Top 10 post punk era bands who never get the credit
Top 10 post punk era bands who never get the credit

Post-punk is a much misunderstood period. You read the books and watch the documentaries and many bands get missed out of the story. History has glossed it over and turned it into a musical genre and as much as we love The Fall and Gang Of Four we feel there are a whole bunch of really influential bands who don’t get the credit that they deserve.
None of the bands below ever seems to get mentioned in the endless articles and documentaries about the post-punk period and yet each one of them was as equally innovative as it was influential. Was it because some of them were tarred with the so-called ‘Goth’ brush, was it because some of them wore makeup? should it matter?

Was post-punk a period in time after punk where people started to take the energy of punk and create their own brave new worlds or was it a style of music that it has been defined as now…

Top 10 post punk era bands who never get the credit
Top 10 post punk era bands who never get the credit

Number one in the top 10 post punk bands who never get the credit is here

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. There are some crackers on that list. Well done.

    For my money, I’d have to add another hugely underrated and widely overlooked band to the list too – (early) Comsat Angels. Also other Sheffield stalwarts Artery.

    • ‘We are all entombed in the music of our Youth’ (Goncalves, Y2K) and my era was POST PUNK (1978-1994). What then was called the era ‘WHEN MUSIC MATTERED’. POST PUNK hit in three WAVES, which is why it is called ‘NEW WAVE or ‘EDGE’ musique. Here are my TOP Desert Island Bands for Post Punk:

      1. The SOUND (Jeapordy – All Falls Down)
      2. COMSTAT ANGELS (First three LPS o-n-l-y). Everyone made fun of COMSTAT ANGELS as that 80s Geezers trying to remain hip & happening in the early 90s and failing miserably. Then, thanks to Rhino’s Left of the Dial series, I took a chance and bought their numbered box set “ITS HISTORY” and overdosed on a total EARGASM…
      3. Souxie & the Banches—Hyena & Tinderbox only
      4. Chameleons-first four LPs plus their EP
      5. 17 Pygmies CAPTURED IN ICE (Perfection!!!)
      6. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions (RattleShakes) also the Compilation LP
      7. BILL PRITCHARD Three months, three weeks, two days. You will immediately spot the BEATLESQUES Hooks & Orchestration—he threw away fame & fortune to become what? A Canadian HS French Teacher? ‘Merde!!!’
      8. THE BOX ‘All the Time’. I used to hustle meals & drinks by playing ‘REMNANTS’ after playing the Police ‘Walking on the Moon’ and bet $10.00 ‘What Police LP is this song from’. Tre Canadian!!!
      9. Brian Eno-After Science Professor Eno’s best work
      10. Cocteau Twins/The Cure/Sisters of Mercy (See all LIVE) The Holy Trinity of GOTH
      11. David Bowie ‘Scary Monsters’ (1980). David Bowie Wept when he heard the rude comments about his GLAM years as being Laughingly embarrassing–like being caught walking around the house wearing yer sister’s ‘Unmentionables’. But even worst was his being told he was ‘TOO OLD’ for Rock. Scary Monsters is magnificent.
      12. Echo & the Bunnymen. All LPs before the Singer Left. These ‘Puds’ are as famous as the Beatles in Post Punk.
      13. FLESH FOR LULU-Plastic Fantastic
      14. FOR/AGAINST—I just discovered these CORN FED AMERICANS 2020—awesome. Try Echelons (1987)
      15. JAPAN-Quiet Life (1979)
      16. JOY DIVISION/NEW ORDER. Joy Division, like, it goes without saying…
      17. KILLING JOKE-NIGHT TIME Killing Joke invented ‘Angular Guitars Rifs’ as in ‘LOVE LIKE BLOOD’ & ’80s’
      18. PINK TURNS BLUE-If Two Worlds Kiss (1987). I discovered this KRAUTROCK band in 2019 upon a recommendation and seen them Live at the ECHOPLEX in LA in 2019. You will dig this LP.
      19. THE POLICE—(seen Live 1982) Goes without saying. The Police were going nowhere in their careers until they up-tempoed REGGIE Drum beats & Bass Lines into recognizable Rock & Roll. BRILLIANT
      20. THE OPPOSITION- ‘Breaking the Silence’ & Empire Days. “I was driving on the SF Golden Gate Bridge, late at night playing this CD on my CD player. Pam screamed at me ‘Turn that Sh*t Off—its Creeping me out!!!” I started openly weeping “That’s the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me—finally, somebody understands my music!!!”

