- 1 Intro
- 2 Info
- 3 Some Bands & Artists
Pop-Influenced Punk first emerged in the mid-1970s with a music style that was stylistically similar to Power Pop. By the mid-1980s, several bands merged Hardcore Punk with Pop music to create a new, faster Pop Punk sound such as Dag Nasty, the Nip Drivers, T.S.O.L., Social Distortion, and the Descendents.
Pop Punk in the United States began to grow in popularity locally in California in the mid to late 1980s. Pop Punk particularly thrived in California, where independent record labels adopted a do it yourself (DIY) approach to releasing music. By the mid 1990s, a few Pop Punk bands had started to sell millions of records and receive extensive radio and television airplay, such as Green Day. By 1994, Pop Punk was quickly growing in mainstream popularity. The late 1990s, exemplified by the 1999 release of Blink 182's Enema of the State, represented the genre's mainstream peak, although some Pop Punk bands scored successful album chartings in the 2000s. In the mid-2000s, Emo Pop, a fusion genre combining Emo and Pop Punk, became popular.
Pop Punk typically merges upbeat Pop melodies with catchy hooks, catchy choruses, harmonies, speedy tempos, Punk power chord changes and loud, distorted electric guitars. About.com has described second-wave Pop Punk bands as having "a radio friendly sheen to their music, but still maintaining much of the speed and attitude of classic Punk".
According to The A.V. Club, Pop Punk often pits "sweet harmonies against bratty, rowdy riffs". Lyrical topics that are common in Pop Punk include love, lust, drunkenness, adolescence, cartoonish violence and drugs. Some Pop Punk lyrics focus on jokes and humor. Some Pop Punk music features elements of Power Pop, Emo or Skate Punk.
Although The Buzzcocks are considered the pioneers of Pop Punk. It is not clear when the term "Pop Punk" was first used, but Pop-Influenced Punk had been around since the mid to late 1970s. Protopunk and Power Pop bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s helped lay the groundwork for the Pop Punk sound, which emerged at the onset of Punk around 1974 with The Ramones.
The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who, Iggy Pop and the Beach Boys all paved the way for Pop Punk. With their love of the Beach Boys and late 1960s bubblegum Pop, The Ramones paved the way to what became known as Pop Punk. The Ramones' loud and fast melodic minimalism differentiated them from other bands in New York City's budding Art Rock/Art Punk scene, but Pop Punk was not considered a separate subgenre until later. An early use of the term "Pop Punk" appeared in a 1977 New York Times article, "Cabaret: Tom Petty's Pop Punk Rock Evokes Sounds of 60s".
In the late 1970s, English band The Buzzcocks and Northern Irish band The Undertones combined Pop-style tunes and lyrical themes with Punk's speed and chaotic edge. The Buzzcocks' 1979 compilation album Singles Going Steady has been called "the blueprint for Punk bands preferring tuneful tales of lost love and longing to rage against the machine."
The music of other UK bands, such as Generation X, 999 and The Jam, featured poppy melodies as well as lyrics that sometimes dealt with relatively light themes such as teenage romance. Many UK mod revival bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s also displayed Pop Punk characteristics.
The American band Bad Religion, formed in 1979, also helped to lay the groundwork for contemporary Pop Punk. Bad Religion and some of the other leading bands in Southern California's Hardcore Punk scene emphasized a more melodic approach than was typical of their peers. According to music journalist Ben Myers, Bad Religion "layered their pissed off, politicized sound with the smoothest of harmonies". Meyers wrote that Descendents "wrote almost surfy, Beach Boys–inspired songs about girls and food and being young(ish)". Their positive yet sarcastic approach began to separate them from the more serious hardcore scene. The Descendents' 1982 debut LP Milo Goes to College provided the template for the United States' take on the more melodic strains of first wave Punk.
In addition to the California scene, the band Hüsker Dü, formed in 1979, in Minnesota. Music writer Michael Azerrad asserted in his book Our Band Could Be Your Life (2001) that "Hüsker Dü played a huge role in convincing the underground that melody and Punk weren't antithetical."
