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
988 397
New Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

2
903 490
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

3
596 477
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

4
1,234 346
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
1,253 336
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

6
790 386
The Police is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

7
711 359
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

8
882 383
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

9
717 311
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

10
523 170
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
muzziac added New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

11
502 226
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

12
347 231
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

13
345 316
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

14
612 315
The B-52's is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

15
854 298
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

16
524 257
Devo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

17
344 213
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

18
363 235
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

19
269 217
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

20
508 232
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

21
559 241
INXS is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

22
533 195
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

23
629 177
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

24
598 237
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

25
325 200
Madness is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

26
419 242
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

27
425 224
XTC is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

28
378 86
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

29
368 186
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

30
361 224
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

31
315 209
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

32
475 218
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

33
316 170
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

34
255 186
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

35
376 168
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

36
257 138
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

37
255 142
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

38
193 101
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

39
343 194
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

40
257 91
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

41
456 167
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

42
247 136
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

43
300 178
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

44
298 135
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

45
180 197
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

46
203 185
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

47
271 160
Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Ska

48
321 199
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

49
198 142
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

50
180 130
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music