Johnny Rotten

The phenomenon of Punk Music exploded into the mainstream music scene in the 1970’s changing the face of the British music with its politically controversial and anarchic overtones strongly reflecting the youth disillusionment with society. The name Punk says much on the perceived and desired image portrayed with the word, at the time, meaning hoodlum or gangster. The message was one of rebellion and individuality which skewed violently from the previous culture of ‘flower power’ and the hippie ‘peace and love’ attitude of the 1960’s. 

The UK economy was in serious recession and unemployment at a 30 year high with society blaming much of the problem on the previous 60’s era of permissiveness. Punk Music was a strong reflection of the desolation felt by inner-city teens and working class youth, their frustration had found a voice, look and distinctive heroes in the form of The Clash, Buzzcocks and The Sex Pistols. The sound itself was not the core of its success with a similar sound to progressive rock at the time using bass, drums, guitar and vocalist and a 4/4 format to the songs. The real contribution to Punk Music was the energy and passion of its artists and the content of the vocals expressing the cynicism and resentment felt by the underclass in no uncertain terms often accompanied by violent onstage outbursts. 

The theme of the music often revolved around sex, drugs and politics causing controversy in the media and portraying its followers as dangerous and unstable to society though, in music history reflection, it was a core component to the evolution of much of the differing genres of modern music.