In the 1980s, the term Pop Punk was used in publications such as Maximum RocknRoll to describe bands similar to Social Distortion, Agent Orange, The Nip Drivers and T.S.O.L.. Bands such as The Vandals and Guttermouth also contributed to the development of Pop Punk by creating a style that blended Pop melodies with humorous and offensive lyrics.
Pop Punk in the United States began to grow in popularity in the late 1980s especially in California due to bands like Dag Nasty and All, but the genre was not yet considered commercially viable by major US record labels. Bands such as Bad Religion, Descendents, and The Vandals began to inspire the formation of bands like The Offspring (1984) and the more melodic Green Day (1987), although it would take a number of years for these new bands to achieve mainstream popularity. As these new bands came into the scene, the were exposed to criticism for not representing the "Punk image" as it originated in the 1970s, specifically by John Lydon, the frontman of 70's UK Punk band, Sex Pistols. Many Pop Punk bands espoused a do it yourself (DIY) approach to their music, and a number of independent record labels emerged during this period, often run by band members who wanted to release their own music and that of their friends. During this period several independent labels were formed that would achieve much notoriety and commercial success in the 1990s, namely Epitaph Records (1987), Lookout Records (1987), and Fat Wreck Chords (1990). During the 1980s and early 1990s, Pop Punk bands such as The Queers, The Mr. T Experience, Jawbreaker and Screeching Weasel emerged. Some of these bands, including Screeching Weasel, The Queers and The Mr. T Experience, were signed to the record label Lookout! Records, which also signed Green Day.
1994–98: Popular Acceptance
Many Punk and Pop Punk bands originated from the California Punk scene of the late 1980s, and several of those bands, especially Green Day and The Offspring, helped revive interest in Punk in the 1990s.
Green Day arose from the San Francisco Bay Area and 924 Gilman Street Punk scenes. After building an underground following, the band signed to Reprise Records and released their major-label debut album, Dookie, in 1994.
Dookie sold four million copies by the year's end and spawned several radio singles that received extensive MTV rotation, three of which peaked at number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. Green Day headlined Lollapalooza and Woodstock 1994 and were nominated for four Grammy Awards. Green Day's enormous commercial success paved the way for other North American Pop Punk bands in the following decade. Green Day's song "Longview" peaked at number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 36 on the Radio Songs chart. Green Day's song "Basket Case" peaked at number 16 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Green Day's song "When I Come Around" peaked at number 6 on the Radio Songs chart and number 2 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Green Day's album Dookie was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1999. The Offspring also achieved mainstream success in the mid-1990s; its album Smash was certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2000, selling 6,300,000 copies in the United States.
MTV and radio stations such as Los Angeles' KROQ-FM played a major role in the genre's mainstream success. KROQ's steady airplay of a remix of Face to Face's song "Disconnected" led the band to re-record the track for their 1994 album Big Choice, which sold over 100,000 copies.
Meanwhile, Bad Religion's album Stranger Than Fiction (1994) was certified gold.
Rancid's songs "Time Bomb" and "Ruby Soho" were on the Radio Songs chart in the mid-1990s. The band's album ...And Out Come the Wolves was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
In the aftermath of the 1994 punk breakthrough, bands such as Rancid and Face to Face were the subject of major-label bidding wars and lucrative deals. The Australian bands Frenzal Rhomb and Bodyjar established followings in Japan. Goldfinger's song "Here in Your Bedroom" peaked at number 47 on the Radio Songs chart and number 5 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
The Warped Tour and the mall chain store Hot Topic brought punk even further into the United States mainstream. With Punk's renewed visibility came concerns among some in the Punk subculture that the music was being co-opted by the mainstream. Some Punk fans criticized Green Day for "selling out" and rejected their music as too soft, Pop-oriented and not "Real Punk". They argued that by signing to major labels and appearing on MTV, bands like Green Day were buying into a system that Punk was created to challenge.
