bands/musicians The Best New Wave Bands  

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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. 
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+ - 100 61
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

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+ - 158 96
Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joe Jackson New Wave, Pop music, Ska

53
+ - 71 26
Stray Cats is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Stray Cats New Wave, Psychobilly, Rock music

54
+ - 174 109
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Cyndi Lauper Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music

55
+ - 119 67
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Modern English New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

56
+ - 190 126
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Culture Club Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

57
+ - 176 95
ABC is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
ABC Synthpop, New Wave, Disco

58
+ - 75 48
The Romantics is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Romantics Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

59
+ - 123 78
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Berlin Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

60
+ - 57 22
Public Image Ltd is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Public Image Ltd Noise rock, New Wave, Dance-punk

61
+ - 190 101
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Ultravox Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

62
+ - 72 37
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Kinks Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

63
+ - 72 19
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Jam Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

64
+ - 90 75
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Beat New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

65
+ - 109 62
The The is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The The Soundtrack, New Wave, Spoken word

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+ - 91 63
Bananarama is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bananarama Girl group, Synthpop, New Wave

67
+ - 61 49
The Waitresses is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Waitresses New Wave

68
+ - 46 14
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

69
+ - 94 71
Split Enz is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Split Enz New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

70
+ - 103 36
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

71
+ - 43 22
Fine Young Cannibals is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Fine Young Cannibals New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

72
+ - 97 48
The Church is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Church Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music

73
+ - 79 23
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Big Country Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

74
+ - 80 62
Bow Wow Wow is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bow Wow Wow New Wave, Rock music, New Romanticism

75
+ - 65 37
Heaven 17 is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Heaven 17 Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

76
+ - 68 53
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

77
+ - 51 36
UB40 is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
UB40 Pop music, Ska, Reggae

78
+ - 73 48
The Motels is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Motels New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

79
+ - 46 23
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Kate Bush Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

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+ - 90 66
Dead or Alive is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Dead or Alive Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

81
+ - 95 57
Men Without Hats is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men Without Hats Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

82
+ - 61 29
The Specials is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Specials New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

83
+ - 66 49
'Til Tuesday is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
'Til Tuesday New Wave, Alternative rock

84
+ - 48 45
Falco is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Falco Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

85
+ - 68 44
Bronski Beat is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bronski Beat Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

86
+ - 53 54
Scritti Politti is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Scritti Politti Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

87
+ - 42 20
Howard Jones is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Howard Jones Nu metal, Deathcore, Mathcore

88
+ - 44 44
Icehouse is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Icehouse Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

89
+ - 48 28
Crowded House is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Crowded House New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

90
+ - 57 49
Kim Wilde is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Kim Wilde Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

91
+ - 73 55
Wall of Voodoo is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Wall of Voodoo New Wave, Industrial rock, Alternative rock

92
+ - 58 53
Wang Chung is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Wang Chung New Wave, Pop rock

93
+ - 22 14
Buggles is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Buggles Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

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+ - 68 39
Dexys Midnight Runners is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Dexys Midnight Runners New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

95
+ - 66 38
Alphaville is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Alphaville Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

96
+ - 63 37
The Vapors is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Vapors New Wave, Power pop, Mod revival

97
+ - 40 17
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Sisters of Mercy Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock

98
+ - 63 53
The Outfield is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Outfield New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

99
+ - 62 40
Romeo Void is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Romeo Void New Wave, Rock music, Dance music

100
+ - 36 14
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bauhaus Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk