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
841 294
New Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

2
521 358
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

3
771 392
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

4
1,013 290
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
1,053 290
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

6
661 317
The Police is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

7
598 292
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

8
745 322
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Duran Duran Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

9
618 263
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blondie Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

10
420 170
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the D... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added Omd Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

11
282 171
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Talk Talk Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

12
298 250
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Men at Work New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

13
226 111
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

14
413 126
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
muzziac added Echo & the Bunnymen New Wave, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

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

15
511 270
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

16
714 273
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
441 213
Devo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

18
306 179
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Soft Cell Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

19
277 169
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Ultravox Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

20
220 168
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Stranglers New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

21
428 203
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Eurythmics Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

TV Shows That Should Be Canceled

22
467 212
INXS is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
INXS New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

23
279 159
Madness is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

24
455 173
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Human League Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

25
505 205
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pet Shop Boys Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

26
351 201
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

27
518 158
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Psychedelic Furs New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

28
352 188
XTC is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
XTC Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

The Best Hair Metal Bands Of All Time

29
411 223
U2 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
RobinGallego added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

30
275 61
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

31
289 163
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thompson Twins Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

32
309 183
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Adam and The Ants New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

33
264 167
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Go-Go's Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

34
401 184
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Billy Idol New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

35
313 133
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
213 158
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Thomas Dolby Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

37
194 110
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Modern English New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

38
143 71
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
241 150
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Fixx Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

40
189 116
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Squeeze New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

41
278 166
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Erasure Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

42
186 69
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s

43
240 148
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Yazoo Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

44
191 111
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Berlin Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

45
368 150
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
A Flock of Seagulls Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

46
147 157
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
The Knack New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

47
169 144
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added The Bangles Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

48
228 117
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Oingo Boingo Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

49
140 52
Public Image Ltd is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
punksnotdead added Public Image Ltd Noise rock, New Wave, Dance-punk

50
156 111
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Frankie Goes to Hollywood Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music