Dude Ranch's song "Dammit" peaked at number 61 on the Radio Songs chart in February 1998. Eve 6 released their self-titled debut album on RCA Records in April, which peaked at number one on the Top Heatseekers chart and number 33 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The album's song "Inside Out" peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. In November 1998, Eve 6' self-titled debut album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In June, Southern California act Home Grown released their sophomore album Act Your Age on Geffen subsidiary Outpost Recordings.
It was their first album to chart, peaking at number 24 on the 1998 Billboard Heatseekers. The band had garnered enough popularity to make appearances on the soundtrack for the 1998 stoner comedy Half Baked and the 1998 comedic-thriller Homegrown.
Also in June, MxPx released Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo on A&M Records, which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in January 2000 and peaked at number 99 on the Billboard 200.
Unwritten Law released their self-titled LP, which charted at number 16 on the Billboard Heatseekers and featured the song "Cailin".
All three bands would appear on Blink 182's PooPoo PeePee Tour during select dates in 1998. In October, Zebrahead released their major label debut Waste of Mind on Columbia Records. The album peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Heatseekers.
The album featured the song "Get Back" which reached number 32 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. That November, The Offspring's album Americana was released and was certified 5x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. A bootleg MP3 of Americana's first single, "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)", was uploaded to the Internet and was illegally downloaded 22,000,000 times. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" peaked at number 13 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart on January 30, 1999. Also, The Offspring's song "Why Don't You Get a Job?" peaked at number 21 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart on May 22, 1999.
1999–2005: Mainstream Peak
Pop Punk's commercial success generally peaked with the 1999 release of Blink 182's album Enema of the State, which was certified 5x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on February 26, 2001 and sold 15 million copies worldwide.
Enema of the State's song "What's My Age Again?" peaked at number 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 23, 1999. Enema of the State's song "All the Small Things" peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 19, 2000. Lit had also achieved commercial success. Lit's song "My Own Worst Enemy" peaked at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on July 3, 1999 and number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart on April 10, 1999. New Found Glory's self-titled second album was a success that helped launch them into the mainstream.
The album reached number one on the Billboard Heatseekers and number 107 on the Billboard 200 in 2000. In 2000, SR-71's song "Right Now" peaked at number 30 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Jimmy Eat World gained commercial success with their breakthrough album Bleed American (2001), which was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in August 2002.
Bleed American's song "The Middle" peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Blink 182 had continued success in 2001 with Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, which peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 350,000 copies in its first week of being released.
Take Off Your Pants and Jacket was certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in May 2002 and sold 14,000,000 copies worldwide.
In 2001, Sum 41 achieved mainstream success. The band's song "Fat Lip" peaked at number 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaked at number 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, and was constantly at number 1 on MTV's Total Request Live. Sum 41's album All Killer, No Filler was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in August 2001.
In 2001, American Hi-Fi achieved mainstream success. On August 4, 2001, the band's song "Flavor of the Weak" peaked at number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On August 18, 2001, "Flavor of the Weak" by American Hi-Fi peaked at number 15 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. In 2002, New Found Glory's song "My Friends Over You" peaked at number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band's album Sticks and Stones was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in September 2002.
Good Charlotte achieved mainstream success with its album The Young and the Hopeless, which was certified 3x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Good Charlotte's self-titled album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Good Charlotte's song "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" peaked at number 6 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band's "The Anthem" peaked at number 11 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Good Charlotte's song "Girls & Boys" peaked at number 10 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Canadian solo Pop artist Avril Lavigne, referred to by some people at that time, as the "pop punk princess", found commercial success in 2002, with her Pop Punk-Influenced Pop sound. Lavigne's album Let Go was certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 2003. Fellow Canadian artist Simple Plan experienced commercial success in 2003. Simple Plan's song "I'd Do Anything" peaked at number 16 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in March 2003. The band's song "Addicted" peaked at number 11 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in August 2003. Simple Plan's song "Perfect" peaked at number 5 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in December 2003.
The Ataris achieved mainstream success in 2003 with its cover of the song "The Boys of Summer". The Ataris' cover of "The Boys of Summer" peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Yellowcard achieved mainstream success in 2004 with its song "Ocean Avenue". "Ocean Avenue" peaked at number 13 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Blink 182's fifth studio album, Blink 182 (2003), sold 2.2 million copies in the United States.
