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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Stiff Little Fingers, 'Inflammable Material' (1979)

24. Stiff Little Fingers, 'Inflammable Material' (1979)

Punk was evolving by 1979: The Clash put out a double album filled with ska, reggae, and rockabilly songs, while new influences from dub to krautrock could be heard across the genre. That trend alone would make "Suspect Device," the ringing, anthemic opening track off Inflammable Material, the debut from Belfast's Stiff Little Fingers, stand out among the pack. But the track is also a blueprint for the shape of pop-punk to come. The lyrics rail against an uncaring system ("They put up the wall/On each side, time and prime us/And make sure we get fuck all") but with a poppy melodicism buried underneath all the speed and rage, foreshadowing not just Green Day but their American forebears Hüsker Dü and the Replacements. The record also influenced members of another Irish band: As Bono told The Guardian in 2007, "For me it was more about rage, still is really. My soundtrack was more 'Alternative Ulster' by Stiff Little Fingers." J.D.

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