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New wave music | New wave music | Post-punk revival | Urban folk

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Stylistic origins: Punk Rock, Glam Rock , Krautrock, Dub, Funk, Reggae, Avant-garde art movements, Experimental music, World music
Cultural origins: Late 1970s, United Kingdom, United States
Typical instruments: Drum - Guitar - Bass guitar - Synthesizer - Keyboard - Drum machine - Modified electronics
Mainstream popularity: Large in the early 1980s
Derivative forms: Alternative rock - Gothic rock - Deathrock - Indie rock
Coldwave - Gothic rock - No wave - Experimental music
Fusion genres
Funk punk - Reggae punk
Regional scenes
Dutch's Ultra - German's Neue Deutsche Welle - Brazilian's Dark
Other topics
Post-punk revival - Punk rock - Industrial music - Alternative Rock - Gothic rock - Positive punk

Post-punk was a musical movement beginning at the end of the 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock "explosion". For the more recent "post-punk" movement in rock music, see post-punk revival.



During the first wave of punk, roughly spanning 1974–1978, bands such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones, and The Damned began to challenge the current styles and conventions of rock music by stripping the musical structure down to a few basic chords and progressions with an emphasis on speed and attitude. Yet as punk itself soon came to have a signature sound a few bands began to experiment with more challenging musical structures, lyrical themes, and a self-consciously art-based image, while retaining punk's initial iconoclastic stance.

Typically more introverted, complex, arty, and experimental than classic punk rock or the more pop-oriented New Wave music, post-punk laid the groundwork for alternative rock by broadening the idea of what punk and underground music could do, incorporating elements of Krautrock, Jamaican dub music, American funk, and studio experimentation into the punk rock genre. It found a firm place in the 1980s college rock scene, and left behind several major sub-genres. However, post-punk's biggest influence remains in the vast variety of sounds and styles it pioneered, many of which proved very influential in the later alternative rock scene.

Classic examples of post-punk outfits include Gang of Four, Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Wire. Bands such as Crass and The Fall also came within the scope of post-punk, as with several outfits formed in the wake of traditionally punk rock groups: Magazine from Buzzcocks, for instance, or Public Image Ltd. from the Sex Pistols. A list of predecessors to the post-punk genre of music might include Television, whose album Marquee Moon, although released in 1977 (when the punk genre was just forming), is considered definitively post-punk in style. (However, many would argue that bands such as Television, Talking Heads, and the Voidoids were all core punk, as it was the raw originality and diversity of sound and style that was punk.) Other groups, such as The Clash, remained predominantly punk in nature yet inspired and were inspired by elements in the post-punk movement.

Championed by late night BBC disc jockey John Peel and record label/shop Rough Trade (amongst others, including Postcard Records, Factory Records, Falling A Records, Fast Product, and Mute Records), "post-punk" could arguably be said to encompass many diverse groups and musicians. The original post-punk movement took place largely in England, with significant scenes throughout the world, though North America and other non-European bands weren't often recognized worldwide (with some notable exceptions, such as North Americans Pere Ubu, Lydia Lunch, Suicide, early Hüsker Dü and Mission of Burma).

The original post-punk movement ended as the bands associated with the movement moved away from its aesthetics, just as post-punk bands had originally left punk rock behind in favor of new sounds. Many post-punk bands, most notably The Cure and Siouxsie & the Banshees, evolved into gothic rock (formerly a style of the larger post-punk movement) and became identified with the goth subculture. Some shifted to a more commercial New Wave sound, while others were fixtures on American college radio and became early examples of alternative rock.

Music clips

A few illustrative short clips of post-punk music:

Note: files size vary from 185 kB to 305 kB, and all are 20 seconds long.

Related styles

See also

External links

Punk rock
Anarcho-punk - Anti-folk - Crust punk - Garage punk - Hardcore - Post-hardcore - Horror punk - New Wave - No Wave - Noise rock - Oi! - Pop punk - Post-punk - Psychobilly - Deathcountry - Riot grrrl - Ska punk - Streetpunk - Two Tone
Other topics

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.