80s music The Best New Wave Bands  

Reference
Originally by
42.0k votes 2.8k voters 127.4k 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

1
425 209
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

33 Child Actors Who Died Young The Best '80s Rappers

2
676 191
New Order is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

3
601 305
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

4
786 240
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
529 244
The Police is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

6
459 221
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

7
847 244
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

8
241 170
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men at Work New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

9
222 115
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talk Talk Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

10
157 58
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

11
499 223
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

12
301 78
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
muzziac added Echo & the Bunnymen New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

13
608 259
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Duran Duran Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

14
565 159
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
JasonWindsor added The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

15
417 225
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

The Best Grammy-Nominated Comedy Albums of the 1980s The Best Living Irish Actors

16
592 227
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
246 122
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Soft Cell Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

18
227 121
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Ultravox Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

19
187 111
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Stranglers New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

20
362 172
Devo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

21
340 159
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Eurythmics Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

22
130 44
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

23
231 115
Madness is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

24
182 104
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Violent Femmes Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

25
373 181
INXS is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
INXS New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

26
377 142
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Human League Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

27
420 170
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pet Shop Boys Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

28
277 161
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

29
424 134
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Psychedelic Furs New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

The Best Songs Feat. Offset The 20 Most Epic Wedding FAILs of All Time

30
285 158
XTC is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
XTC Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

31
311 112
Omd is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Omd

32
319 186
U2 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

33
270 149
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Adam and The Ants New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

34
184 38
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

35
223 131
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Go-Go's Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

36
327 149
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

37
240 133
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thompson Twins Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

38
180 129
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thomas Dolby Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

39
254 113
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

40
102 43
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Big Country Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

41
148 84
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Modern English New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

42
149 91
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Squeeze New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

43
223 136
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Erasure Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

The Best EDM YouTube Channels The Best Oscar-Winning Songs

44
137 107
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added The Bangles Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

45
185 32
Joy Division is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joy Division Punk rock, Post-punk

46
192 123
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Fixx Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

47
309 129
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A Flock of Seagulls Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

48
122 126
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Knack New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

49
189 122
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Yazoo Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

50
129 48
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands