Punk rock music (or simply punk) is a music genre that developed in the 1970s music era between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as proto-punk music, punk rock bands rejected the perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock music. Punk bands typically use short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many punk rock music artists self-produced recordings and distributed them through informal channels.
The term "punk" was first used in relation to rock music by some American critics in the early 1970s music scene, to describe garage bands and their devotees. By late 1976, punk rock bands such as Television and the Ramones in New York City, and the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and the Damned in London were recognised as the vanguard of a new musical movement. The following year saw punk rock spreading around the world, and it became a major cultural phenomenon in the United Kingdom.
For the most part, punk rock music took root in local scenes that tended to reject association with the mainstream and a variety of anti-authoritarian ideologies. Punk rockers, as they were known, had a unique fashion style. Distressed clothes, ripped jeans, and safety pins were core elements of punk fashion, influenced by designer Vivienne Westwood. John Lydon, Siouxsie Sioux, Joe Strummer, and Sid Vicious became style icons for the genre.
By the beginning of the 1980s, faster, more aggressive styles such as hardcore (e.g. Black Flag) and street punk (e.g. the Exploited) had become the predominant mode of punk rock. Musicians identifying with or inspired by punk also pursued a broad range of other variations, giving rise to post-punk and the alternative rock movement. Bands such as The Cramps, The Jam, The Police, and Adam and the Ants were heavily influenced by the punk genre.
At the end of the 20th century, punk rock had been adopted by the mainstream, as pop punk and punk rock bands such as Green Day, the Offspring, and Blink-182 brought the genre widespread popularity. Punk rock music lives on and its influence on culture and fashion endures with street artists such as The Postman regarding their work as having a ‘colourful punk twist’.
We are delighted to be able to offer a unique collection of punk rock prints that feature iconic images of The Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Iggy Pop, Buzzcocks, and The Stranglers including work by acclaimed punk photographers Ray Stevenson, Jill Furmanovsky, Sheila Rock and Michael Grecco.
Browse our unique collection of punk rock music prints below.