80s music 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. 
list ordered by

1
825 282
New Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

2
510 344
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

3
757 378
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

4
987 287
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
1,024 286
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

6
650 310
The Police is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

7
578 286
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

8
721 314
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Duran Duran Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

9
609 255
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

10
406 164
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Omd Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

11
277 167
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talk Talk Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

12
294 243
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men at Work New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

13
401 120
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
muzziac added Echo & the Bunnymen New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

14
217 108
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

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15
503 262
The B-52's is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The B-52's New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

16
700 267
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Tears for Fears Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

17
274 159
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Ultravox Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

18
432 205
Devo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

19
297 173
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Soft Cell Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

20
218 160
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Stranglers New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

21
421 198
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Eurythmics Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

The Best '80s Rappers

22
455 209
INXS is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
INXS New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

23
276 153
Madness is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

24
443 169
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Human League Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

25
493 201
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pet Shop Boys Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

26
342 198
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

27
506 155
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Psychedelic Furs New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

28
345 184
XTC is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
XTC Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

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29
397 219
U2 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

30
266 57
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

31
286 158
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thompson Twins Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

32
304 179
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Adam and The Ants New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

33
261 162
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Go-Go's Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

34
388 181
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

35
307 131
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

The Best Mineral Water Brands

36
212 154
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thomas Dolby Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

37
139 66
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Big Country Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

38
190 106
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Modern English New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

39
237 147
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Fixx Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

40
183 114
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Squeeze New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

41
271 161
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Erasure Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

42
235 145
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Yazoo Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

Every Song in Hair (the Musical), Ranked by Singability

43
178 68
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

44
361 147
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A Flock of Seagulls Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

45
185 110
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Berlin Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

46
144 153
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Knack New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

47
166 140
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added The Bangles Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

48
222 113
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Oingo Boingo Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

49
134 51
Public Image Ltd is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
punksnotdead added Public Image Ltd Noise rock, New Wave, Dance-punk

50
153 107
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music