When Did Punk Rock Really Start?

While many people associate punk rock as a genre that really took off in the 1970s, it’s a type of music that has been around for much longer than that. In fact, many of today’s punk bands as well as some of the classics probably would not exist had it not been for some of the pioneers in the field.

The biggest question about punk rock involves just when it first came to be. It’s a form of rock music that has been around for a while but at the same time it can be a real challenge to try and figure out just when it first came around.

Can You Place a Year?

Like with just about every other form of rock music, it is next to impossible trace exactly when punk rock first came to be. Some people argue that the formation of bands such as the Sonics and Question Mark and the Mysterians in the early 1960s were a big part of the formation of punk rock. Others say that the Kingsmen’s 1963 hit Louie Louie was a critical part of the history of the genre as well.

The formation of bands like the Small Faces, MC5, the Velvet Underground and the Stooges were also believed to be important to the history of the genre and all those happened in the middle part of the 1960s.

What is certain is that the music from all these bands exists to this day. The big question is just how important they actually were to the development of punk rock as a whole.

What About 1977?

It is completely understandable when people say that 1977 was a huge year for punk rock. After all, many critical things happened in the genre in that year. Essential acts like Blondie, the Clash, Elvis Costello, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, Suicide, Talking Heads, Television and Wire all had influential albums in that same year.

Still, a number of those acts had released albums of their own in the prior year and had started touring around the same time. Acts like the New York Dolls and the Runaways were pretty prominent at the time as well.

What Qualifies?

It’s hard to determine what qualified as punk rock back in the early days. Some might say that it involved music that was done at a fast tempo. Others would say that it has a raw quality to it where it does not seem to be all that refined or under control. Others might even believe that the music that was done beyond the concepts of what society had planned. These include acts that might have been against the establishment as it was.

One thing is for certain that many acts that foot the bill for those descriptions could be interpreted as early punk musicians. Of course, this is all based on what people in particular think about certain acts.

The fact is that it is hard to figure out exactly when punk rock really started. While it’s clear that 1977 was by far the most important year in the development of the genre, it is a form of music that has still been around since long before then and is only going to continue to evolve as time goes along.

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