Who Was The Original Pop Punk Band, Really?

21 December 2015, 16:09 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

Green Day Blink 182
James Wilson-Taylor

By James Wilson-Taylor

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Last week, we discussed when a band is pop punk or just pop and got a huge reaction from readers on both sides of the argument. Well, I've discovered yet another pop punk debate taking place on our Facebook page. This time it's less about what kind of bands are around and more who was first. Were Green Day the original pop punk act? Was it Blink? What about Gerard? And where do 5SOS fit into all this?

But here's the thing with pop punk - there have many different eras and waves of its popularity. This graph kind of sums things up pretty clearly (via tumblr):

Everyone interconnects because they've all kind of been influenced by each other.

So then who was the originator? Let's trace our way back through the pop punk timeline:


Fall Out Boy

Panic!, FOB, MCR all reach their imperial phases under the "emo" banner while the rest of pop punk's heavyweights either disappear into obscurity or heavily adapt their sound for a cleaner, stadium rock feel (Blink 182 self-titled, American Idiot etc).

Late 90s

blink 182

Peak Pop Punk. Enema Of The State brought the genre into the heart of the pop charts and countless other acts breakthrough on their coattails. The Offspring's Americana is similarly successful with at least three huge singles that eat up most of the world.

Early 90s

Dookie is everywhere (poor phrasing but you know what I mean).

Late 80s

Bad Religion, Agent Orange and Social Distortion are referred to as pop punk by magazines such as MaximumRockNRoll to distinguish their more melodic sound from their heavier contemporaries. Green Day release their debut album in 1987. California is booming with pop punk vibes.


Punk's heyday. The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramones completely shake up rock music. And among them, in the heart of the UK scene, are Buzzcocks, playing core punk to start with, but who then release this undoubted pop classic:

What a song and, arguably, the first ever pop punk track which, along with Only Ones "Another Girl, Another Planet", laid the groundwork for everything that came after.

I'm happy to call this a win for the Buzzcocks but, for the sake of democracy, who do you think was the first pop punk band?

Cast Your Votes Now!!!



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