  2. Fab list John, growing up in Brum and having moved to Manchester a long time ago I thought it was a Midlands ‘thing’ and really these bands were not so well known outside certain(alternative) circles, but your list has highlighted 10 top bands that all had so much social and musical influence yet, as you say these bands just do not get the credit . . . . And now the world is fed “X”(less) factor, with front page headlines for the panto-bands that participate . . . .how sad! Thanks for your great writing John, still so fresh!

  3. Definitely Magazine…but perhaps they DO get deserved credit for their influence?? Also (not traditionally post punk, if you apply a narrow criteria for this genre), but most definitely a very great & underrated “post punk”
    band are..THE ONLY ONES.

    • I agree. Maybe I don’t relate to how these groups are perceived now, but may of them on the list are firmly respected/well remembered..speaking as a child of the 70s/teenager of the 80s.

      I know e.g the Charlatans came later but the goth groups listed etc. Definately not forgotten in a conversation about that era of music.

  4. Fantastic list, especially The Chameleons, Killing Joke & The Monochrome Set!

    Others to consider include:
    Comsat Angels, The Sound, Sad Lovers And Giants, New Model Army, Section 25, A Certain Ratio, For Against (not from the era but heavily influenced by many of these bands) & The Wake.

  5. The list is good but I think you could replace the Sisters of Mercy with DEVO. I mean, who was more misunderstood and who received less credit really ?

  6. Would agree with most of the bands on that list, inparticular, TOH, saw em supporting The Clash and The Ruts, there should be a statue of Malcolm Owen in every major city. But there is one band missing. LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH!! On record they were sublime, live they destroyed. Stiv was the true son of Iggy. Never forget seeing him hang himself at Liverpool Warehouse July 82. Happy Days!!

  7. Think killing joke have got the recognition via david grohl in the last few years. A lot of bands are written out of history because american kids don’t know about them. you get them name checking joy division and gang of 4, but they have never heard of theatre of hate or the ruts, or maybe its just the journalists who are nowadays asked to write about these bands/times just aren’ qualified /clued in enough to know most of these.

    Theatre of Hate seem to have been written out of history, odd as kirk brandon was such great front man.







    and another band criminally ignored – AND ALSO THE TREES, they used to play with the cure back in the day;




    Another great band – THE WOLFGANG PRESS;
    IVO watts era 4AD, written out of history;



  8. Very good list, I agree with (nearly) all of it though as I’ve got records by 8/10 of the bands listed to all have had credit from me!

    Just thought people might be interested to know that The Monochrome Set are in the process of recording a new album and will be touring in April to promote it.
    The band have three original members (Bid, Lester Square and Andy Warren) and are as excellent live now as they ever were. Gig listings are here


  9. Bit of a typo in my above post, it should have read

    “Very good list, I agree with (nearly) all of it, though as I\’ve got records by 8/10 of the bands listed they all have had credit from me!”

  10. ATV never ever get any Post-Punk kudos and “Still Life” off “The Image Has Cracked” matches anything listed or not

    • @Terry ATV and Throbbing Gristle were both kind of parallel with punk, however, probably the most over-looked post-punk band is what came from those two – Psychic TV. The influence of PTV through the 80s was immense, in at the roots of everything from neo-folk to acid house.

  11. Agreed ATV are an excellent band but not sure how we are categorising ‘Post Punk’ as ATV were going in 1976 which could make them ‘Punk’ not ‘Post Punk’… just a technicality really, I guess?

  12. also THE POP GROUP, although recent st.vincent cover of ‘she is beyond good and evil’ helped to rectify this.

    would also like to see Tackhead, gary clail, adrian sherwood etc.. get some kudos for what they did for dub etc..

    adrian sherwoods remix of Einsturzendes neubautens mid 80s ‘ yu-gung’ was great – httpss://

    • Gary Clail is on the march again after years of working with homeless/ex-offenders. New stuff (including some brill collaborations) sounds really promising.

