Best post-punk albums of all times

An appendix to the list of rock albums | send suggestions

Compiled by Jonathan Patrick


(only one album per band)
  1. Metal box - Public Image Ltd
  2. The Modern Dance - Pere Ubu
  3. Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division
  4. S/T - Suicide
  5. Seven Songs - 23 Skidoo
  6. Deceit - This Heat
  7. Entertainment - Gang of Four
  8. LC - The Durutti Column
  9. 154 - The Wire
  10. Odyshape - The Raincoat
  11. What's THIS For.! - The Killing Joke
  12. Y - The Pop Group
  13. Red Mecca - Cabaret Voltaire
  14. Eskimo - The Residents
  15. Empires And Dance - Simple Minds
  16. Playing With a Different Sex - Au Pairs
  17. Sleep No More - The Cosmut Angels
  18. Real Life - Magazine
  19. Cut - The Slits
  20. Half Machine Lip Moves - Chrome
  21. Hex Enduction Hour - The Fall
  22. The Scream - Siouxsie And the Banshees
An Outline of Post-Punk (some defining properties and additional notes)
  • Post-Punk began (at the very earliest) in 1977 and seems to have all but wound down by 1984. When considering works for inclusion on my list I did not recognize any music that came into existence after 1984.
  • If any album was/is more closely associated with another genre or musical movement I did not consider it for this list. Notable omissions include: No-Wave (e.g., Glenn Branca), New-Wave (genereal synth-pop), Goth-Rock, and Industrial (e.g.,Throbbing Gristle and co.).
  • Despite Post-Punk's ineffable nature, it seems that there is at least one discernable property inherent in this genre. Post-punk music is, in one form or another, experimental-all but completely abandoning the Punk practice of making songs built around simplicity and the repetition of just a few chords. By adopting influences from such fringe genres as Dub and Krautrock (not to mention disco), Post-Punk bands tended to, in general, make music that rebelled (both in sound and in ethos) against Punk music proper.
  • My evaluation of the merits of the albums I examined while constructing this list, while not entirely ignorant with regard to temporal context, was far more concerned with the intrinsic value of each album itself. In other words, while I did consider how significant each album was to the Post-Punk movement as a whole, my list is built upon a somewhat more selfish assessment of each album's intrinsic worth as I see it.

    Jonathan Patrick, October 2011

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