bands/musicians The Best New Wave Bands  

Originally by
39.9k votes 2.6k voters 123.5k views 389 items Embed

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
back to page 1

51
116 47
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

The Absolute Best '80s Dance Moves (in GIF Form) The Best Chevrolets of All Time

52
160 89
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Oingo Boingo Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

53
110 81
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

54
211 140
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Culture Club Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

55
172 110
Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joe Jackson New Wave, Pop music, Ska

56
78 34
Public Image Ltd is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
punksnotdead added Public Image Ltd Noise rock, New Wave, Dance-punk

57
279 160
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A-ha Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave

58
187 129
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Cyndi Lauper Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music

59
104 84
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Beat New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

60
84 62
The Romantics is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Romantics Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

61
226 113
Spandau Ballet is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Spandau Ballet Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

62
86 44
Stray Cats is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Stray Cats New Wave, Psychobilly, Rock music

63
196 105
ABC is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
ABC Synthpop, New Wave, Disco

64
90 31
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Jam Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

65
86 50
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added The Kinks Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

The Best '80s Rappers 16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

66
134 70
The The is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The The Soundtrack, New Wave, Spoken word

67
68 62
The Waitresses is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Waitresses New Wave

68
104 79
Bananarama is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bananarama Girl group, Synthpop, New Wave

69
106 83
Split Enz is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Split Enz New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

70
65 26
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

71
89 75
Bow Wow Wow is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bow Wow Wow New Wave, Rock music, New Romanticism

72
83 72
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

73
51 37
Fine Young Cannibals is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Fine Young Cannibals New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

74
69 37
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Kate Bush Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

75
63 53
UB40 is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added UB40 Pop music, Ska, Reggae

76
78 47
Heaven 17 is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Heaven 17 Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

77
127 44
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

78
112 61
The Church is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Church Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music

79
59 58
Falco is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Falco Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s Reasons Guys Go after Quiet (but Not Shy) Girls

80
84 61
The Motels is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Motels New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

81
84 39
The Specials is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added The Specials New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

82
115 67
Men Without Hats is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men Without Hats Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

83
99 84
Dead or Alive is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Dead or Alive Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

84
61 68
Scritti Politti is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Scritti Politti Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

85
54 60
Icehouse is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
HelenNguyen added Icehouse Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

86
75 63
'Til Tuesday is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
'Til Tuesday New Wave, Alternative rock

87
67 62
Kim Wilde is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Mweihn added Kim Wilde Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

88
57 32
Howard Jones is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Howard Jones Nu metal, Deathcore, Mathcore

89
86 63
Wall of Voodoo is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Wall of Voodoo New Wave, Industrial rock, Alternative rock

90
79 59
Bronski Beat is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Bronski Beat Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

91
66 69
Wang Chung is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Wang Chung New Wave, Pop rock

92
61 41
Crowded House is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Crowded House New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

93
62 24
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
punksnotdead added Bauhaus Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

The Best 80s Cartoon Theme Songs The Best Xbox 360 Arcade Games

94
30 31
Buggles is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Buggles Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

95
58 26
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Sisters of Mercy Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock

96
40 48
Level 42 is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Level 42 New Wave, Jazz-funk, Pop music

97
71 65
Tom Tom Club is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Tom Tom Club Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-rock

98
58 52
Art of Noise is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Art of Noise Downtempo, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

99
70 65
The Outfield is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Outfield New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

100
64 60
The Tubes is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Tubes New Wave, Rock music, Dance-pop