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. 

1
+ - 437 195
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music Punk funk

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2
+ - 578 169
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock Rock music

3
+ - 643 184
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave Electronic music

4
+ - 488 122
New Order is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Order Synthpop, New Wave Electronic music

5
+ - 372 151
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk New Wave

6
+ - 462 187
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Duran Duran Synthpop, New Wave Pop music

7
+ - 395 108
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop Alternative rock

8
+ - 382 173
The Police is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone Ska punk

9
+ - 339 156
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop New Wave

10
+ - 313 164
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
+ - 446 173
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
+ - 268 123
Devo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave Synthpop

13
+ - 271 114
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Eurythmics Synthpop, New Wave Pop music

14
+ - 309 116
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music Pop rock

15
+ - 303 103
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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16
+ - 325 100
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Psychedelic Furs New Wave, Rock music Alternative rock

17
+ - 325 125
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pet Shop Boys Synthpop, New Wave Pop music

18
+ - 286 138
INXS is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
INXS New Wave, Rock music Dance-rock

19
+ - 189 38
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
+ - 222 114
XTC is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
XTC Indie pop, New Wave Psychedelic pop

21
+ - 218 114
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music Pub rock

22
+ - 232 75
Omd is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Omd

23
+ - 209 105
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
+ - 91 13
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock Alternative rock

25
+ - 229 128
U2 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
U2 Rock music, Alternative rock Punk rock

26
+ - 262 113
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music Dance-rock

27
+ - 156 97
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
+ - 173 76
Madness is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone Pop music

29
+ - 145 90
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thomas Dolby Synthpop, New Wave Pop rock

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30
+ - 178 97
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thompson Twins Synthpop, New Wave Pop music

31
+ - 186 84
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave Rock music

32
+ - 187 88
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Soft Cell Synthpop, New Wave New Romanticism

33
+ - 183 107
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men at Work New Wave, Pop music Rock music

34
+ - 126 65
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Violent Femmes Alternative rock, Punk rock Folk punk

35
+ - 101 52
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Squeeze New Wave, Rock music Pop rock

36
+ - 179 93
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Erasure Synthpop, New Wave Electronic music

37
+ - 243 102
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A Flock of Seagulls Synthpop, New Wave Electronic music

38
+ - 151 90
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Fixx Synthpop, New Wave Rock music

39
+ - 95 24
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music Protopunk

40
+ - 143 85
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Yazoo Synthpop, New Wave Electronic music

41
+ - 139 68
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Stranglers New Wave, Rock music Protopunk

42
+ - 104 72
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Bangles Jangle pop, Girl group New Wave

43
+ - 162 69
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talk Talk Synthpop, New Wave Electronic music

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+ - 50 15
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Synthpop, New Wave Pop music

45
+ - 67 20
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

46
+ - 182 85
Spandau Ballet is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Spandau Ballet Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop New Wave

47
+ - 95 82
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Knack New Wave, Rock music Power pop

48
+ - 88 48
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Synthpop, New Wave Pop music

49
+ - 239 128
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A-ha Adult album alternative, Synthpop New Wave

50
+ - 71 11
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joy Division Punk rock, Post-punk