The Clash? Black Flag? Trash Talk? All a bunch of posers. According to a new study of streaming playlists, Green Day and Blink-182 are the official punkest bands of all-time.
The study — which aimed to find a universal definition of what bands were punk by analyzing data from streaming playlists — was commissioned by Converse and run by noted chartmaker Matt Daniels. (You may remember his chart ranking rappers by the size of their vocabulary.) Daniels mined Spotify and YouTube playlists titled “punk” and found Green Day and Blink-182 to be the most common bands.
Of the 3,000 playlists with “punk” in the title that Daniels looked at, more than half of them included a song by Green Day (51%). Blink-182 came in just behind them at 50%. Presumed titans like The Clash and Ramones fared much worse, netting 21% and 25%, respectively. Looking at the data, Daniels concluded that the slippery definition of “punk” has to include Blink-182.
“Of the thousands of playlists that I found titled “punk” on Spotify, Blink-182 is on half of them. More often than not, Blink-182 and “punk” are synonymous.”
Of course, this data could say more about the demographics of people who make playlists on Spotify/YouTube (or the popularity of Green Day and Blink-182) than anything. Daniels also looked at sub-genre playlists like hardcore, emo and post-punk. Of the sub-genres, only post-punk seems to have any consistent definition. Joy Division appears on more than 30% of post-punk playlists. Hardcore is (predictably) divided, with Agnostic Front taking the lead at 12% of playlists.
As might be expected from the Blink-182/Green Day headline, the “emo” playlists tended a lot more toward the mallcore sounds of the ’00s (My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy), than Saves the Day, Get Up Kids, The Promise Ring or Dashboard Confessional. (For those wondering, Rites of Spring did not appear in a significant number of playlists to be listed.) Check out the rest of Daniels analysis, including some really fun interactive charts, over at his website.