  13. Great list. I was listening to Sisters of Mercy on a late night drive a few weeks ago, and ended up playing This Corrosion three or four times in a row – epic track, hadn’t heard it in years, sounds really adventurous now if that’s the right word? Remember seeing them in Liverpool in about 84/85, but there was so much dry ice you could just about see Eldritch’s hat and nothing else!

    Also, by coincidence, dug out Artery’s Into the Garden a few days ago… In Shreds has always been a permanent fixture on my late night playlist… and Theatre of Hate – went to see them all the time…still remember the buzz when Westworld was on TOTP. I guess that was the thing with TOTP being a cuddly institution, it was possible to shake it up! Would never get that with Later.

  14. That’s a list of unsung heroes! Bauhaus in particular are criminally overlooked. Would it be churlish to suggest these too? :

    The Gun Club – if Mark Lanegan was the bastard son of a desert preacher man then this would surely be his granpappy..a thunderous blues fucking rhythm section powered by the insouciant twang of link wray/ry cooder riffage and the vastly underrated Patricia Morrison giving the whole shebang a bass orgasm… haunting and pure primal sex. Would ‘desert rock’ have existed without them? Jefffey Lee Pierce should have been celebrated much more. See ‘Fire of Love’ & ‘Miami.’

    Cabaret Voltaire – Everyone bangs on-(rightly so)- about the importance of Joy Division/New Order in the evolution of electronic/dance music but somehow they forgot this seminal, iconic band from Sheffield who often shared the billing with Manc’s finest but were overshadowed by them. There was something slightly teutonic, mesmerising, hypnotic and corrupting about their throbbing wall of sound. N.I.N owe them a cheque or two.see ‘nag,nag,nag’ & ‘Just Fascination.’

    which leads me to:
    23 Skidoo – before Big Audio Dynamite championed the nascent sampling and hybridising of musical genres 23 Skidoo were at it with aplomb fusing burundi beats with sampled film dialogue resulting in a feral funk mash up of booty shaking proportions. see: ‘Coup’.

    for the best jazz and punk cross pollination:

    Defunkt- ‘jazz funk’ is the dirty mac clad masturbator of the 1980’s, synonymous with pastel coloured gents wearing boxy suits with quarterback shoulder armour sporting a cringe worthy overbite. Emerging from New York’s ‘no wave’ movement Joe Bowie’s merry band took jazz fusion and merged it with punk creating a miraculous mix of tension and groove. Joined by brothers Lester & Byron they were sadly obscured by legions of A & R endorsed emasculated eurofunk. Their lineage has more in common with the Last Poets and Maceo, Bootsy & co than Level 42 and it could be said that hip-hop would not have been so sonically diverse without them. See: ‘Thermonuclear Sweat.’ and the spectacular ‘Strangling me with your love.’

    and lastly:

    Pere Ubu – Pre and post-punk noiseniks whose incongruous and obscure avant garde hybrid of krautrock/artrock and apocalyptic garage made them critically acclaimed but commercially obscure. Their indefatigable adherence to the pataphysical ‘no rules’ manifesto of making music left us unable to find a hole to put their pigeon in when choosing to ‘mimic the human condition’ in three minutes of expressionistic mayhem. Everyone from Joy Division to Husker Du sites them as an influence, they never sound old and continue to surprise and elate. see: ‘Datapanik in the Year Zero’..

    Don’t think the above had an eyeliner between them – perhaps Jeffrey Lee was an occasional exception… with the venerable post punk alumni above will their influence still resonate in some dark recess of today’s underground?

    • always surprised by how long Cabaret Voltaire have been about. Since 1973, I think, making them a pre-punk band and not post-punk.

      But agreed – I love the Cabs.

  15. Yeah, I have to agree about The Sound and The Pop Group too and thanks to Richie for reminding me that Lords Of The New Church were indeed an incredible live band. I saw them many times and they were always outstanding performers.

