80s music The Best New Wave Bands  

Reference
Originally by
42.0k votes 2.8k voters 127.3k 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
back to page 1

51
151 91
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Berlin Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

The Absolute Best '80s Dance Moves (in GIF Form) The Best Lifestyle TV Shows

52
171 92
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Oingo Boingo Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

53
180 113
Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joe Jackson New Wave, Pop music, Ska

54
116 85
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

55
219 144
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Culture Club Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

56
87 35
Public Image Ltd is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
punksnotdead added Public Image Ltd Noise rock, New Wave, Dance-punk

57
288 164
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A-ha Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave

58
109 87
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Beat New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

59
191 130
Cyndi Lauper is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Cyndi Lauper Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music

60
232 116
Spandau Ballet is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Spandau Ballet Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

61
201 107
ABC is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
ABC Synthpop, New Wave, Disco

62
84 64
The Romantics is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Romantics Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

63
98 34
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Jam Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

64
87 47
Stray Cats is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Stray Cats New Wave, Psychobilly, Rock music

65
93 52
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added The Kinks Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

The Best '80s Rappers The Greatest Songs by '90s One-Hit Wonders

66
143 72
The The is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The The Soundtrack, New Wave, Spoken word

67
75 28
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

68
68 64
The Waitresses is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Waitresses New Wave

69
112 85
Split Enz is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Split Enz New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

70
108 81
Bananarama is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bananarama Girl group, Synthpop, New Wave

71
80 38
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Kate Bush Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

72
57 38
Fine Young Cannibals is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Fine Young Cannibals New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

73
92 76
Bow Wow Wow is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bow Wow Wow New Wave, Rock music, New Romanticism

74
87 76
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

75
136 44
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

76
82 48
Heaven 17 is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Heaven 17 Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

77
121 62
The Church is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Church Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music

78
65 60
Falco is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Falco Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

79
63 57
UB40 is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added UB40 Pop music, Ska, Reggae

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person

80
89 40
The Specials is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added The Specials New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

81
86 63
The Motels is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Motels New Wave, Pop rock, Alternative rock

82
118 69
Men Without Hats is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men Without Hats Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

83
103 86
Dead or Alive is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Dead or Alive Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

84
81 65
'Til Tuesday is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
'Til Tuesday New Wave, Alternative rock

85
63 70
Scritti Politti is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Scritti Politti Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

86
58 63
Icehouse is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
HelenNguyen added Icehouse Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

87
68 42
Crowded House is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Crowded House New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

88
92 64
Wall of Voodoo is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Wall of Voodoo New Wave, Industrial rock, Alternative rock

89
69 63
Kim Wilde is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Mweihn added Kim Wilde Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

90
61 34
Howard Jones is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Howard Jones Nu metal, Deathcore, Mathcore

91
87 61
Bronski Beat is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Bronski Beat Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

92
73 24
Bauhaus is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
punksnotdead added Bauhaus Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

93
36 32
Buggles is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Buggles Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

The Greatest Women in Music, 1980s to Today The Best Kids Movies of 2014

94
68 72
Wang Chung is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Wang Chung New Wave, Pop rock

95
63 26
The Sisters of Mercy is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Sisters of Mercy Gothic rock, Rock music, Alternative rock

96
57 22
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Cocteau Twins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

97
76 66
Tom Tom Club is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Tom Tom Club Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-rock

98
42 50
Level 42 is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Level 42 New Wave, Jazz-funk, Pop music

99
68 61
The Tubes is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Tubes New Wave, Rock music, Dance-pop

100
83 50
Alphaville is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Alphaville Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism