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
928 363
New Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

2
854 461
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

3
569 442
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

4
1,150 325
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
1,176 326
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

6
736 364
The Police is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

7
668 337
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

8
825 366
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

9
679 289
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

10
479 153
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
465 214
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
318 212
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

13
326 294
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

14
575 294
The B-52's is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

15
794 293
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

16
494 239
Devo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

17
314 200
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

18
338 215
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

19
248 202
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

20
472 226
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

21
519 236
INXS is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

22
499 189
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

23
309 185
Madness is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

24
589 172
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

25
566 229
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

26
392 226
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

27
393 211
XTC is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

28
334 82
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

29
339 177
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

30
339 211
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

31
296 192
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

32
443 211
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

33
349 158
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

34
239 177
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

35
286 167
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

36
237 129
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

37
229 133
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

38
176 93
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

39
228 84
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

40
313 189
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

41
228 129
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

42
417 165
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

43
276 169
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

44
266 133
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

45
168 184
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

46
191 171
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

47
253 151
Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Ska

48
302 190
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

49
177 134
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

50
165 124
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music