bands/musicians The Best New Wave Bands  

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List Rules Only bands whose music is considered primarily New Wave or rose to fame during the periods of new wave from the 1980s and beginning of the 2000s. Though there can be exceptions, though these were the most popular periods

This New Wave bands list ranks the best New Wave groups and musicians by votes. This list of top New Wave artists let’s you see who jazz fusion fans think are the best in New Wave. New Wave was movement that took the music world by storm. It changed the landscape of popular music and was one of the most important genres of the 1980s. The best new wave bands had a profound impact on shaping music for decades to come. With their mix of glam, punk, goth, electronica, and art rock, new wave bands were very important in shaping pop culture. New Wave bands were also aided by the growth of MTV, which helped visualize their songs, and reach a broader audience. Thanks to iconic videos, many New Wave bands were able to capture the hearts and minds of young music fans. Even today, the best New Wave bands are still important and still sell out arenas and headline festivals around the world.

So, what are the best New Wave bands? Any list of New Wave bands has to include British bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Psychedelic Furs, Duran Duran, and The Police just to name a few. There are so many great New Wave bands that it's hard to limit naming them to just this few, but, that's the beauty of this list. If you like New Wave music, you should be familiar with many of the names on here. With the continued popularity of 80s New Wave bands, it's not surprising that it made a comeback in the early 2000s. Alternative rock acts like The Strokes, The Killers, and more citing New Wave music as helping shape their sound.

If you know New Wave, and think someone is missing from this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best New Wave bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest New Wave musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular New Wave bands that you might've heard of. 

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+ - 643 193
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

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2
+ - 479 234
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

3
+ - 708 204
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

4
+ - 541 140
New Order is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

5
+ - 414 176
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

6
+ - 510 205
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Duran Duran Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

7
+ - 449 125
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

8
+ - 420 193
The Police is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

9
+ - 375 177
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

10
+ - 347 184
The B-52's is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The B-52's New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

11
+ - 491 187
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Tears for Fears Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

12
+ - 303 133
Devo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

13
+ - 300 127
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Eurythmics Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

14
+ - 341 130
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

15
+ - 329 117
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Human League Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

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+ - 366 136
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pet Shop Boys Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

17
+ - 362 112
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Psychedelic Furs New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

18
+ - 320 150
INXS is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
INXS New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

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+ - 224 50
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Echo & the Bunnymen New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

20
+ - 243 126
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

21
+ - 245 129
XTC is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
XTC Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

22
+ - 122 19
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

23
+ - 234 114
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Adam and The Ants New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

24
+ - 262 92
Omd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Omd

25
+ - 264 144
U2 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

26
+ - 290 119
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

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+ - 180 101
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Go-Go's Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

28
+ - 199 105
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thompson Twins Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

29
+ - 198 87
Madness is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

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+ - 204 91
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

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+ - 203 93
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Soft Cell Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

32
+ - 206 117
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men at Work New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

33
+ - 155 103
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thomas Dolby Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

34
+ - 145 77
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Violent Femmes Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

35
+ - 267 110
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A Flock of Seagulls Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

36
+ - 114 65
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Squeeze New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

37
+ - 192 110
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Erasure Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

38
+ - 90 27
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

39
+ - 108 18
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joy Division Punk rock, Post-punk

40
+ - 116 33
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

41
+ - 71 25
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

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+ - 163 102
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Fixx Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

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+ - 109 92
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Knack New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

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+ - 153 80
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Stranglers New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

45
+ - 179 79
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talk Talk Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

46
+ - 155 100
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Yazoo Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

47
+ - 202 97
Spandau Ballet is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Spandau Ballet Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

48
+ - 113 84
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Bangles Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

49
+ - 261 139
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A-ha Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave

50
+ - 136 74
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Oingo Boingo Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock