Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY (do it yourself) ethic, with many bands self-producing their recordings and distributing them through informal channels.
By late 1976, bands such as the Ramones, in New York City, and the Sex Pistols and The Damned, in London, were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement. The following year saw punk rock spreading around the world. Punk quickly, though briefly, became a major cultural phenomenon in the United Kingdom. For the most part, punk took root in local scenes that tended to reject association with the mainstream. An associated punk subculture emerged, expressing youthful rebellion and characterized by distinctive styles of clothing and adornment and a variety of anti-authoritarian ideologies.
By the beginning of the 1980s, faster, more aggressive styles such as hardcore and Oi! had become the predominant mode of punk rock. Musicians identifying with or inspired by punk also pursued a broad range of other variations, giving rise to post-punk and the alternative rock movement. By the turn of the century, pop punk had been adopted by the mainstream, with bands such as Green Day and The Offspring bringing the genre widespread popularity.
Pop punk is a fusion genre combining the catchy attributes of some of the original punk rock groups with trends in contemporary pop music. Pop punk music is usually more melodic and cleaner-sounding than the original punk rock music of the late 1970s. It developed in several cities throughout the world in the 1980s and early 1990s, although it was largely California-based bands that achieved widespread popularity in the mid 1990s. The sound broke into the mainstream with the popularity of Green Day and The Offspring's respective albums, Dookie and Smash. Other pop punk bands who have achieved mainstream success include blink-182, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Sum 41, New Found Glory, Fall Out Boy, and original Panic! at the Disco.
The Clash were an English rock group that existed from 1976 to 1986. One of the most successful and iconic bands from the original wave of punk rock in the late 1970s, they went on to incorporate punk with reggae, rockabilly, dance and eventually many other music styles into their repertoire. They were legendary for their uncommonly intense stage performances.
From their earliest days as a band, The Clash stood apart from their peers with their musicianship, as well as their lyrics; the passionate, left wing political idealism in the lyrics of frontmen Joe Strummer and Mick Jones contrasted with the anarchic nihilism of the Sex Pistols and the basic simplicity of The Ramones. Although they were a major success in the United Kingdom from the release of their first album in 1977, they did not become popular in the United States until 1980.
Their third album, the late 1979 release London Calling is considered by many critics one of the greatest albums in the entire history of rock music; it was then released in the U.S. in January, 1980 and a decade later Rolling Stone magazine declared it the best album of the 1980s.