    While I’m at it, I’m gonna throw Virgin Prunes into the list for being the one of the most ‘different’ (studio and live) bands I also had the great pleasure of seeing live during the early 80s.
    Keep ’em coming……. :o)

  16. The Cravats definitely are unsung – art punk jazz madness and all the better for it. Shame they keep cancelling gigs though!

  17. Moving on to albums rather than artists (you’ll see why!!!) BUT if you were to compile a list of definitive post punk albums, they would have to include Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures”, Magazine’s “Real Life”, Wire’s “154”, PIL- “Metal Box” Bahuaus “In The Flat Field”, Killing Jokes 1st Album.
    BUT one i would put near the top of the list is Adam & The Antz “Dirk wears White Sox”!. This truly is an underrated post punk masterpiece. Very dark lyrics, unusual arrangements, trademark post punk angular guitars-very much ahead of it’s time & like nothing else Adam did afterwards.

    • Agree on Dirk Wears White Sox era Ants, it’s only really been recognised how great that album was in the years since it’s release. It was a real leap forward from the punk band that they started off both lyrically amd musically. Adam canned three years worth of catchy punk songs to make this album, starting afresh with a completely new approach. It’s THE post punk album to me and I’ve never got bored of it since I first bought it on it’s release. OK, he became a household name afterwards but the album never did, thanks in part to a music press that wouldn’t take him seriously (not that he was ever that serious!). I saw Adam take this album on again to an unreceptive audience a few years back who just tapped their feet until the later hits’ were played. Some things just never change but some of us know it’s a post punk classic!

  18. You might be stretching the definitions a bit there Terry!!

    Agreed about ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’ being a brilliant album and, of course, Andy Warren of the aforementioned ‘The Monochrome Set’ plays bass on that too. The early Ants live were an incredible live act but sadly always disliked by the media so they never had the recognition they deserved.

  19. I’m not sure ‘Post Punk’ is a ‘sound’ as such, more of a ‘movement of different sounds’. After all no one could say that, for example, The Ruts sound like The Monochrome Set or Crass sound like The Chameleons!

  20. Not the best definition in the world but going in the right direction


    To me a post-punk band really has to have come out of and been inspired by the punk explosion of 76/77. Music from before that era fits are sorts of descriptions/genres but not sure if I would ever be able to classify it as ‘post-punk’, if you get my drift?

  21. What Joanne Hill said. I would add the mighty Penetration, Edinburgh’s Scars, Milford Haven’s Personality Defects, Fatal Microbes, The Pop Group. The most underrated ban of the punk era was The Adverts. Crossing The Red Sea is one of the truly great 70s albums.

  22. Was that the Monochrome Set gig in Kendal, Kiddie Membrane? I was at that one, it was excellent, I agree.

    Penetration and The Adverts, both damn fine bands and very under-rated, I would think fit more in the ‘punk’ than ‘post-punk’ era, both were active very early in the British punk scene.However, I think this blog is about acts from the ‘post-punk’ era that were highly influential to others and, much as I love both bands I’m not sure they were ever truly influential. Likewise I’m not so sure about ‘Milford Haven’s Personality Defects’?

  23. Nice bit about ‘Personality Defects’ in this article


  24. Because they both went a bit shit, Simple Minds and The Psychedelic Furs dont get the props they deserve. The Furs debut album is FANTASTIC – best debut of all time in my humble opinion (and SO ripped off by the Horrors on their current LP). And Simple Minds up to around Love Song (or even New Gold Dream) were wonderful before they went up thier own arses. Chelsea Girl, Changeling, I Travel = AMAZING.

    • I lived through it all…and frankly, I never left. The missed the British Invasion/Mersey Beat 1962-5 because I was a Surfer and Surfers loathed MODs. Then The Beach Boys came out with Pet Sounds and I felt betrayed—-No Surfing Sufaris, No Surfer Girls or Hot Cars. The Radio (KROY-AM) started playing Yellow Submarine by The Beatles and I had to buy the LP…The LP absolutely blew my mind, especially Eleanore Rigby. I turn to my best friend Bob Nelson and said…” This is Not Rock & Roll, this is the FUTURE!!!” Then SGT Pepper dropped and Music became Life…MUSIC MATTERED.

