Punk music essay

Nowadays punk music is one of the most popular genres widely spread all over the world. All in all punk music is not fast and energetic music, but it is a subculture in general, that appeared in the middle of 1970-s in the United States and Great Britain. Moreover it is a protest with a political implication. That is why it is considered punk music to be political. This music trend expresses disagreement with conservatism, authoritarianism, nationalism and radical capitalism and adherence to the ideas of antiracism and antifascism.

A lot of American and British punk groups became the legends of their genre; most of their names are known and repeated even nowadays. They began their existence not from nowhere, they just simply occupied a fitting place after the crisis of hippy movement.

Some history of punk music. In what sense has punk been considered “political”?

Punk appeared in the smoky cities of America at the beginning of 70-s. “Proto-punk” existing in 60s preceded it. It was the time when a guitar and drums became accessible so that everyone could buy them or to steal, as it was done by “Sex Pistols”. Firstly punks created new musical groups, clubs appeared after. Punks defined themselves as a “generation with no future” or as a “lost generation”. In the second half of 70th punk spread in England and Europe.

Punk movement arose up not on blank space. The so-called “independent stage” was born much earlier than something that we consider to call punk. It meant that those performers and musicians were not supposed to get into “ten of the best” for being heard, several successful appearances were enough, and some magazine told about them to the general public.

While in English youth listened reggae, soul, rock-and-roll and garage rock developed in America. In the 60-s in America night-clubs worked in the cities, where different musicians could perform. People having heard about a new group arrived there to look at it and may be join it in future.

Built up on three-four chords, imperfect and not notable, “punk-rock” is not simply music, appearance or way of life.

Punk is still the realization of “here and now” desires of great number of people, and even if they do not know their needs, they know how it can be got. Punk liked those people, who were tired from sugary dance music too distant from the situation that takes a place around.

But punks can’t disappear – it is impossible to stop them.

Hundreds of amateurish bands found self-expression, felt the possibility of being free from society and parents.

However aspiration to play simple, aggressive with the elements of epatage did not leave separate representatives of youth subculture, those groups were “MC5”, “Velvet Underground”, “The Stooges” and others.

Velvet Underground erected deformity, ugliness in the grade of beauty and were yet more surprising band for their time. In the time hippie culture they lifted themes in the works which were a taboo: sexual perversions, growing consumption of drugs, social alienation, cruelty of the society, complete irreparableness and disappointment in the future among young people. These problems were passed by, hippie simply suggested to go away from them in paradise of own souls. And the destroying action of modern civilization was clearly heard in the music and texts of “Velvet Underground”.

Wave of drug addiction, overflowing America as a result of hippie subculture, awareness of complete failure of intruding to Vietnam, attempts which did not result in diminishing of opposition of two countries, as Russia did not want to part with an idea of “world revolution”, cruel economic crisis, breaking out at the beginning of 70th – here the marks of disappointment of young people in own society and in those, who manages them.

So, soon the idols changed. They became “Talking Heads”, “New York Dolls”, “Ramones”, “Sex Pistols” which appeared to become the first punk-musicians of the second, real wave of punk.

In succeeding years a great amount of punk bands appeared on a horizon of modern music and naming them and their history we can spend a lot of time.

According to some historical data written before, we should mention that youth belonging to punk movement have always been unsatisfied with some political situation in this or that country. Moreover belonging to different subcultures (subgroups) that appeared in the early 80-s and later, for example: Emo, Goth, Grunger, Psychobilly and many others determine some political, apolitical and religious beliefs.

A lot of punk groups maintain a social movement of anarchism, singing about chaos and anarchy. Some light up and raise up the concepts of patriotism and socialism, depicting the working class, their troubles and the injustice that surrounds them. Of course it must be mentioned some kind of conservatism, racism, value of life, atheistic and nationalism in their songs.


Scarcely anybody saw something more provoking than punks. Their original appearance became a method to enter their protest against those, who had to pay attention on them earlier, but did not do it. Hair standing on end everywhere painted in frightening colors (yellow with lilac or orange with green), made up eyes, spots of lipstick, old and lacerated jeans clothes, leather jackets, dirty shirts with shady curses, scenes of violence, political slogans and prevocational proclamation, pins, collars and dog’s leads, chain stretching from one leg to other, dried mice on a rope and so on, all in all unhealthy and repellent appearance is just self-expression from a rubbish heap showed for everybody to be noticed.

But in an order to understand the purpose of any punk, it is necessary to be not a person of narrow interests, sitting in the burrow and looking out from it at the surrounding world, but to live in it, and for this purpose it is necessary to become freer. Not all can take the liberty with such luxury.

Punk was an attempt to turn their attention to what takes place, to obtain that they noticed something, but they did not do it. In any case, punk of the year 1977 prepared a basis for subsequent musical directions which would not arise up without its appearance and support.

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