[[NewWaveMusic New Wave]]'s DarkerAndEdgier cousin (also a [[VindicatedByHistory good deal more innovative in retrospect as well]]). When punk began to have a defined sound about 1976/77, several bands decided to take the basic energy of punk (play your instruments yourself, regardless of technique, and don't copy others, Do It Yourself, start a record label), not indulge in rock clichés/posing (and that included spurning the Blues and the usual/{{Cliche}} Rock music and, in some cases, chordal progression and even PunkRock itself) and experiment with more complex structures and rhythms, [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly fusions with other genres]] and/or more synthesizers. These included, but were not limited to, Dub, {{Krautrock}}, {{Funk}}, and even {{Disco}}. Some of these bands included Music/JoyDivision, Music/GangOfFour, Music/TheFall and Music/KillingJoke. Several other post-punk bands were formed from or after being part of regular punk bands; such as {{Music/Magazine}}, formed by Howard Devoto after leaving the {{Music/Buzzcocks}}, and Music/PublicImageLtd, formed by John Lydon after leaving SexPistols. Even TheClash were inspired by its experimental nature at times (though they were far more conservative and "rockist" than the Post Punk bands, particularly considering their dismissal of the synthesizer).

It was mainly a British thing (most non-British bands failed to get much recognition), though in retrospective some American and Australian bands were well aware of the British scenes. Some of these included the American bands Pere Ubu (formed before the rise of PunkRock) and {{Mission Of Burma}}, Australia's The Birthday Party, and of course {{U2}}. An American offshoot was No Wave, which was more focused on an anti-rock approach (not much dissimilar to that of PublicImageLtd, in the sense of wanting to wipe out Rock music and start from scratch), musical extremism, and art dilettantism. This included James Chance, Mars, Lydia Lunch, Music/{{Swans}}, and several other bands, mostly from UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity.

The important thing one has to notice about PostPunk is that, especially in retrospective, it's more a musical aesthetic than a genre with a set of rules.

Eventually, post-punk petered out when the original bands turned away from its sound (the Curtis-less Music/JoyDivision became the synth-based Music/NewOrder; Music/TalkingHeads became a new-wave pop band; The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and many other bands became goth pioneers, etc.) and went in several musical directions. One of these directions was the more heavily-stylized GothRock. PostPunk was a huge inspiration for the AlternativeRock of the 80's.

Recently, post-punk has had a bit of a revival in indie rock as of late, with bands such as Interpol, Modest Mouse, The Libertines and FranzFerdinand having commercial success. When people talk about more commercial, mainstream indie rock, or so-called "NME bands" (due to the magazine promoting these bands heavily), this is frequently the kind of thing they mean.
Also, a case could be made that almost all of these later bands missed the point of Post Punk, as Simon Reynolds claimed in his books "Rip It Up And Start Again" and "Totally Wired", since they, in the end, not only they didn't progress and evolved, but they went backwards and basically emulated their musical heroes and influences.