      The 60’s died on 09AUG1974 and Rock went on life Support (Only Professor Eno made music that Mattered). Then the Class of 77 dropped with the snarling Sex Pistols head of the class…Punk only lasted one year but oh, man, what a year…

      Then MY ERA exploded, POST PUNK (1978-1994). The First Wave (1978-1983) was the most Trail Blazing. You see in in JOY DIVISION who started out as a fast playing Punk outfit, then slowed it down and started adding Synths. When they imploded, Sex Pistol tribute bands, like Souxie & the Banchees and the Cure came out and fleshed out Punk into Post Punk.

      What I adored about Post Punk was its 60s sensibilities that leaned towards experimentalism. You had Jazz Fusion like Japan, you had Goth like Cocteau Twins, Sisters of Mersy & the Cure, you had Jangle Pop like REM (Murmer/ Gardening at night) and the Chameleons, you had New Romantic like Duran Duran, You had Paisley Underground like Rain Parade and The Three O’clock, you had Neo Psychedellia like The Seeing Eye Gods, you had Psydeo Sixties like SpongeTones and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, you had Shoe Gazing like Lush and My Bleeding Valentine, you had World Beat like The Police…You had New Wave like Wang Chung, You had College Radio bands Like Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians, Lloyd Cole & the Commotions and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds…You had different Bottles to drink from depending upon yer mood. What a time.

      Then the second wave hit (1984-1989) when everyone struggled to go Commercial, like sell out bands like REM & The B-52s. Finally, you had Third Wave Post Punk like Nine Inch Nails…that morphed into Grunge/Alternative bands Live Nurvana…until Rock died in Y2K. I mean, you still could hear it, but, like Jazz before it, Rock never was the Dominate Musical expression it once was.

      Now days, I seek out Post Punk Revival Bands like the Turkish two man outfit She Passed Away, Franz Ferdinand, She wants Revenge and a host of others. There was no Definitive Post Punk sound because, well, that was the point!!! I quote Eldridge (Sissies) “Love, is a many SPLINTERED Thing…”

  25. I was going to ask why nobody had mentioned the almighty Swell Maps. But someone did, eventually. Should have been top of that list though for their influence on 80s indie…

  26. Agree with the list, personal taste aside. Never really liked Theatre of hate and still don’t. Would argue that Motorhead have never been overlooked, and that plenty of bands and journo’s mention their work.
    For me Killing Joke are chronically overlooked but are seeing a renaisance of their work at the moment. Agree with Joanne hill….The Gun Club

  27. Actually thats a good point – a fair few on the list have had a decent amount of acclaim, if perhaps not as “Post Punk” bands (probably because they’re not)

  28. It’s true, Motorhead are hardly overlooked (and certainly not ‘post punk’) and, to be honest, I can’t stand them either but that’s just personal taste. I’m not so sure the other bands on the list have got the acclaim they deserve though not when you compare them to other bands like Wire and Gang of Four who are talked about a hell of a lot more.

    Psychedelic Furs first couple of albums were damn fine recordings but, sadly, they kind of went rather poppy and rubbish later which ruined how people remember them. I saw them a couple of years back playing their old stuff and they were great. Though the people who’d gone along for the later stuff were a bit confused.

    • Post punk was a time zone not a genre, it’s the fact that it’s become a genre of music that puzzles us. Motorhead were very much part of that time and they influenced a lot of bands you would not expect, for some reason they are always dumped in with heavy metal when they were part of many different things.

      • It’s only become a genre because it’s a way of cramming together a very diverse period in music which is irritating if you were around then:although there was cross pollination the actual youth movements were very clearly delineated as was obvious sometimes on a monday night outside The Ritz when Psychobillies and Punks would have a ruck, or Punks and skins would have pitched battles outside the entrance to the underground market, or gumbies/Bikers outside the Phoenix would have a pop at New Romantics on their way into town…and its a good point about the revisionist way bands are viewed Venom for instance and Carcass had a really diverse audience ranging from Punks to what would have been Rockers/Gumbies and theyre now the godfathers of Black Metal and Death Metal/Thrash respectively…

  29. A nice list, but Motorhead are certainly NOT a post punk band and the same applies to Crass.
    Get your years and dates together folks !
    And read the great Rip it Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds just to get your historic perspective right !

