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]

317X

317X

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]

Mybeatles.net

Mybeatles.net

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 Damned Hit Or Miss 1980 Chiswick Uk Dj Promo 1-sided Test Pressing 7" 45rpmSex Pistols Original 1980 Rock N Roll Swindle Lp + Original Stunning Poster ExRudi - Big Time - Irish Punk - Fold Out Sleeve - Very Good++28 Rebelles Isd Européens Rock-o-rama Oi Skinhead Punk Böhse Ror OnkelzThe Damned - New Rose - Uk Issue - 1976 - White Vinyl - Very Good++Wire - Pink Flag - Punk Rock Lp - Original Lyrics Inner SleeveThe Strong Survive Lp 1990 Ror Oi Isd Skinhead RebellesThe Sex Pistols Mega Rare Sweden 2 X Lp 300 Press Punk The Jam Clash Damned ModWire - Chairs Missing - Punk Rock Lp - Original Lyrics Inner Sleeve - U.k.7" Vinyl - The Damned - Neat Neat Neat - 1977 Stiff Buy 10Zero Boys:vicious Circle Lp" Kbd ! OriginalWar Zone Lower East Side Crew E.p. Revelation:1 7" HardcoreRamones - Self Titled - Punk Rock Lp - Shrink WrapBc - Charles Martel Lp 1986 Ror Oi Isd Skinhead RebellesMike Jones Group - Funny Feeling - Very Rare 60's Garage Fuzz Punk Canada Jet 45Underdog "test Press" Bridge 9 Nyhc Bad Brains Cro-mags Soia Kbd Oop B9 Rare SxeFear The Record Lp Rare 1st Press Vinyl Germs Black Flag Bags Circle Jerks NmSex Pistols Lot Of 21 Lps 45 Cdrs Never Mind Sid Sings My Way Pic Disc Ksan PilSex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks - Uk Picture Disc - Vp 2086The Replacements Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash Lp Rare 1st Press PunkThe Jam Very Rare 7" England I Miss You Now 600 Press Paul Weller Mod PunkThe Jam 100 Press Studio B15 Clear Vinyl 7" Uber Rare Paul Weller Punk ModSex Pistols Lp Anarchy In The Usa Featuring Sid Vicious The Scabs 1979 Uk Orig.uk 1st Press 7" + 2 Inserts. Numbered Sleeve. Punk Ep. Television~marquee Moon~rare Orig '77 Elektra Lp~punk Milestone~mintThe Damned New Rose 7" Original Fully Signed Stiff Records Buy 6 Rare Mint VinylThe Clash - London Calling - Ultra Rare Fully Signed 12" Vinyl LpThe Jam, Paul Weller - Rare 4 Trax Ep 7" 400 Press Mod Punk The Style Council7 Inch Single Sex Pistols God Save The Queen Japan Ramones Same Philips Rj-7175 Japanese Pressing Vinyl LpWire - 154 - Punk Rock Lp - Original Lyrics Inner SleeveJoe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Streetcore (2003) Uk 12” Album The ClashPunk Record Collection Lot X 25 Vinyl 7" Ps Singles Calsh/pistols/vibratorsLot 5 - 100 X Oldskool Collection - Hardcore - Rave - Acid House Awesome Warlord Lp 1989 Ror Oi Isd Skinhead RebellesFalling Idols:hwh Lp" Kbd OriginalThe Damned-don't Cry Wolf Belgium 7" 45 Orange Vinyl Stiff Cou/b/buy24 Nm-/vg-Pete Newnham***rudi***outside My Window***punk***listen To Both TracksSex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks Very Rare Uk Red, Pink & White Label VersionAlkaline Trio Sundials 7" Asian Man Lawrence Arms Punk Vinyl NofxRamones - Leave Home - Punk Rock Lp - Shrink Wrap - Original Lyrics Inner SleeveRare - Ramones - S/t - In Shrink - Where It All Started - Excellent!!!Joblot Records Punk & Indy Vinyl Collection Lp Collection 20 RecordsPaul Weller Turn On, Tune In, Press Record 7" 500 Press Only Mod The Jam PunkBlack Flag Iii - Henry Rollins - Damaged - Roadrunner - Rare!!!The Clash London Calling [ltd Edt Box Set, 7" Single,poster,1 Badge The Clash - 6 Lp's - Never Played - Mint Condition - Vinyl - Some Sealed-job LotSex Pistols - Screen On The Green - Vinyl - PunkThe Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks Stereo Virgin Records Lp V 2086 A7 / B6Punk-the Nosebleeds-aint Been To No Music School/facist Pigs-uk Rabid+psThe Saints - I'm Stranded - Punk Rock Lp - U.k. ImportToxic Ephex / Shrapnel Split E.p. Punk Crass Kbd RareDanzig White Vinyl Skeletons Lp Record Samhain MisfitsThe Clash "london Calling" 12" Double Vinyl Record Set - Cbs/epic 1979 Vg Riot/clone - Destroy The Myth Of Musical Destruction E.p. Punk Crass Kbd RareThe System - Warfare E.p. Punk Crass Kbd RareThe Damned ‎– The Lost 77 E.p Rare Clear Vinyl 7" Ps Mint!The Escalators - Munsters Theme 7" Single Vinyl Psychobilly Punk Garage MeteorsThe Clash London Calling/armagideon Time Oz Epic Es-419 7" 1979 Pic Sleeve PunkDoom - Double Peel Sessions L.p. Punk Crass Antisect Kbd Rare