The Best New Wave Bands Bands/Musicians
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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

New Wave was movement that took the music world by storm, changing fashions 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 fix 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 music, and some, in particular New Romantics, were able to capture the hearts and minds of young music listeners. 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 the likes of The Cure, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Talking Heads, Psychedelic Furs, Duran Duran, Simple Minds 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 popularity of New Wave, it's not surprising that it made a comeback in the early 2000s, with the likes of The Strokes, The Killers and more citing New Wave music as helping shape their sound.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best New Wave bands. 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. (237 items)

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    Auckland, New Zealand

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    London, United Kingdom

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    Zürich, Switzerland

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    United Kingdom

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    Brisbane, Australia

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    Dunfermline, United Kingdom

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Liverpool, United Kingdom

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