    • We are talking about post punk as a time zone and not as a style of music.
      When you lived through that time post punk was never looked on as a style of music. It’s been made into a style of music in recent years. If you were broad minded at the time you had no trouble listening to Bauhaus, Crass and the Fall and not editing bands out.
      Post Punk has become a style of music that has edited out lots of bands who were really important and influential,- those are the bands on the list.
      Of course we have read ‘Rip It Up…’ and it’s an excellent book but we are talking about the bands from the time zone who were equally if not more important.
      Crass appeared after punk which makes them post punk, Motorhead formed in 1976 but made an impact after punk which makes them post punk as well.

  30. How Post Punk do you want to go? Punk saw another blooming in the late 80’s with the English big four.. Exploited,GBH,Broken bones and Discharge

  31. Interesting. I don’t think some of these bands are all that uncredited, though. Killing Joke and Chameleons are cited all the time and continue to influence new bands.

    Theatre of Hate I would agree have been unjustly forgotten to a degree, but part of that is because they broke up so soon. ToH only put out one (excellent) studio album during their short original career, and never played America during the heyday of college radio. Compare this to Gang of Four or The Fall with their extensive catalogues and annual world tours, and it’s no mystery why today’s young post-punk fans might not know who Kirk Brandon & Co. are. And unlike the Chameleons, who reunited a decade ago and recreated their old sound, igniting a new wave of interest (as the Bunnymen and Go4 did), or The Fall who never stopped recording, when ToH reunited briefly in the early ’90s they squandered it by sounding like Guns ‘N Roses!

    As for the Sisters being the template for Big Black, that’s hogwash. The first two Big Black EPs were recorded in 1981-82, long before anyone outside of Leeds had heard anything about Andrew Eldritch. If anything, Albini’s inspiration for using a drum machine would have come from Suicide or something.

    Lastly, post-punk was definitely more than just a time zone for many of us. I was an obsessed fan at the time in the early ’80s and my friends and I definitely considered it a genre. A broad and diverse one, but still a meaningful genre (to which Motorhead, who I adore, would not have even remotely fit into).

  32. […] Top 10 post punk era bands who never get the credit | Louder Than … Fab list John, growing up in Brum and having moved to Manchester a long time ago I thought it was a Midlands 'thing' and really these bands were not so well known outside certain(alternative) circles, but your list has highlighted 10 top bands that all had so much social and musical influence yet, as you say these bands just do not get the credit . . . . And now the world is fed “X”(less) factor, with front page headlines for the panto-bands that participate . . . .how sad! Thanks for your … httpss:// — Sun, 08 Jan 2012 01:47:24 -0800 […]

  33. […] me, it was always about the Sisters. In the mid-eighties when on any given night you could catch a three band bill of black-clad patchouli pushers for less than a fiver, it was the Sisters of Mercy that had my undivided attention. Even though they\’d split in 1985 […]

  34. Couple of tracks from the Artery album (first in 27 years) released last year…



  35. I’m sorry but I don’t count Goth as Post Punk , and that’s coming from someone who did over 100 Gigs with a Goth Rock Band. Post Punk is a thing from 1979ish P.I.L, Killing Joke, Wire, Joy Division. “Post Punk” meaning straight after Punk. “Temple of Love” Sisters Of Mercy came out in 1983 which was a long time away in those days, and the Audience and the people in the bands were completely different.

    • There were THREE WAVES to POST PUNK 1978-1983 was the most experimental 1984-1989 Was the most Commercial and the Last Wave 1990-1994 had more sheit than corn but some groovy nuggets. Nirvana ended the genre 1994 Alt sound

  36. several bands i would have considered:
    the sound, red lorry yellow lorry, lowlife, breathless, and also the trees, cindytalk, sad lovers and giants, for against, asylum party, xmal deutschland, the names, the wake, etc. i could go on for ages here…

    not for nothing, but bauhaus/killing joke get a LOT of credit from within & outside the movement. incredible bands, safe choices.

