Various: Punk USA: Original Album Series

Uneasy bargain bedfellows.

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Which five albums should represent Punk USA is so open to debate it’s best to take what’s served in the case of the cheap and no frills OAS, which chooses to deliver debut albums from Television, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, the Dead Boys, Misfits and Fear.

When Television’s Marquee Moon (9) appeared in February 1977, it was hailed as a world-class trailblazer, owing as much to ecstatic jazz as garage punk, and still sounding gorgeously timeless. Meanwhile, former TV man Richard Hell had taken his spikier beat-punk aspirations solo, striking gold when guitarist Robert Quinne added his oblique scrabbling genius to Blank Generation (8), another of the era’s classic debut albums.

From Cleveland, the Dead Boys brought Damned-style grossness to NYC’s CBGB scene when they arrived in 1976, releasing Young, Loud And Snotty (7) the following October, anthems such as Sonic Reducer and Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth now sounding like speeded up Quo. The band were an obvious influence on New Jersey hopefuls the Misfits, whose Walk Among Us (6) consisted of tracks recorded in 1981 then overdubbed and remixed by leader Glenn Danzig the following year, kick-starting the horror punk craze.

LA’s Fear are the comical runt of the pack, The Record (5) dubbed punk’s answer to Animal House before influencing the burgeoning hardcore movement./o:p