The Best New Wave Bands Bands/Musicians

The Best New Wave Bands

23k votes 1.6k voters 97k 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. 51
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    ABC is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Disco

  2. 52
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    - 66

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

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  3. 53
    + 62
    - 40
    Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  4. 54
    + 65
    - 60
    The Beat is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

  5. 55
    + 83
    - 50
    Modern English is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

  6. 56
    + 27
    - 3
    The Clash is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

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

  7. 57
    + 56
    - 30
    The Motels is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

  8. 58
    + 34
    - 5


    New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

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  9. 59
    + 70
    - 40
    Men Without Hats is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  10. 60
    + 33
    - 10

    added by looksharp
    New Wave, Psychobilly, Rock music

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  11. 61
    + 22
    - 6

    added by punksnotdead
    Noise rock, New Wave, Dance-punk

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  12. 62
    + 78
    - 44


    Soundtrack, New Wave, Spoken word

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  13. 63
    + 49
    - 32


    New Wave, Alternative rock

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  14. 64
    + 72
    - 15

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobinGallego
    Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

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  15. 65
    + 68
    - 52


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

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  16. 66
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    - 45
    Bananarama is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Girl group, Synthpop, New Wave

  17. 67
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    - 48

    often listed
    New Wave, Rock music, New Romanticism

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  18. 68
    + 33
    - 8


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  19. 69
    + 43
    - 18
    Heaven 17 is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by RobinGallego
    Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

  20. 70
    + 64
    - 31


    Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music

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  21. 71
    + 41
    - 33


    New Wave

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  22. 72
    + 49
    - 36


    Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

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  23. 73
    + 59
    - 37


    New Wave, Industrial rock, Alternative rock

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  24. 74
    + 41
    - 18

    added by RobinGallego
    Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

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  25. 75
    + 65
    - 53
    Dead or Alive is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

  26. 76
    + 28
    - 8
    Crowded House is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by looksharp
    New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

  27. 77
    + 42
    - 29
    Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by RobinGallego
    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

  28. 78
    + 34
    - 13
    The Specials is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by looksharp
    New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

  29. 79
    + 49
    - 11
    Big Country is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    ranked low on reranks & added by looksharp
    Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

  30. 80
    + 57
    - 39
    Visage is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

  31. 81
    + 43
    - 26
    Bronski Beat is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by RobinGallego
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  32. 82
    + 51
    - 41


    Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-rock

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  33. 83
    + 39
    - 28


    Downtempo, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

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  34. 84
    + 20
    - 4


    Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

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  35. 85
    + 54
    - 37


    Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

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  36. 86
    + 35
    - 33

    often listed
    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

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  37. 87
    + 44
    - 28


    New Wave, Rock music, Dance music

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  38. 88
    + 35
    - 8


    Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

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  39. 89
    + 15
    - 6
    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  40. 90
    + 42
    - 32


    New Wave, Rock music, Dance-pop

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  41. 91
    + 39
    - 34


    New Wave, Pop rock

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  42. 92
    + 47
    - 35
    The Outfield is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

  43. 93
    + 41
    - 25
    The Vapors is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, Power pop, Mod revival

  44. 94
    + 47
    - 37


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

    ;
  45. 95
    + 30
    - 24
    Icehouse is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by HelenNguyen
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  46. 96
    + 38
    - 28
    Kim Wilde is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

    added by Mweihn
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

  47. 97
    + 28
    - 25

    added by RobinGallego
    Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

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  48. 98
    + 28
    - 18

    added by looksharp
    Pop music, Ska, Reggae

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  49. 99
    + 43
    - 26
    Dexys Midnight Runners is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best New Wave Bands


    New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

  50. 100
    + 31
    - 22


    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

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