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. 

1
921 362
New Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

2
846 459
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

3
563 437
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

4
1,139 323
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
1,167 324
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

6
730 361
The Police is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

7
664 333
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

8
819 361
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Duran Duran Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

9
676 287
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

10
472 153
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
muzziac added Echo & the Bunnymen New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

11
462 212
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Omd Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

12
315 209
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talk Talk Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

13
323 290
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men at Work New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

14
569 290
The B-52's is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The B-52's New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

15
786 291
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Tears for Fears Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

16
491 236
Devo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

17
311 198
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Ultravox Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

18
336 211
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Soft Cell Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

19
246 198
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Stranglers New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

20
470 223
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Eurythmics Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

21
515 235
INXS is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
INXS New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

22
308 181
Madness is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

23
496 186
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Human League Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

24
562 227
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pet Shop Boys Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

25
585 170
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Psychedelic Furs New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

26
389 224
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

27
391 208
XTC is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
XTC Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

28
329 80
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

29
333 177
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thompson Twins Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

30
338 207
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Adam and The Ants New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

31
295 189
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Go-Go's Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

32
441 208
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

33
238 174
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thomas Dolby Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

34
284 165
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Fixx Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

35
345 157
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

36
235 127
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Modern English New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

37
225 132
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Squeeze New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

38
174 91
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Big Country Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

39
224 82
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

40
311 187
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Erasure Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

41
275 167
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Yazoo Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

42
224 129
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Berlin Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

43
412 165
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A Flock of Seagulls Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

44
264 130
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Oingo Boingo Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

45
167 182
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Knack New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

46
191 168
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added The Bangles Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

47
301 188
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Culture Club Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

48
250 150
Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joe Jackson New Wave, Pop music, Ska

49
176 131
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

50
163 122
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Beat New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music