press 7" Spiral Scratch Gaye Adverts Collection Punk Clash Richard Hell 7" Blank Generation No 1 Demo Gaye Adverts Collection Punk Stranglers Browned Seasoned Thickened Lp Live Watford '83 Punk Vg++Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The U.k.1976 - Chris Thomas Mis-credit - 99p No Reserve7 Inch Single Sex Pistols God Save The Queen JapanGnats-45-dynamite 1966 Ft. Worth Texas Garage-punkWeezer - Pinkerton - Rare Original 1996 1st Pressing Punk Alt Rock Lp Shrink Ex+Gorilla Buscuits Super7 Figure Nyhc Youth Of Today Civ Judge Punk Hardcore ToyThe Clash Lp Lot Give Em Enough Rope London Calling Punk Ramones Sex Pistols 7" Submission One Sided Gaye Adverts Collection Punk Damned Clash Extremely Rare Single Sex Pistols Silly Thing Unique Portuguese Cover Sex Pistols ... Original Mega Rare Italian 7" Great Pic Sleeve... Punk DamnedJoy Division, Unknown Pleasures, Org 1979 Translucent Vinyl Lp A1/b1, Punk, Bad Brains Rock For Light Lp Rare White Vinyl Minor Threat Black Flag Warzone Bad Religion ‎how Could Hell Be Any Worse? Lp Rare 1st Press W/ Insert Ex Germs Reagan Youth ‎youth Anthems For The New Order Lp Original Press Black Flag PunkSamhain Unholy Passion Lp Danzig Undead Kbd 80's Goth Punk Plan 9 Necros YdiDepression : Money Chain Orig 7" 3 Track Ep With Poster Oz Kbd Hc Punk Rock 1984Sex Pistols Lp No Future Uk Original 1st Press Gaye Adverts Collection Punk The Surgeons - Sid Never Did It - Uk 1979 Surgery 45 - KbdIggy Pop Kill City Lp Test Press Gaye Adverts Collection Punk Stooges Mc5 The Damned - 2 7" Flexidiscs Given Away With Sugar And Spite FanzineThe Modern Lovers Self-titled Lp Vinyl Jonathan Richman Beserkley Punk Misfits Famous Monsters Lp Yellow Vinyl Japan Bonus Tracks7 Inch Single Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant JapanThe Rowdies - A.c.a.b. - Uk 1978 Bird's Nest Ep - KbdThe Clash, White Riot, Org Italian 7" Vinyl, Ex+, Dif Sleeve, Punk 45rpmEmbittered/dystopia - Split Lp1993 Hardcore Crust Grind Grief Spazz Jerry's Kids Lp Is This My World 1st Press 1983 Xclaim!boston Punk Hardcore Kbd The Adverts 7" Television's Over Signed Gaye Adverts Collection Punk Clash 88 7" Vinyl/picture Sleeves/joblot/punk/prog Rock/folk/indie/pop/rare CollectionUk Subs, C.i.d 7" Clear Vinyl, City Records, PunkFall Out Boy 7" A Little Less... Rare Vinyl Saves The Day Blink 182 Hardcore EmoPunk Ei Ole Kuollut W/insert + Labels Orig Finnish Hc Punk P-tuotanto Tape Comp.The Clash White Man In Hammersmith Palais Promotional Single First PressMxpx The Renaissance Ep Punk Rock Rare Clear Vinyl Nofx Blink 182 Alkaline Trio1985 1st Press Misfits Legacy Of Brutality Lp Horror Punk Kbd Poison Idea Plan 9Belfast - Shock Rock Various 1980 Lp - Strike / Stage B - Kbd - NwobhmThe Almighty Norma Jean Color Vinyl 2x Lp Box Set Hardcore Rare UnderoathSex Pistols - 'god Save The Queen' A&m Label "repro"Rare ( Kbd Punk Lp ) 1983 - The Replacements - Hootenanny - Twin Tone Ttr 8332The Brigands - Would I Still Be Her Big Man Garage Punk Bftg (epic)The Clean Oddities Dbl Lp Flying Nun Nz New 1st Pressing Diy Kbd XpresswayNew Wave Punk Pop Indie Rock Ska Job Lot Of Approx 200 7" Vinyl SinglesDescendents Everything Sucks Lp Rare Clear Orange Nofx Bad Religion Vandals PunkThe Clash 6 Lp, 2- 12" Ep Lot Sandinista, Give 'em Enough Rope, Combat Rock KbdFugazi 45 Sub Pop Singles Club #14 Signed By Band Sp52 Rare Minor Threat Song #1The Clash Original 7" White Riot Gaye Adverts Collection Punk Sex Pistols Cyanide-your Old Man-uk Vinyl Pinnacle 7"-punk Kbd Skinhead Oi-1979-hearThe Boys - Same 1977 Uk Lp Nems Punk/kbdDaft Punk - Discovery - 2lp Set + Inners - Very Good++Black Flag "my War" Vinyl 1984 Sst Minor Threat Bad Brains Henry Rollins Kbd DriThe Slits Typical Girls 12" Single Ep Rare 1st Press Island Records Sex Pistols The Wasps Teenage Treats 7" Vinyl 1977 Kbd Punk