50 Greatest Pop-Punk Albums

From Blink-182 to the Buzzcocks, we count down the best of punk's most lovable, lovelorn offshoot

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Blink-182, 'Dude Ranch' (1997)

8. Blink-182, 'Dude Ranch' (1997)

In 1997, pop-punk fans were largely allergic to the idea of major-label deals, but Blink-182 believed in their mass-market potential before the rest of the world did. They signed to MCA and got to work on their sophomore LP, Dude Ranch, still honoring the same DIY spirit that drove their early releases. Bassist Mark Hoppus wrote "Dammit," the loser's anthem that would launch the album, after playing around on an acoustic guitar that was missing two strings. Still, the record's juvenile overtones often concealed real poignancy: "Dick Lips" is an empathetic ode to a teen fuckup ("Remember I'm a kid/I know not what I did"), while "Josie" is a sweet song about a considerate, burrito-retrieving girlfriend. The album's disarming combo of humor and raw pop smarts helped Dude Ranch go platinum, paving the way for Blink's future megastardom. But the band never lost the wide-eyed attitude on display here. "The biggest compliment of all is a kid saying we opened up his eyes to a new style of music," Hoppus would later tell Rolling Stone. "We're kind of like Fisher-Price: My First Punk Band." M.S.

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