80s Music The Best New Wave Bands  

Reference
Originally by
60.9k votes 4.1k voters 153.4k views 362 items

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
921 363
New Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

2
846 460
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

3
564 437
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

4
1,140 323
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

5
1,169 325
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

6
731 362
The Police is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

7
665 334
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

8
819 362
Duran Duran is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

9
676 288
Blondie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

10
473 153
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
463 212
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
316 209
Talk Talk is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

13
324 290
Men at Work is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

14
569 291
The B-52's is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

15
788 291
Tears for Fears is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

16
492 236
Devo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

17
312 198
Ultravox is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

18
336 212
Soft Cell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, New Romanticism

19
246 199
The Stranglers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

20
470 224
Eurythmics is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

21
516 235
INXS is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

22
309 182
Madness is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

23
496 187
The Human League is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

24
587 170
The Psychedelic Furs is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Alternative rock

25
563 227
Pet Shop Boys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

26
390 224
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

27
392 208
XTC is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Indie pop, New Wave, Psychedelic pop

28
330 80
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

29
334 177
Thompson Twins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

30
338 208
Adam and The Ants is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Glam punk

31
296 189
The Go-Go's is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Pop punk, New Wave, Pop music

32
442 208
Billy Idol is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Dance-rock

33
238 175
Thomas Dolby is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop rock

34
285 165
The Fixx is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

35
346 157
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

36
236 127
Modern English is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, New Romanticism, Post-punk

37
226 132
Squeeze is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

38
175 91
Big Country is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Celtic rock, New Wave, Rock music

39
225 82
The Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Bands

40
313 187
Erasure is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

41
275 168
Yazoo is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

42
225 129
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

43
414 165
A Flock of Seagulls is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

44
265 131
Oingo Boingo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Gothic rock

45
167 183
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Rock music, Power pop

46
191 169
The Bangles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
looksharp added Jangle pop, Girl group, New Wave

47
302 188
Culture Club is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Blue-eyed soul, Synthpop, New Wave

48
251 150
Joe Jackson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, Pop music, Ska

49
176 132
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

50
163 123
The Beat is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Bands
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music