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Top 100 Greatest Pop-Punk Songs of All Time

Top 100 Pop-Punk Songs

(Pictured - Hayley Williams of Paramore 2009)

Punk rock saw a dramatic change in the early 1990s, as the hardcore punk scene, which dominated the style, delved deeper underground, and the more airwave-friendly and accessible pop-punk style began to take over. A mix of angsty young Americans, skate culture, and emo sensibilities led to a massive increase in the style throughout the ‘90s into the 2000s. Pop-punk in one form or another had been around since the late ‘70s, however, the style was too intertwined with either hardcore or new wave to establish an identity of its own. Once Green Day released their punk rock, turned pop-punk staple Dookie in 1994, the style achieved the mainstream attention which had long been in store. Compiled in this list are what we at Melophobe believe to be the 100 Greatest Pop-Punk songs of all time scored exclusively by their legacy as a pop-punk song. Since the style of pop-punk was not narrowly defined until the early ‘90s, most of the entries today are post-1990, with early pioneers of the style like The Buzzcocks or The Descendents being more closely defined within the realm of alternative, or punk rock. Alongside that, most ska, punk rock, emo, and hardcore tracks have been excluded unless they crossed over heavily into pop-punk. The songs selected are either exclusively considered pop-punk or considered pop-punk over any other style. For broader lists in the realm of rock, be sure to check out Top 100 Alternative Rock Songs of the ‘90s or Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time.

1. Misery Business - Paramore

Browsing through thousands and thousands of pop-punk songs, the one that seemed to create the most memorable and impressive legacy comes from Paramore’s second studio album, Riot!. Misery Business has since become one of the most recognizable songs of the 21st century within North America, with nearly an entire generation being able to chant the song's powerful chorus in a crowded bar. The song is powerful, it’s catchy, it’s angsty, and it’s emotional—everything required for an iconic pop-punk track. In the years since, some boring controversy has come up surrounding some of singer Hayley Williams' lyrics, but at the end of the day, art is art, and the song is fantastic as is.

2. Basket Case - Green Day

Following Misery Business sits one of many of Green Day's classic songs from Dookie. Basket Case walks the theoretical line between alternative rock and pop-punk, checking boxes in both categories, and being remembered dearly by fans of both. Basket Case is one of the quintessential ‘90s rock tracks, mixing mainstream rock sensibilities with the evolving punk sound. Songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong described his influence to write the song coming from struggles with panic attacks and anxiety, lyrical elements which hit home with many pop-punk listeners.

3. What's My Age Again? - Blink-182

Sitting alongside Green Day as the other premiere pop-punk outfit of the ‘90s was Blink-182, who delved into the style more directly, and more shamelessly, to much avail. 1999’s Enema of the State has become one of the most decorated pop-punk records of all time, with a handful of the album's tracks creating legacies of their own. What’s My Age Again, the record's fifth track, blended pop-punk musicality with emo-laced lyrics seamlessly, crafting a song for an entire generation. The power espoused by the rock trio showed just exactly what the peak of pop-punk could be as the decade came to a close. To this day, the lyric “Nobody likes you when you're 23” is about as instantly recognizable of a phrase as you can find in American music.

4. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World

The mainstream breakthrough hit for the well-respected pop-punk rock troupe Jimmy Eat World came in 2001 when the band released The Middle. Released from the band's fourth studio album Bleed American, the song (and the record as a whole) mixed power pop with alternative rock and pop-punk, becoming one of the most praised albums of the style. The up-tempo, energetic track has since become a staple in American pop-rock, being about as recognizable as any other American song of the last 24 years.

5. I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic! At The Disco

It's hard to find a pop song in contemporary American music with a more iconic and singable intro than Panic! At The Disco's 2006 single I Write Sins Not Tragedies. The unsuspectingly talented band mixed Arcade Fire-like baroque pop with Bowie-like art rock alongside the pop-punk sounds of the early to mid '00s. Just like most pop-punk staples, the sweetness of this song lies within its memorable singalong style chorus, known by heart by most Americans under the age of 35. Panic!'s style would change as the years went on, delving deeper into art rock and eventually mainstream pop and electropop, leaving behind their pop-punk sound, but at least as far as 2006 was concerned, Panic! hit the highest echelon of pop-punk pretty quickly.

6. My Own Worst Enemy - LIT

Lit found a bit of commercial success in 1999 with their pop-punk record A Place in the Sun, but found itself largely outshined by Enema of the State. However, Blink-182's success did little to stomp the hype of the album's signature track My Own Worst Enemy. The record saw a few tracks hit the rock charts but all-in-all, Lit has become remembered as a one-hit wonder. Nevertheless, that takes nothing away from My Own Worst Enemy. Starting off with one of the most iconic guitar riffs of the decade, My Own Worst Enemy has since left its sonic presence known and deeply remembered across North America, and for good reason.

7. Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance

In listening to a great deal of My Chemical Romance, one thing that sticks out about the Newark, New Jersey rockers is that their level as musicians was a step ahead of most other pop-punk groups. MCR expresses impressive musical and songwriting ability, often mixing emo with progressive and art rock. The group's musical ability shines through the brightest on Welcome to the Black Parade, with the band expertly professing their own attempt at a rock opera. The song is not only one of the most unique pop-punk staples but, even more broadly, one of the most intriguing rock songs of the decade.