  37. No one’s more underrated than the Chameleons
    I’d place them in the top 5 British bands ever personally
    At that type of sound there’s no one better

  38. Oh UK Decay has to be up there, followed by Sex Gang Children, Play Dead. Most of the bands in your list above DID GET massive amounts of credit as many still do. I don’t remember the Chameleons NO until much later, Motorhead..NO, Southern Death Cult, MAYBE but a bit iffy, Sisters of Mercy NOT REALLY, Ruts, excellent Punk but not ‘post’, Crass, Anarcho Punk – what about the ‘OI’ bands as well if you are basing on that criteria, it’s all subjective I guess

  39. There was an amazing period in that years 78-82? mostly in Britain, for me one of the most prolific ever, similar to 66-71 “psychedelic” one. Their nexus was to be different each other and unique in their mix of any previous styles and new ideas…some names I would also add: The Teardrop Explodes
    The Soft Boys
    This Heat
    along with Crass ( mentioned by Suede, The Cult or Charlatans ??) there were many and still very unknown, other names as Crisis or Flux of Pink Indians..
    X-Ray Spex
    Au pairs..
    for sure names like The Psychedelic Furs are sadly underated and overlooked, hopefully some day will be fixed, as happened with PIL and “Metal Box”not so long ago.
    Also some previous groups have to be mentioned as “post punk” philosophy and had huge influence in these bands: Hawkwind ( specially on Killing Joke ), Suicide, Captain Beefheart, Chrome, Throbbing Gristle, Roxy Music…. also Can and Kraftwerk and the rest of krauts

  40. Can I make a case for the ‘sounds of young Scotland’ – Josef K and the Fire Engines. Will I get ridiculed for the Danse Society? Seduction still sounds good to these ears but i am from Barnsley. That Petrol Emotion; Felt; It’s Immaterial; Blue Orchids; Shriekback. And don’t forget the Stockholm Monsters

  41. WIRE.Punk/post punk band still relevant today with new material output. Last years album Red Barked Tree was critically acclaimed.

  42. Every band mentioned above deserves a position in a hypothetical ‘top 10 post punk bands who never get the credit’. Wire especially. Although they garecrashed the punk scene long before it evolved into its ‘post’ phase, they were always exploring musical possibilities. To me, that’s a key attribute – punk kicked the door open; post punk allowed bands to experiment once that door was wide open. (Many bands didn’t get that and saw punk as a template to stick to in terms of dress sense and sound – brilliantly lampooned by the TV Personalities many moons ago).

    As a native of Edinburgh I agree we should be proud of our contribution to the post punk phase of the punk revolution – Scars, The Freeze, Josef K, Visitors, Fire Engines and many more.

    But my own vote for a band who never got the credit goes to Punishment of Luxury. Catchy singles, a unique sound, one of the greatest ever punk b-sides (Brainbomb), album tracks that were spiky, mesmerising and occasionally veered into prog rock (in a good way) and theatrical live performances. Plus they have one of the all-time great band names – so relevant in today’s era of bankers getting £2 million bonuses for greed.

  43. Some great choices, but I’d argue that Bauhaus, Sisters and Motorhead got plenty of credit and attention by the media and fans during that time period. The Chameleons definitely belong on this list, and I was really surprised early Comsat Angels, and Magazine didn’t make the cut.

  44. The Ruts – always get left out and if they are included -it’s a snatch of Babylons Burning .
    I wouldn’t have gone with Sisters of Mercy –

    WIRE – The Godfathers / Sid Presley Experience – Amebix – UK Decay – Sex Gang Children – Dr and the Crippens – Virgin Prunes – Lords of the New Church – Rubbella Ballet – I’m sure there are others I havn’t included

  45. Also what of Cardiacs !! massively over looked band and I would say they fall into the post-punk

  46. What about Martin Bramah & Una Baines, not only The Fall but Blue Orchids; subsistence level bohemians

  47. Excellent topic. This was very much my favourite era for music, have records by all the bands in the list & most of other people’s suggestions afterwards. Fortunate to see many of ’em live too. My tuppence worth – TV21 and Positive Noise, both had a minimal impact but made a couple of excellent albums.

