10 Best New Wave 80s Bands and Artists

By: Bryan K.

If you love 80s New Wave music, you should listen to these top 10 bands and artists.

The Cure has spooky tunes, Depeche Mode has cool electronic beats, and New Order has a special sound you'll enjoy.

Talking Heads play fun songs, and Duran Duran's catchy tunes are classics. The Smiths have indie music, and Blondie mixes rock and pop.

For a darker vibe, try Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, and Echo & the Bunnymen's dreamy sounds.

These artists made the 80s awesome with their cool music styles!

Main Points

  • The Cure: This band had a big impact with their unique music and meaningful lyrics, influencing alternative and gothic music.
  • Depeche Mode: This band is famous for songs like 'Just Can't Get Enough' and had a big influence on 80s music and fashion.
  • New Order: Mixing punk and electronic music, this band is known for 'Blue Monday' and shaped synth-pop and alternative music.
  • Talking Heads: Their music blends rock, punk, and new wave, with hits like 'Once in a Lifetime'.
  • Duran Duran: A stylish band with a unique sound and look that made a mark on pop culture in the 80s.

The Cure

The Cure was a big band in the 80s. They had a special sound and deep lyrics. Robert Smith changed his look and music style, which affected the band's image. His messy hair, smeared lipstick, and sad tunes defined The Cure's journey.

Their music had a huge impact on alternative and gothic music. Mixing punk and new wave made them stand out. Songs like 'Lovesong' and 'Just Like Heaven' spoke to people's hearts about love and life.

The Cure kept changing their sound, which influenced many artists. Starting with gothic rock, they moved to pop sounds. The Cure is remembered for being innovative and emotional in 80s music.

Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode was a big deal in New Wave music. They made hits like 'Just Can't Get Enough' and 'Personal Jesus'. People still love their music today.

New musicians and fans look up to Depeche Mode for inspiration.

Depeche Mode Influence

Depeche Mode had a big impact in the 80s. Their music was dark and electronic. Many musicians were influenced by them. They changed how music sounded and also influenced fashion.

Depeche Mode used new technology in their music. This inspired other artists to try new things. Their live shows were exciting and impressed people all over the world. They mixed pop and rock with synths. This inspired future musicians to explore electronic music.

Depeche Mode's influence is still strong in the music industry. They show how being creative and original is important.

Iconic Depeche Mode Songs

Depeche Mode has many famous songs that influenced music and fashion. Let's look at some of their best songs:

  • Song Title: 'Enjoy the Silence'

Album: Violator (1990)

Key Themes: Being alone, searching for yourself

  • Song Title: 'Personal Jesus'

Album: Violator (1990)

Key Themes: Believing in something, being unique

  • Song Title: 'Just Can't Get Enough'

Album: Speak & Spell (1981)

Key Themes: Liking someone a lot, feeling happy

  • Song Title: 'Policy of Truth'

Album: Violator (1990)

Key Themes: Telling the truth, dealing with lies

  • Song Title: 'People Are People'

Album: Some Great Reward (1984)

Key Themes: Everyone being equal, caring about social problems

Depeche Mode Legacy

Depeche Mode had a big impact on music and fashion. Their cool and futuristic style influenced a lot of designers. They used new technology to make music with cool sounds in the 80s.

They liked to try new things and be creative. Their influence is still strong today, inspiring new artists to be bold and try new things in music and fashion.

New Order

New Order was a cool band in the 1980s. They mixed punk and electronic music. They were known for their hit song 'Blue Monday'. Their music was a mix of guitars and electronic beats.

One famous album they made was called 'Power, Corruption & Lies'. New Order's music was a big influence on synth-pop and alternative music.

Their song 'Blue Monday' is a great example of their unique style. They always tried new things with each album.

Talking Heads

Talking Heads was a cool band from the 80s. They made music that was different and interesting.

Mixing different styles and trying new things made them stand out.

Their music still inspires people today.

Influential Music Pioneers

Talking Heads were a cool band in the 80s. They made music that was different and new. People liked their style and the way they played music. They mixed rock, punk, and new wave to create a sound that was all their own.

Their songs like 'Once in a Lifetime' and 'Burning Down the House' were really popular. Talking Heads were brave and tried new things with their music. They were important in the New Wave music scene.

Unique Artistic Vision

Talking Heads made cool music in the 80s. They mixed rock, punk, and new wave. People loved their style. The band kept changing and trying new things. They didn't follow the usual rules. Their music was different and made you think.

Talking Heads mixed all kinds of music together. They used African beats and strange ideas. This made their music special. They took risks and did things in a new way. Other artists learned from them.

Talking Heads shook up the music world with their creative ideas.

Timeless Experimental Sound

Talking Heads mixed rock, punk, and new wave music in the 80s. Their unique sound was groundbreaking and captivated fans. They experimented with different rhythms and sounds, pushing boundaries.

Each album showed their creativity and innovation. Listening to Talking Heads gives you a fresh perspective on music.

Duran Duran

Duran Duran was a popular band in the 80s. They had a unique sound and a cool style. The band changed music and fashion. Their music videos, like 'Hungry Like the Wolf' and 'Rio,' were like art. Many musicians and filmmakers were inspired by them.

Duran Duran was more than just music. They were stylish and adventurous. People loved their mix of new wave, pop, and rock. Fans all over the world enjoyed their music. Even today, people still love their songs.

