It's been while now I write stuff about punk music, and in order to do so, I've listened to dozens and dozens of albums classified as punk, some really good and... the other ones. This is rather basically how slowly came the idea to write the current article, product of several years of latent reflexion. I wouldn't be able to make something that pretentious for a long time, so enjoy...
I tried to be honest, and to give you poor english-reading people a more realistic state of things. Since Internet has gone mainstream, it seems that American punk rock is the only historically relevant kind of punk music, and as a pissed European I couldn't stand any longer to read that the ten most influential punk albums were nearly all recorded by American citizens. To be plainly fair, I'd like to add that I'm not one of those anti-american morons who populates Europe, without the US bands I would never had any interest in that weird thing called music, but to me and my mates, back in the days, as we were teenagers living in a our post-industrial borough nearby the Rhine ( a place filled with whiggers and their islamic counterparts) punk seemed to belong to another era and we only had a blurred picture of the original punks who used to walk in our streets. Nonetheless one thing was clear those extinct punk fuckers mimicked the Brits, not the Yanks. My youth had always made me think it's just completely wrong to minor the UK punk forefathers' contribution on the creation and the evolution of the music that made us grown-ups. So here's my lonely voice, comin' from the depths of the current european nightmare, isolated in a sea of US-based blogs only talking about american pop culture...
The records described down below aren't the better ones, but those who made punk music evolve into new directions through decades, be it great or not.
10. London Calling - The Clash (1979)
9. Dookie - Green Day (1994)
Note : For the angrier of you, feel yourself satisfied with this in a few years you'll read everywhere that 'American idiot' is the third most influential punk album all time.
8. Ramones - The Ramones (1976)
7. The Feeding of the 5000 - Crass (1978)
6. The scream - Siouxsie and the banshees (1978)
5. Punk's not dead - The Exploited (1981)
4. Damaged - Black Flag (1981)
or from the Midwest depths. Among those bands you'll always find three names : Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat and Black Flag. The latter is for me the band that contributed the most to the "new" hardcore sound rising with something nastier, louder, more shouted, and going far from critics about the british/european society to focus more on (US) politics, drugs or the glorious suburbian way of life we're now in Europe partially living too. The evil seeds of the american hardcore shit are all in 'Damaged'.
3. Hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing - Discharge (1982)
More than G.b.h., Discharge is responsible for having inspired the best D-beat or "krangpunk" bands mostly from the UK and Scandinavia, those who will later inspire remoted acts like grindcore bands, the original Gotenburg death metal founders or even bands from the first wave of black metal (Bathory's founder used to dig some G.b.h and Discharge). The influence of this record goes well beyond the sole punk movement and set things for most of the extreme derivatives of rock'n'roll. This is the reason I always find it quite ridiculous when a death metal nerd or a black metal misanthrop explains me how much punk in his opinion sucks. Roots, bloody roots, morons...
2. Damned, damned, damned ! - The Damned (1977)
1.Nevermind the bollocks (Here's the Sex Pistols) - The Sex Pistols (1977)
As the Brits couldn't play music ex nihilo they used the american rock matrix, that's sure, but no one before the Pistols had matched to this point an agressive but light sound, a defying and provocative attitude along with a "I don't give a shit" creed. Achieving something greater than just degenerated 50s rock, McLaren's boys band allowed to an incalculable number of kids to discover that great music existed between Mozart, the Beatles and all the others gross hippie/Motown/ethnic pieces of shit we still have to hear every day everywhere. You got the picture, this record came to define what punk was and somehow still is, and its legacy gets far beyond this scene. This rock monument set things right for a long time, and made countless bands in every country go into new directions. So thank you Sex Pistols, and farewell...
Special mention : Slime - Slime (1981)
The generally accepted starting point of all this crazy deutschpunk nebula is Slime, defining what a classic german punk band should sound like. Nothing too excentric here, musically speaking, even if the musicians are playing in a somewhat typical german/continental way imo. No, the music is quite good but it's not what really makes Slime that important to me. If you want to understand what's so great about Slime, you'll have to dig their lyrics and know some history. They were among the firsts to make an agressive rock with german lyrics, bringing an uncompromising anarchist attitude straight into the heart of the post-nazi western State. Slime showed young Germans you could sing in german without being a total sold out, or even worst, a patriot and still make something you could be proud of. To this day some of their most controversial songs, like 'Germany has to die' or ' Police, SA, SS' are still banned by the federal government, an honour usually only for Third Reich nostalgia classic moronic stuff or islamist paedophiles. Yeah they shook the Krauts, definitely.
I could also have told you a word about Schleim Keim, Slime's GDR equivalent, also banned by their State authorities, but their sound is way too cheap and lo-fi to be really influent.