The Best New Wave Bands

29k votes 2k voters 111k views 388 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. 
  • 22 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 418
    - 184

    the people's #1 & most listed
    New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

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  2. 2
    + 556
    - 159

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 619
    - 179

    ranked low on reranks
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

    ;
  4. 4
    + 468
    - 116


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

    ;
  5. 5
    + 353
    - 144


    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

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  6. 6
    + 376
    - 101

    added by JasonWindsor
    Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

    ;
  7. 7
    + 438
    - 181


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  8. 8
    + 367
    - 168


    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

    ;
  9. 9
    + 300
    - 155


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  10. 10
    + 319
    - 154


    Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

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  11. 11
    + 431
    - 169


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  12. 12
    + 252
    - 121

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

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  13. 13
    + 302
    - 111

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 256
    - 112


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  15. 15
    + 291
    - 102


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

    ;
  16. 16
    + 313
    - 123


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  17. 17
    + 308
    - 99


    New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

    ;
  18. 18
    + 275
    - 134

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

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  19. 19
    + 173
    - 36

    added by muzziac
    New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 210
    - 112


    Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

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  21. 21
    + 205
    - 111


    New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

    ;
  22. 22
    + 220
    - 74
    Omd is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobinGallego

  23. 23
    + 223
    - 119

    added by RobinGallego
    Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

    ;
  24. 24
    + 200
    - 103


    New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

    ;
  25. 25
    + 253
    - 111


    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

    ;
  26. 26
    + 75
    - 11


    New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

    ;
  27. 27
    + 173
    - 93


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  28. 28
    + 166
    - 73


    New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

    ;
  29. 29
    + 148
    - 94

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

    ;
  30. 30
    + 141
    - 88


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

    ;
  31. 31
    + 177
    - 82


    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

    ;
  32. 32
    + 181
    - 85


    Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

    ;
  33. 33
    + 178
    - 103


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  34. 34
    + 121
    - 63

    added by looksharp
    Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

    ;
  35. 35
    + 96
    - 49

    added by looksharp
    New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

    ;
  36. 36
    + 83
    - 12

    ranked low on reranks
    Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

    ;
  37. 37
    + 171
    - 92


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

    ;
  38. 38
    + 234
    - 100

    ranked low on reranks
    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

    ;
  39. 39
    + 146
    - 88


    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

    ;
  40. 40
    + 101
    - 68

    often listed & added by looksharp
    Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

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  41. 41
    + 64
    - 16


    ;
  42. 42
    + 87
    - 22


    New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  43. 43
    + 134
    - 67


    New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

    ;
  44. 44
    + 135
    - 83

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

    ;
  45. 45
    + 155
    - 67


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

    ;
  46. 46
    + 90
    - 78

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 175
    - 83


    Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

    ;
  48. 48
    + 233
    - 125

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

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  49. 49
    + 83
    - 46


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
  50. 50
    + 43
    - 14


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

    ;
389 +

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