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. 
list ordered by

1
408 171
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

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2
636 170
New Order is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

3
550 291
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

4
736 230
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
493 229
The Police is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

6
430 205
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

7
233 145
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men at Work New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

8
800 234
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

9
282 71
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
muzziac added Echo & the Bunnymen New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

10
469 216
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

11
212 105
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talk Talk Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

12
577 248
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Duran Duran Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

13
144 52
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

14
531 153
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
JasonWindsor added The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

15
392 219
The B-52's is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The B-52's New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

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16
560 221
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Tears for Fears Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

17
181 103
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Stranglers New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

18
229 112
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Soft Cell Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

19
339 165
Devo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

20
219 114
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Ultravox Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

21
222 105
Madness is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

22
323 153
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Eurythmics Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

23
365 134
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Human League Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

24
355 174
INXS is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
INXS New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

25
405 162
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pet Shop Boys Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

26
112 39
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

27
171 97
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Violent Femmes Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

28
266 156
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

29
406 129
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Psychedelic Furs New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

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30
273 152
XTC is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
XTC Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

31
300 107
Omd is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Omd

32
301 178
U2 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

33
259 142
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Adam and The Ants New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

34
213 125
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Go-Go's Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

35
165 35
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

36
318 145
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

37
229 125
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thompson Twins Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

38
100 36
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Big Country Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

39
172 123
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thomas Dolby Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

40
242 107
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

41
138 79
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Modern English New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

42
136 84
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Squeeze New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

43
215 132
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Erasure Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

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44
131 100
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added The Bangles Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

45
118 121
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Knack New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

46
185 118
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Fixx Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

47
301 124
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A Flock of Seagulls Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

48
142 87
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Berlin Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

49
165 29
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joy Division Punk rock, Post-punk

50
177 120
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Yazoo Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music