8. Sk8ter Boi - Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne established herself as the iconic, pop-punk, dream girl figure of the early 2000s. Avril’s seemingly authentic punk-girl aesthetic clicked within punk and skate circles, with her music gaining a lot of attention from younger people. Avril carried on in her mainstream success on a large scale in North America throughout the first decade of the 2000s. Of all her music, though, Skater Boi received by far the most attention and undoubtedly the most long-term attention, simply forever being a banger.

9. In Too Deep - Sum 41

Originally written to be a reggae song for the band Treble Charger, In Too Deep took an unintended direction when released on Sum 41’s 2001 pop-punk record, All Killer No Filler. Although the record itself has only received modest praise, the singles from the record, including Fat Lip, resonated well within the now dominating pop-punk scene of the early 2000’s. Relatable lyrical matter about break-ups and getting older has been a common theme within pop-punk, and just like many other bands, Sum 41 capitalized on just that.

10. Ocean Avenue - Yellowcard

The final song in our top ten comes as the album-titled track from Yellowcard’s fourth studio album, Ocean Avenue. Separating Yellowcard from their pop-punk counterparts was notably their use of violin in their music, heard especially well in the album-titled song. The band has stated the lyrical matter of the song centers around saying goodbye to a moment in time, and pressing on to simple times ahead. The song has since become Yellowcard’s signature song, becoming by far their most remembered and successful, although the band did release an impressive amount of solid singles.

11. Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

12. Dirty Little Secret - All American Rejects

13. Self Esteem - The Offspring

14. The Great Escape - Boys Like Girls

15. Dammit - Blink-182

16. The Anthem - Good Charlotte

17. Dear Maria, Count Me In - All Time Low

18. Sugar We're Goin Down - Fall Out Boy

19. Ruby Soho - Rancid

20. Just a Girl - No Doubt

21. American Jesus - Bad Religion

22. Cute Without the "E" - Taking Back Sunday

23. All the Small Things - Blink-182

24. Check yes Juliet - We the Kings

25. Miss Murder - AFI

26. 1985 - Bowling For Soup (Originally by SR-71)

27. Knowledge - Operation Ivy

28. You're Gonna Go Far Kid - The Offspring

29. Holiday - Green Day

30. Linoleum - NOFX

31. My Friends Are Over You - New Found Glory

32. Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy - Fall Out Boy

33. Helena - My Chemical Romance

34. Boxcar - Jawbreaker

35. crushcrushcrush - Paramore

36. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous - Good Charlotte

37. I'd Do Anything - Simple Plan

38. Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne

39. Fat Lip - Sum 41

40. First Date - Blink-182

41. MakeDamnSure - Taking Back Sunday

42. She - Green Day

43. The Boys of Summer - The Ataris (Originally by Bryan Adams)

44. Thnks Fr Th Mmrs - Fall Out Boy

45. bloody valentine - Machine Gun Kelly

46. Stupid Kid - Alkaline Trio

47. Sweetness - Jimmy Eat World

48. At Your Funeral - Saves the Day

49. The Future Freaks Me Out - Motion City Soundtrack

50. Punk Rock Princess - Something Corporate

51. Fall Back Down - Rancid

52. Lights and Sounds - Yellowcard

53. The Kids Aren't Alright - The Offspring

54. Longview - Green Day

55. Adam's Song - Blink-182

56. Swing, Swing - All American Rejects

57. The Taste of Ink - The Used

58. Addicted - Simple Plan

59. Jamie All Over - Mayday Parade

60. Chick Magnet - MxPx

61. Flavor of the Week - American Hi-Fi

62. Punk Rock 101 - Bowling For Soup

63. I Don't Wanna Be In Love - Good Charlotte

64. Minority - Green Day

65. my ex's best friend - Machine Gun Kelly, feat. blackbear

66. Look What Happened - Less Than jake

67. Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off - Panic! At The Disco

68. Right Now - SR-71

69. Teenagers - My Chemical Romance

70. The Artist In The Ambulance - Thrice

71. Jesus of Suburbia - Green Day

72. Girl All the Bad Guys Want - Bowling For Soup

73. Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy

74. Somewhere on Fullerton - Allister

75. That's What You Get - Paramore

76. There Is - Box Car Racer

77. Bouncing Off the Walls - Sugarcult

78. Hands Down - Dashboard Confessional

79. Untitled - Knuckle Puck

80. Punk Rawk Show - MxPx

81. Mercy Me - Alkaline Trio

82. The Right Girl - The Maine

83. Hero/Heroine - Boys Like Girls

84. High School Never Ends - Bowling For Soup

85. A Favor House Atlantic - Coheed & Cambria

86. The Rock Show - Blink-182

87. Pain - Jimmy Eat World

88. Everything is Alright - Motion City Soundtrack

89. Girls and Boys - Good Charlotte

90. You're So Last Summer - Taking Back Sunday

91. Girl's Not Grey - AFI

92. Brain Stew - Green Day

93. Almost - Bowling For Soup

94. I'm Not Okay (I Promise) - My Chemical Romance

95. Shoulder to the Wheel - Saves the Day

96. The Mixed Tape - Jack's Mannequin

97. The Adventure - Angels and Airwaves

98. What's Up? - Mom Jeans.

99. The Ballad of Mona Lisa - Panic! At The Disco

100. Love Drunk - Boys Like Girls


2000's alternative & indie rock playlist cover 2.JPEG
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