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    

The Angry Samoans Inside My Brain Bad Trip Lp PunkThe Wanderers Only Lovers Left Alive Lp Polydor Uk 70s Punk Vg+ Stiv BatorsMinor Threat 1st 7"ep 1st Pressing (red) Dischord Kbd Vinyl ExBad Brains Pay To Cum 7" W/sleeve&insert Kbd Punk Necros Fix Mc Rad Hc Minor Threat / In My Eyes 7" W/insert Nm Dischord Bad Brains Misfits Kbd Punk Misfits Horror Business 7" Ep Original 1979 Plan 9 Yellow Vinyl Ex + Insert KbdThe Mad-fried Egg 7" 1979 Orig. W/poster Sleeve-punk-nyhc-misfits-kbd Rare!Misfits "halloween" Original 1981 Plan 9 Pl1017 With Insert Near Mint!Poison Idea Pick Your King Original Fatal Erection 7" Clear Vinyl Punk Kdb ExNecros Iq32 7" Dischord W/insert, Negative Approach, Black Flag, Kbd HardcoreRazar - Stamp Out Disco 1978 Killer Original Oz Punk Never Played As New!Public Image Ltd / Pil/ Sex Pistold Rare Original 1979 Uk Poster / Punk / Kbd !! Stimulators Loud Fast Rules 7" Orig Kbd Punk Cro Mags Fear Antidote Bad Brains Keith Kessler - Don't Crowd Me - Mega Rare Psych Garage Punk Mtw Seattle 45Misfits "3 Hits From Hell" Plan 9 7" Autographed By Danzig & Jerry OnlyFilth Don't Hide Your Hate 7" Very Rare Dutch Punk/kbd 1978 Plurex HelmettesBags "survive" Orig Us 1978 Dangerhouse 7" Nm! Punk Kbd Germs Black Flag Nm!Negative Trend 7" Ep Ex Orig Heavy Manners 1978 Kbd Diy Flipper Toiling Midgets Snix - Coeur De Lion , (1985), Rar, Ror, Oi, Skin, Rock-o-rama Necros Conquest For Death 7" 1983 Touch & Go Kbd Pushead Vinyl NmThe Randoms Lets Get Rid Of Ny 7" Orig Dangerhouse Kbd Vinyl Nm!Svart Framtid - 1984 7'' E.p Original Norway Punk Hc Rattus Riistetyt Mob 47The Avengers Us 1978 Dangerhouse 7" Ex Punk Kbd Germs Black FlagJudge New York Crew Schism 7" Nyhc Punk Sxe Warzone Gorilla BiscuitsThe Sex Pistols,god Save The Queen,uk 7" Picture Disc.rare EdtThe Snivelling Shits Terminal Stupid 45 1977 Ghetto Rockers Picture Sleeve Punk The Fartz Because This World 7" Ep First Press Orig Kbd PunkRazar -stamp Out Disco 1978 Killer Oz Punk Blue Label Never Played Near MintTurnstile Limited Gatefold 7" This Is Hardcore 2014 Hardcore Trapped Under IceStrangled No 2 Rare Original 1977 Uk Fanzine / Punk / Kbd / Stranglers / The JamMollesters "plastic" Ep Original Plurex Records 1978 Nm KbdMekons Never Been In A Riot 45 1978 Uk Fast Productions Punk Picture SleeveSeptic Death Pushead Skinhead Punk Lp Pusmort 0012-01Return Of The Living Dead - French Press Vinyl Lp - Cramps Damned TsolThe Ramones Rockaway Beach 45 1977 Uk Sire Records Picture Sleeve Punk 999 Rare Uk 1977 Memorabilia / Punk / Kbd/1977 Handbill / Set List / Press PhotoThe Adverts Rare Original Uk 1977 Hand Written Set List / Punk / Pistols / ClashRamones ** 1978 Promo 1-sided 45The Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks Lp Uk N Mint Nm Vinyl Record AlbumDash Rip Rock Marsupial 7" 45 Punk Rock Kbd New Orleans Louisiana Lost HighwayJohnny Moped No One 45 Uk Chiswick 1977 Picture Sleeve Punk Top CopyThe Steroids Rare Unreleased Band 1979 Demo Tape Punk / Kbd / Sex Pistols /clashProtex Don't Ring Me Up 45 78 Uk Rough Trade Good Vibrations Punk Picture SleeveEnglands Glory, Freedom Of Speech? - Rock-o-rama , 1983, Rar, Oi, SkinGorilla Biscuits 7 Inch Yellow Vinyl 1988 Hardcore Punk Revelation RecordsLack Of Knowledge ~ Grey Ep ** 1983 Crass 45The Throb-black-turn My Head Dirty Garage-punk-freakbeat Oz Promo-45/1966Turnstile Gatefold 7" This Is Hardcore 2014 Trapped Under IceStrangled No 3 Rare Original 1977 Uk Fanzine / Punk / Kbd / Stranglers / 999 !!!Kraut Unemployed 7" Original Black Flag Rancid Punk Rock Minor Threat The Replacements Let It Be 1984 Mn Punk Lp Twin Tone Nm The Bleach Boys - Chloroform 1978 Tramp Punk 45rpm Mega Rare 1000 Copys Only Vg+Cock Sparrer Runnin' Riot / Sister Suzie 45 1977 Uk Decca Records Punk Dinosaur Jr I Bet On Sky Purple Vinyl Near Mint 2012 Sonic Youth Black FlagPirates-45-killerkool And Crude 1966 Louisiana Garage-punkThe Homosexuals Hearts In Exile 7'' 45 Rare Uk Ps 1978 Wave Punk ( * Listen * )Deadbeats - Kill The Hippies 1978 Dangerhouse Punk Germs Sf Rare Original NmRed Rage - Total Control '80 Uk Nwobhm Punk Kbd Private Metal 7” @@ Listen @@Ramones 7'' We Want The Airwaves Netherlands Issue 1981Bad Brains, Pay To Cum B/w Stay Close To Me, Rare Original 45! Prank Productions