The Best New Wave Bands Bands/Musicians

The Best New Wave Bands

23k votes 1.6k voters 98k views 385 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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. 
List Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
    + 441
    - 116
    The Cure is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    the people's #1
    New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

  2. 2
    + 350
    - 131
    Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    most listed
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

  3. 3
    + 504
    - 145
    Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

  4. 4
    + 307
    - 128
    The Police is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

  5. 5
    + 361
    - 144
    Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  6. 6
    + 371
    - 135
    Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  7. 7
    + 302
    - 108
    Blondie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

  8. 8
    + 383
    - 93
    New Order is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

  9. 9
    + 245
    - 118
    The B-52's is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

  10. 10
    + 287
    - 75
    The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by JasonWindsor
    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

  11. 11
    + 257
    - 132
    The Cars is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

  12. 12
    + 256
    - 86
    Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks
    New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

  13. 13
    + 230
    - 109
    INXS is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

  14. 14
    + 213
    - 88
    Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  15. 15
    + 235
    - 81
    The Human League is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

  16. 16
    + 258
    - 95
    Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  17. 17
    + 253
    - 80

    ranked low on reranks
    New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 215
    - 86


    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

    ;
  19. 19
    + 173
    - 86

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

    ;
  20. 20
    + 201
    - 97
    Devo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

  21. 21
    + 174
    - 47
    Omd is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobinGallego

  22. 22
    + 165
    - 91
    Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

  23. 23
    + 108
    - 19
    Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks & added by muzziac
    New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

  24. 24
    + 119
    - 72
    The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

  25. 25
    + 142
    - 71
    Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  26. 26
    + 167
    - 87
    U2 is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by RobinGallego
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

  27. 27
    + 166
    - 85
    Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

  28. 28
    + 145
    - 82
    Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

  29. 29
    + 146
    - 64
    Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

  30. 30
    + 117
    - 67
    Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

  31. 31
    + 134
    - 57
    Madness is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

  32. 32
    + 197
    - 81
    A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

  33. 33
    + 144
    - 70
    Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

  34. 34
    + 116
    - 71
    The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

  35. 35
    + 146
    - 67
    Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

  36. 36
    + 108
    - 64
    Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

  37. 37
    + 149
    - 95
    Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

  38. 38
    + 81
    - 46
    The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by looksharp
    Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

  39. 39
    + 200
    - 105
    A-ha is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks
    Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave

  40. 40
    + 108
    - 50


    New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  41. 41
    + 137
    - 77
    Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music

  42. 42
    + 118
    - 71
    Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, Pop music, Ska

  43. 43
    + 71
    - 32
    Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by looksharp
    New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

  44. 44
    + 142
    - 76
    Erasure is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

  45. 45
    + 88
    - 49

    added by looksharp
    Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

    ;
  46. 46
    + 89
    - 53
    Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

  47. 47
    + 57
    - 12


    New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  48. 48
    + 90
    - 61
    Berlin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

  49. 49
    + 127
    - 58
    Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

  50. 50
    + 132
    - 79
    ABC is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Disco

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