The time that has elapsed since Punk Rock died away at the beginning of the 1980s has been known as the Post Punk era. Many people believe that the genre had more impact on the industry once it had gone than it had when it was popular during the late 1970s.
What it did do was to break down barriers and there were several groups that produced music that inspired future rock artists at a later time. The Clash were commonly known as the political voice of Punk Rock yet their music has influenced many artists since.
Many experts believe that their 1979 album London Calling is one of the greatest rock albums to have ever been produced. In 2003 the magazine “Rolling Stone” had it eighth on “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Fewer albums have been as successful in fusing together punk, ska, reggae, lounge jazz and New Orleans R&B into one project.
The first type of bands to have benefited from the Punk era were the New Wave groups. They came after the more raw sounds of the Punk bands had disappeared and were softer in their music and appealed to a greater number of listeners. The Pretenders, the Police, the Cars and Squeeze were all bands that dressed as if influenced by punk but there records appealed to mainstream listeners and their sales records reflected this.
Following on from the New Wave Bands were the New Romantics. A number of groups emerged with a real polished image and make up was used to make the band members look even more appealing. Duran Duran, Ultravox and Spandau Ballet all sold many records although much of their success was down to their image as opposed to the quality of their music.
There was a brand of music that did emerge where the groups tried to tone down their image and just rely on the quality of their music and belonged to groups like the Cure, the Smiths and Joy Division. The music had deep emotional qualities and often the members of the band would be dressed in black which also included their hair and their make-up.
As the 1980s progressed a number of new groups emerged that appeared to be completely separated from the Punk era yet had managed to incorporate many of its qualities. U2 became one of the world’s biggest rock bands and first started a New Wave band.
However, it wasn’t long before they separated themselves from this link and became famous for the records they produced. They did however still stuck to the same moral ideals that they sung about during the previous days. The groups was never afraid to deal with the political controversies that were occurring in Northern Ireland.
At the same time there were certain big groups in America that were also keen to record songs with political messages. Bruce Springsteen has sold many records that dealt with the issues of post industrialization in mid-west America. The same theme inspired artists such as REO Speedwagon, Tom Petty and Kansas.
The political messages that the Clash used to try and put across in their music during the Punk days seem to have remained in modern Rock music and sometimes this fact is overlooked when people look at the influence of Punk.