In 2004, Good Charlotte released its album The Chronicles of Life and Death, led by the lead single "Predictable".
The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in December 2004. "Predictable" by Good Charlotte peaked at number 20 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. The band Bowling for Soup achieved mainstream success in 2004. Bowling for Soup's song "1985" peaked at number 10 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Bowling for Soup's song "Girl All the Bad Guys Want" peaked at number 17 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. The band's song "Almost" peaked at number 21 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Bowling for Soup's song "Ohio (Come Back to Texas)" peaked at number 35 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Bowling for Soup's single "1985" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in November 2004. In January 2008, the single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In the mid-2000s, Green Day became mainstream again with its album American Idiot. The Green Day album American Idiot was certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
2005–09: Continuation and Hybridization
Emo Pop, a fusion genre combining Emo and Pop Punk, became popular in the mid-2000s, with record labels such as Fueled by Ramen releasing platinum albums from bands including Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Paramore. Devon Maloney of MTV News wrote: "While many Pop Punk fans adamantly deny any association between their favorite acts and those labeled “Emo,” crossover bands who melded the two have gradually put both genres in the same scene-boat."
Fall Out Boy achieved mainstream success with its 2005 album From Under the Cork Tree, which was certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in January 2006.
During the mid–late 2000s, three Fall Out Boy songs were on the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. Although Fall Out Boy had been a staple of the Chicago hardcore scene, where they mixed Pop sensibilities with Hardcore Punk, they are widely considered a Pop Punk and Emo Pop act.
The All-American Rejects found success with Move Along (2005), which inspired three top 15 singles.
Panic! at the Disco scored a hit single, "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies", which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won the band a 2006 MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. Avril Lavigne had success with the single "Girlfriend", which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 2007. Her platinum album, The Best Damn Thing, sold around 7 million copies worldwide, making it the top-selling pop punk album of 2007 and the second most successful pop punk album of the decade after Green Day's American Idiot. Paramore achieved mainstream success in the late 2000s. During the late 2000s, many Paramore songs were on the Billboard Hot 100. Paramore's song "Misery Business" peaked at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 2008. Paramore's song "Crushcrushcrush" peaked at number 54 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 2008 and the band's song "That's What You Get" peaked at number 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 2008. Also, Paramore's song "Ignorance" peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 2009. Paramore's song "Careful" peaked at number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2009. Paramore's album Riot! was certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Several Pop Punk bands took different directions in the late 2000s, with Panic! at the Disco crafting The Beatles-inspired, baroque Pop-styled record Pretty. Odd. (2008) and Fall Out Boy experimenting with Glam Rock, Blues Rock and Rhythm and Blues on Folie a Deux (2008), both of which created fan confusion and backlash.
As of 2013, Folie a Deux has sold approximately 500,000 copies in the United States, compared to their first hit album, From Under the Cork Tree, which has a total of 2.7 million record sales in the U.S. as of 2013, a representation of the backlash from their fanbase as the group experimented with a musical style differing from their Pop/Rock background.
All Time Low's third studio album, Nothing Personal (2009), debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in 2009 and received some mainstream success, with singles gaining minor radio and television airplay.
2009-Mid 2010's: Decline in popularity
Pop Punk generally waned in mainstream popularity by the late 2000s. The genre has fallen out of mainstream radio success, with Rock bands and guitars becoming rare on dance-focused Pop radio. While Blink 182 and Green Day continue to headline arenas and sell out their concerts, others, such as New Found Glory and Yellowcard, have seen attendance decrease steadily. Devon Maloney of MTV wrote that "Pop Punk and Emo bands don’t headline Coachella or Bonnaroo; they rarely, if ever, are even billed on mainstream festival stages," and notes that it has similarly disappeared from the press. The only magazines that feature Pop Punk bands are niche publications like Alternative Press (AP) and the occasional teen magazine, while influential Pop Punk magazine AMP ceased publication in 2013.
