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The Best New Wave Bands

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. 

The Best New Wave Bands Bands/Musicians
  • 13 ReRanks
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  1. 51
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    - 45

    ranked low on reranks
    Laughing Stock, Spirit of Eden, The Colour of Spring

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  2. 52
    + 78
    - 56


    Count Three & Pray, All The Way In, 20th Century Masters: The ...

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  3. 53
    + 45
    - 18

    added by looksharp
    East Side Story, Singles: 45's and Under, Play

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  4. 54
    + 70
    - 37


    Love Is Stronger Than Death, Dogs of Lust (disc 1), Soul Mining

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  5. 55
    + 60
    - 44


    Second Thoughts, Dizrythmia, Waiata

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  6. 56
    + 8
    - 0

    added by punksnotdead
    Album, Metal Box, This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get

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  7. 57
    + 58
    - 10

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobinGallego
    The Man-Machine, Autobahn, Trans-Europe Express

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  8. 58
    + 47
    - 26


    All Four One, All Four One / Little Robbers, Little Robbers

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  9. 59
    + 53
    - 33


    Relax, Welcome to the Pleasuredome, Bang!... The Greatest Hits of Frankie ...

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  10. 60
    + 52
    - 39


    I Want Candy, When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

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  11. 61
    + 51
    - 24


    Of Skins and Heart, The Blurred Crusade, Magician Among the Spirits

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  12. 62
    + 44
    - 26


    Voices Carry, Welcome Home, Everything's Different Now

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  13. 63
    + 51
    - 32


    Call of the West, Dark Continent, Dark & Crazy: A Retrospective

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  14. 64
    + 58
    - 34


    Pop Goes the World, Folk of the 80s (Part III), The Safety Dance

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  15. 65
    + 60
    - 46


    Sophisticated Boom Boom, Youthquake, Evolution: The Hits

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  16. 66
    + 50
    - 33


    Beat Boy, Visage, The Anvil

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  17. 67
    + 55
    - 39


    Cruel Summer, Greatest Hits Collection, Shy Boy

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  18. 68
    + 46
    - 36


    Tom Tom Club, The Good The Bad and the Funky, Close to the Bone

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  19. 69
    + 38
    - 8

    ranked low on reranks & added by looksharp
    The Crossing, Steeltown, Driving to Damascus

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  20. 70
    + 40
    - 23


    Warm, In Your Coat, Benefactor

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  21. 71
    + 34
    - 21

    added by RobinGallego
    Rainbow Nation, For a Friend: The Best of Jimmy Somerville, The Age of ...

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  22. 72
    + 38
    - 27


    Remote Control, The Completion Backward Principle, The Tubes

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  23. 73
    + 33
    - 27


    The Best of The Waitresses, Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses, 20th ...

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  24. 74
    + 30
    - 22

    added by RobinGallego
    Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits, Making Movies

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  25. 75
    + 42
    - 32


    Gentlemen Take Polaroids, Adolescent Sex, Tin Drum

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  26. 76
    + 40
    - 31


    The Romantics, In Heat, 61/49

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  27. 77
    + 41
    - 31


    Big Innings: Best of The Outfield, Playing the Field, Diamond Days

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  28. 78
    + 36
    - 22


    New Clear Days, Magnets, Turning Japanese: The Best of the Vapors

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  29. 79
    + 42
    - 34


    A Tonic for the Troops, Great Songs of Indifference: The Best of Bob ...

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  30. 80
    + 25
    - 5


    Roxy Music, Country Life, For Your Pleasure

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  31. 81
    + 33
    - 21

    added by Mweihn
    Close, Kim Wilde, Never Say Never

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  32. 82
    + 24
    - 19

    added by HelenNguyen
    Icehouse, The Berlin Tapes, Masterfile

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  33. 83
    + 31
    - 24


    Into Battle With the Art of Noise, The Seduction of Claude Debussy, Daft ...

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  34. 84
    + 29
    - 27


    White Bread Black Beer, Cupid & Psyche 85, Provision

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  35. 85
    + 36
    - 28


    Everybody Have Fun Tonight, Points on the Curve, Mosaic

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  36. 86
    + 26
    - 19

    added by RobinGallego
    Rock Me Amadeus, Falco 3, Einzelhaft

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  37. 87
    + 36
    - 12

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobinGallego
    The Luxury Gap, Penthouse and Pavement, How Men Are

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  38. 88
    + 21
    - 6


    All Mod Cons, In the City, Setting Sons

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  39. 89
    + 22
    - 6

    added by looksharp
    Built for Speed, Stray Cats, Rock This Town

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  40. 90
    + 26
    - 9

    added by looksharp
    Specials, Ghost Town, In the Studio

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  41. 91
    + 32
    - 31


    My Ever Changing Moods, The Cost of Loving, Our Favourite Shop

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  42. 92
    + 28
    - 24


    Kimono My House, Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins, In Outer Space ...

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  43. 93
    + 26
    - 27

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Essential Christmas, Jingle Bells, How How

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  44. 94
    + 22
    - 27

    often listed
    Mosquitos, The Big Heat, Songs That Made This Country Great

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  45. 95
    + 15
    - 3


    20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Siouxsie and ...

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  46. 96
    + 16
    - 6


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  47. 97
    + 15
    - 5

    added by looksharp
    Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House, Woodface, Don’t Dream ...

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  48. 98
    + 21
    - 28

    often listed
    One Night in America, The Plimsouls... Plus, Gangrene Tambourines

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  49. 99
    + 19
    - 20


    Kilimanjaro, Everybody Wants to Shag... The Teardrop Explodes, Treason

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  50. 100
    + 39
    - 23


    The Very Best Of, Don't Stand Me Down, Come On Eileen

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