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
880 330
New Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

2
812 424
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

3
539 403
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

4
1,083 307
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
1,104 313
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

6
694 339
The Police is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

7
630 317
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

8
781 346
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Duran Duran Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

9
640 278
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

10
441 139
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
440 194
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
295 191
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talk Talk Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

13
310 271
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
540 280
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

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

15
745 281
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
464 224
Devo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

17
319 196
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Soft Cell Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

18
290 187
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Ultravox Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

19
233 181
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Stranglers New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

20
449 215
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Eurythmics Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

21
489 225
INXS is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
INXS New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

The Best TV Sitcoms on Amazon Prime

22
294 170
Madness is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

23
467 180
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
530 216
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
372 210
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

26
547 166
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Psychedelic Furs New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

27
374 199
XTC is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
XTC Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

28
296 71
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

The Best Hair Metal Bands Of All Time

29
308 168
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thompson Twins Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

30
322 192
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
279 176
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
420 193
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

33
326 146
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

34
217 115
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Modern English New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

35
222 169
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thomas Dolby Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

Catchiest Viral Internet Songs of All Time

36
259 157
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Fixx Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

37
157 80
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Big Country Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

38
205 125
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Squeeze New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

39
204 74
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

40
292 177
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Erasure Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

41
391 157
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A Flock of Seagulls Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

42
206 118
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Berlin Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

43
251 158
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Yazoo Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

44
248 122
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Oingo Boingo Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

45
157 169
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Knack New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

46
179 156
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
233 144
Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Joe Jackson New Wave, Pop music, Ska

48
166 121
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

49
274 181
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Culture Club Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

50
347 196
A-ha is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A-ha Adult album alternative, Synthpop, New Wave