Mid 2010's Revival
While some members of these bands have had mixed feelings about these performances, quite often these tours sell as well as or better than the first time around.
Club promoters in the United Kingdom have created nights based around a lasting appreciation of the genre, including Pop Punk Ain't Dead in Brighton, Hello Bastards in Leeds, Say It Ain't So in London and What's My Age Again?, a night celebrating "pop-punk, youthful abandon and teenage riot". The Warped Tour still attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees each year; the 2012 tour attracted 556,000 festival-goers, its third-best attendance. Bobby Olivier of The Star-Ledger wrote: "The genre, like an awkward high school kid, continues to reinvent itself and Warped is pop-punk’s prom."
Paramore—side by side on the Billboard 200.
Fall Out Boy along with other Pop Punk/Punk bands that peaked during the early 2000s are now seen to be experimenting with the more Pop side of Pop Punk, in order to maintain their relevancy and keep the interest of their fanbase while gaining the appeal of the newer generations that may not relate as much to the Punk themes of the 1970s.
Pop Punk bands that achieve minimal mainstream success have seen a return to grassroots form, "the micro-operation style that yielded the results that caught the mainstream’s attention in the first place." New Found Glory has continued to tour on the Warped Tour, and had their own Pop Punks Not Dead Tour, a reworking of an "old, defiant Punk rock battle cry." Chad Gilbert, the band's guitarist, wrote in an op-ed for Alternative Press entitled "Why Pop-Punk's Not Dead—And Why It Still Matters Today": "This isn't a dead genre, and just because there isn't a song on the radio to clarify that shouldn't matter. ... Pop-punk means something to a lot of people and to me, having success as a band in our genre is about longevity, touring a lot and staying true to your fans. It's about us putting our lives on a plate for our fans to take what they want and not jeopardizing our integrity for any reason."
A new wave of Pop Punk groups had sprung up sometime around 2010. Dave Beech of Clash noted that these groups were "darker and more mature" than those previously, taking influence "and occasional indifference" from 1990s Emo. On The Wonder Years' The Upsides (2010), vocalist Dan Campbell sung about "His early twenties soul-searching and tales of strife" which "resonated with a [new] generation, inspiring countless imitators in the process." This pushed Campbell to "the forefront of a new wave", and the album influencing a new wave of Pop Punk bands. The Story So Far's second album, What You Don't See (2013), "cemented their place at the top table of nu pop-punk". Rock Sound included The Wonder Years' The Greatest Generation on their best albums of 2013 list, calling it "the defining album of what may well have been the genre's best year for a decade." Kerrang! said the album "ripped up the pop-punk blueprint" pushing the genre to "new peaks of invention, both lyrically and musically." In early 2014, Welsh band Neck Deep released their debut album Wishful Thinking, which Rock Sound later called it "the greatest UK pop-punk record of all time." Also in 2014, Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer's self titled album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and in many other countries, prompting Alternative Press to describe the band as important to the marketing of the pop-punk scene.
In 2015, All Time Low's Future Hearts brought the band a career best Billboard 200 number 2 charting with 75,000 copies sold.
The album had been described as Pop Rock and Power Pop, as well as Pop Punk. Neck Deep's second album Life's Not out to Get You (2015) hit number 8 on the UK charts and number 17 on the Billboard 200.
Blink 182's seventh album California debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming their second number one since Take Off Your Pants and Jacket in 2001.
The first single from the album, "Bored to Death", reached the number one spot on Alternative Songs chart. JR Griffin of Rolling Stone "The group is aiming to recapture its "golden-age" vibe."
In October 2016, Green Day released its twelfth studio album Revolution Radio. The album peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200.
Sum 41 also had a new album during 2016, entitled 13 Voices.
Some Bands & Artists
5 Seconds of Summer
All Time Low
Angels & Airwaves
Bowling for Soup
Box Car Racer
Boys Like Girls
Motion City Soundtrack
New Found Glory
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
The Starting Line
The Story So Far
The Wonder Years