A term referring the first real wave of art punk bands, and probably the most influential and popular movement in the history of art punk. In truth, the term "post-punk" is something of a misnomer, as post-punk developed with and along side late 1970s classic punk as opposed to after it, as the prefix "post-" would imply.
The roots of post-punk lie in the early work of the Velvet Underground, a mid-to-late 1960s act associated with artist Andy Warhol and one of the first to blend hard-edged garage rock with avant-garde concepts pioneered by classical music in the 20th century. Similarly-minded groups that followed soon after like Roxy Music, Hawkwind, and the Krautrock movement on the whole were also important, in addition to African-American and Carribean music styles like harder-edged funk and soul and certain types of reggae, in particular dub reggae, respectively. Some solo work by artists such as Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Brian Eno also contributed much to post-punk's development.
Post-punk came right with punk. In America, bands like Talking Heads and Television played right along side more traditional punk bands the Ramones and the Dead Boys at New York City venues CBGB's and Max's Kansas City. In England as well, Wire and Siouxsie and the Banshees were art rock influenced band who shared the stage with the Sex Pistols and the Damned. Although the post-punk movement lasted more or less from 1977 to 1984, its prime years were from 1978 to 1981, which saw classic releases by bands like Joy Division, one of the most well known, accessible, and popular bands of the post-punk era, Mission of Burma, Gang of Four, Bauhaus and Pere Ubu, as well as lesser known bands like Pylon, the Fire Engines, and Metal Urbain, a band from France and one of the most aggressive groups in the whole post-punk scene. There was also a purist strain of post-punk known as no wave, which flourished in the New York City underground for a brief period in the late 1970s after many of the original classic punk and post-punk bands had either signed to major labels or broken up.
Post-punk came to an end around 1984 as most of the leading artists had either disintegrated or turned to making more commercial music, though in a subtle way its influence has permeated to myriad corners of the popular music and youth culture worlds. Accessible groups with post-punk roots like R.E.M. and U2 became very popular almost universally and remain so today, and more pop-leaning tracks by Talking Heads, New Order, and Devo among others are considered an important part of the early 1980s pop culture landscape. Goth is probably the closest to a subcultural front of the initial post-punk movement, as death rock took much from gloomy, more atmospheric post-punk like Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Cure. The progressive spirit and sound of just about all post-punk was revived in the late 1980s and 1990s in the post-hardcore movement, hard-edged art punk played by musicians initially drawn into music by hardcore punk who had since become disenchanted with that limited form. Like goth to original post-punk, emo has arisen as a subcultural front for post-hardcore. Finally, a movement for better or worse dubbed the post-punk revival earlier this decade provided some of the most exciting and innovative music of the new millennium.
Joy Division are one of the first bands that comes to mind when discussing post-punk.
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