A list of major or influential post-punk bands and artists (in alphabetical order):
* [[Music/TwentythreeSkidoo 23 Skidoo]]
* Music/ACertainRatio
* Music/{{ABC}}
* Music/AdamAndTheAnts
* Music/TheArtOfNoise
* Music/TheAssociates
* Music/AuPairs
* Music/{{Bauhaus}} (TropeCodifiers for Goth Rock)
** Music/TonesOnTail
** Music/LoveAndRockets
* Music/TheBirthdayParty
** Music/NickCaveAndTheBadSeeds (in the first albums)
* Music/TheBlueOrchids
* Music/BushTetras
* Music/CabaretVoltaire
* Music/{{Chrome}}
* Music/JamesChanceAndTheContortions (No Wave), Or rather anything by James Chance (No Wave)
* Music/TheCure
** ''Music/SeventeenSeconds'' (1980)
* Music/{{Devo}}
** ''[[Music/QAreWeNotMenAWeAreDevo Q: Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!]]'' (1978)
** ''Music/FreedomOfChoice'' (1980)
* Music/{{DNA}} (both No Wave and Post Punk)
* Music/TheDuruttiColumn
* Music/EchoAndTheBunnymen (sometimes overlaps with New Wave)
* Music/{{ESG}}
* Music/TheFall
* Music/{{Felt}}
* Music/FrankieGoesToHollywood (Overlaps with New Wave and SynthPop)
* Music/GangOfFour (TropeMaker for Post Punk, Ur Example of PunkFunk and DancePunk)
* Music/HumanLeague (An early electronic music act)
* Music/JamesChance
* Music/JosefK
* Music/JoyDivision (TropeMaker for this and GothRock)
** ''Music/UnknownPleasures'' (1979)
** ''Music/{{Closer}}'' (1980)
* Music/KillingJoke
* Music/LiquidLiquid
* Music/TheLoungeLizards (Fuse Avant-Garde, Jazz,Punk and No Wave)
* Music/{{Ludus}}
* Music/LydiaLunch
* Music/JohnLydon
* Music/{{Magazine}}
* Music/TheMekons
* Music/MissionOfBurma
* Music/MyBloodyValentine ([[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness First EP only]])
* Music/NautilusPompilius
* Music/NewOrder (Overlaps with [[NewWaveMusic New Wave]], AlternativeDance, ElectronicMusic and SynthPop, also a TropeCodifier)
** ''Music/PowerCorruptionAndLies'' (1983)
* Music/OrangeJuice
* Music/PereUbu
* Music/PsychedelicFurs
* Music/PublicImageLtd (TropeMaker and possible UrExample of the aesthetic)
* Music/ThePopGroup (TropeMaker for PostPunk and TropeMaker for PunkFunk) and its SpiritualSuccessors Music/MarkStewartAndTheMafia, Music/NewAgeSteppers and Music/RipRigAndPanic
* Music/TheRaincoats
* Music/RomeoVoid
* Music/ScrittiPolitti
* Music/{{Section 25}}
* Music/{{Shriekback}}
* Music/SimpleMinds (overlaps with [[NewWaveMusic New Wave]])
* Music/SiouxsieAndTheBanshees
* Music/TheSistersOfMercy
* Music/TheSlits
* Music/TheSmiths (overlaps with AlternativeRock and JanglePop)
* Music/{{Squeeze}}
* Music/TheSound
* Music/SubwaySect
* Music/{{Suicide}} (UrExample of Post Punk, No Wave and {{Industrial}})
* Music/{{Swans}} (TropeCodifier for No Wave)
* Music/SwellMaps
* Music/TalkingHeads
** ''Music/TalkingHeads77'' (1977)
** ''Music/MoreSongsAboutBuildingsAndFood'' (1978)
** ''Music/FearOfMusic'' (1979)
** ''Music/RemainInLight'' (1980)
** ''Film/StopMakingSense'' (1984)
* Music/{{Television}}
** ''Music/MarqueeMoon'' (1977)
* Music/TeenageJesusAndTheJerks (No Wave)
* Music/TheThe (Overlaps with New Wave)
* Music/ThisHeat
* Music/ThrobbingGristle (TropeMaker of this and {{Industrial}})
* Music/{{Tuxedomoon}}
* Music/{{U2}}
* Music/ViolentFemmes (crosses over with FolkPunk and AlternativeRock)
* Music/{{Wire}}
* Music/YoungMarbleGiants

A shorter list of post-punk revival bands:
* Music/{{AFI}} (on Sing the Sorrow mainly, but traces on their earlier {{Hardcore Punk}} albums, newer albums are more [[NewWaveMusic New Wave]] and PopPunk
* Music/ArcticMonkeys
* Music/BlocParty
* Music/{{Editors}}
* Music/FranzFerdinand
** 2004 - ''Music/FranzFerdinand2004''
* Music/TheHorrors (after a GenreShift from gothy garage punk to [[{{Shoegazing}} shoegaze-y]] PostPunk on ''[[NewSoundAlbum Primary Colours]]'')
* Music/{{Interpol}}
* Music/KaiserChiefs
* Music/TheKillers
* Music/{{Liars}}
* Music/NoDevotion
* Music/TheRapture
* Music/SheWantsRevenge
* Music/TheStrokes (mixed with Garage Rock- they take very much after {{Music/Television}}, especially on their early albums)
* Music/WhiteLies