  48. I think 78-82 was perhaps the greatest period in music although I love punk and there has been some great music (of mny genres) since the mid-80s. My greatest regret was never catching the au-pairs who apparently were a great live act. Their first EP – Kerb Crawler and the album Playing with a different sex are both classics well worh tracking down if you can. Another favourite band of that period were Girls at our Best who produced some fabulous pop gems such as China Blue, Go for Gold and my personal favourite Heaven. Like many others I really like most of the bands mentioned above but the Chameleons? Always seemed a bit insipid to me. Slighlty too late for post-punk were the Very Things – The colours are talking to me is still one of my vinyl favourites. Great thread.

  49. Respect to Caryne for mentioning The Psychedelic Furs, who were somewhat of an anomaly. The over-produced and over-exposed version of Pretty in Pink (for the film) would suggest they were an overrated, bland pop band, but that is to overlook the genius that was The Furs first album. Ferociously intense and stubbornly individual, it was a like a train that had come off the tracks and was merrily laying waste to everything in its path. The second was magic of a different sort, still the unmistakable confident swagger driven by Richard Butler’s unique lyrical vision, but more controlled and detailed. The third showed the first signs of patchiness, some brilliance, some dirge. Then it was gone. A slide into the mire of commercial mediocrity, and crapness took hold.

  50. I absolutely adore post-punk, and agree with many previous comments that 1978-1982 was such an innovative and productive time. I do think that the best post-punk acts were as influenced by Low by Bowie, and Trans- Europe Express by Kraftwerk as much as the Bollocks album by the Pistols, which moved it’s musical base from the crossroads and bayous of the States to the new brave Europe. Even the best post-punk bands from America seemed to be more European, albeit with a dash of Velvets cool, such as the No Wave bands such as James Chance & The Contortions. Basically, post-punk had the punk attitude welded to other music from before Year Zero (1976) in particular psychedelia, Krautrock, funk, and dub reggae, which created many wonderful hybrids.
    Oh aye, Motorhead, a cracking band with the spirit of rock n’ roll ingrained in them, were never post-punk, they were more influential on the Oi! bands, and bands like Discharge and Conflict.
    One last thing, Siouxsie & The Banshees, a curates egg of a band, they played the Punk Festival at the 100 Club in 76, but due to being signed up so late, did’nt release records until 1978, and became hugely influential on so many bands (and goth girls) well into the ’80’s.So are they punk or post-punk?

  51. Motörhead are a truly great band but they were around before punk started and were on the bill at many early punk gigs.

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  55. great for Monochrome Set…..and some other great choices. I’d always have THE ONLY ONES in this though….always. I would put The Soft Boys in too. Thank you :)

  56. Honorable mentions must also go to That Petrol Emotion and The Folk Devils – 2 incredible and much-missed bands.

  57. Interesting article. I’m a punk dj and ex vocalist in nyc. I’ve been apart of underground nyc music and political culture for 20 years now and I can say this much….As a resident dj in nyc I dj weekly at a club know as Ottos Shrunken Head, and it is rare I don’t play the ruts.killing joke,the slits,big black and many others. Post punk is that wonderful genre of music that lets me exchange with other forms of punk influenced music smoothly. Adding its own form of fusion you can take to highly experimental realms and completely get away with it. I spin Classic Punk and even protopunk American/England style, hardcore 80 punk nyc/england/d.c./l.a. style/ english oi!/ska 2nd wave and 3rd/gothic rock or goth as well as deathrock/new wave and 80’s / industrial and the very new European and American Psychobilly. I can combine so much of this using post punk.

  58. The Chameleons were such an excellent band….

    I would add the Three Johns, Gang of Four, and maybe New Model Army to the list

  59. Don’t understand the concept of the list at all if it includes The Ruts and Killing Joke, didn’t get any credit?? Even Monochrome Set are name checked by lots of bands. Theatre Of Hate didn’t really do anything that interesting and Bauhaus just wanted to be the Spiders From Mars!. Here’s a few un-credited bands from the post punk era that could have been on the list who made great music but you rarely hear name checked for one reason or another. : X, Modern English, Cocteau Twins, Folk Devils, Nightingales, That Petrol Emotion, Pop Group, Fire Engines, and the Birthday Party!


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