Duran Duran's impact on pop culture was big. Their fashion, music videos, and songs were all special. They were creative and innovative. They'll always be remembered for their music.

The Smiths

The Smiths were a band from Britain in the 80s. People loved their songs like 'The Queen Is Dead' and 'There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.'

They mixed indie rock and post-punk music, which inspired many other musicians. The band had some problems and arguments, so they split up in 1987.

Top Songs and Albums

Discover The Smiths' best songs and albums. Their music has catchy guitars and deep lyrics that fans love. Listen to these top hits:

  • 'There Is a Light That Never Fades'
  • 'How Soon Is Now?'
  • 'This Delightful Gentleman'

Read about their popular albums:

  • *The Queen Is Dead*: People love this emotional and thought-provoking masterpiece.
  • *Meat Is Murder*: This album talks about politics and shows how the band grew.
  • *Strangeways, Here We Come*: Their last album that sealed their place in music history.

Influences and Legacy

The Smiths had a big impact on music. They worked with other musicians and producers to create new sounds in the New Wave era. Their music had jangly guitars, deep lyrics, and Morrissey's unique voice.

Many indie artists were inspired by them. The band's songs were full of emotions and thoughts about society. Artists still look up to The Smiths today.

Their legacy shows how being creative can change the music world.

Controversies and Breakup

The Smiths were a popular band known for their unique music and meaningful lyrics. Unfortunately, they faced problems within the group that led to them breaking up. Fans were sad when this happened, and there were rumors about them getting back together, but it never happened. Some people think they split up because they had different ideas about their music.

Even though there were controversies, The Smiths made a big impact on music in the 80s. Their music still inspires artists today.


Blondie was a band that mixed punk rock and pop music. They helped create the New Wave sound in the 1980s. Debbie Harry, the lead singer, had a cool style that influenced fashion trends. Their music videos were groundbreaking and set new standards.

After Blondie, Debbie Harry had a solo career that showed her talent as an artist. The band's influence continued over the years. Blondie's songs like 'Heart of Glass' and 'Call Me' are still popular today.

Blondie made music that was ahead of its time by blending different styles. They used electronic sounds and catchy tunes that made them unique. Their legacy in music is strong.

Whether you've been a fan for a while or are just discovering them, Blondie's impact on the New Wave era is clear. Listen to their music, dive into their world, and let their energetic songs take you back to the exciting 80s music scene.

Siouxsie and the Banshees

Siouxsie and the Banshees were a cool band in the 80s. They mixed punk and gothic rock to make awesome music. People loved their style and sound.

  • Cool look, rebellious attitude: Siouxsie Sioux, the lead singer, wore black clothes and had wild hair. She looked punk and goth, showing off a rebel attitude.
  • Different music: The band made new and exciting sounds. They mixed eerie tunes with strong beats, creating a dark and moody vibe that was different from regular rock music.
  • Big influence: Apart from their music, they influenced the goth style. Many fans and artists copied their unique style and attitude, promoting creativity and individuality in music and fashion.

Joy Division

Joy Division made cool music in the 80s. They mixed punk and new wave. The band was from Manchester. They helped change punk music.

People loved Joy Division's music. It was deep and made you think. Ian Curtis sang with feeling. The band's music had a special vibe. Songs like 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and 'Transmission' were hits.

Joy Division's music was moody. It talked about life's ups and downs. Their songs mirrored tough times. Their music still inspires artists today. Joy Division showed that being real in music is important.

Echo & the Bunnymen

Echo & the Bunnymen made music in the 80s that mixed post-punk and new wave sounds. People loved their music because it was energetic and catchy. They influenced many new artists too. Here's why they were special:

  • Post Punk Revival: Echo & the Bunnymen took the intense and do-it-yourself style of post-punk and made it modern. This connected with young people looking for something new.
  • Alternative Rock Fusion: They mixed in alternative rock elements, making their music cool and easy to like. This helped kickstart the alternative rock craze in the 90s.
  • Innovative Songwriting: Their creative songwriting, mixing deep thoughts with catchy tunes, made them different from others and made them famous.

In a world of musical experiments, Echo & the Bunnymen found their own style and left a big mark on new wave music.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Upcoming Tour Dates for These Bands and Artists?

Want to see your favorite bands and artists live? Find out when they're performing near you! Tickets may sell out quickly, so don't wait! Stay updated on upcoming shows and don't miss the chance to see your favorite acts in person.

Are There Any Unreleased Songs or Albums From These Bands and Artists?

You can find rare songs and hidden tracks from your favorite bands. Unreleased demos are waiting for you to discover them. Get ready to explore and enjoy these lost gems.

How Do These Bands and Artists Feel About the Current State of the Music Industry?

Many bands and artists are worried about the music industry. They feel stressed by new music trends. They are excited but also unsure about changing. They want to adjust but are careful not to lose their artistic style.

Have Any of These Bands and Artists Collaborated With Each Other?

Have these bands and artists worked together and made music?

What Are Some Lesser-Known Facts or Trivia About These Bands and Artists?

Learn interesting facts about these bands. Find out how they started and what influenced their music. Discover hidden songs and stories that make their music even more special. Enjoy learning more about their talent and creativity.


In the 80s, we had some great bands and artists. The Cure had spooky tunes, while Depeche Mode had cool electronic sounds. These musicians really made a mark on music.

So, when you're feeling nostalgic, listen to New Order or Talking Heads. Their music will take you back to a time of bright lights and big hair.

The 80s were a special time for new wave music.

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