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100 Greatest New Wave Songs

Background - 'New Wave' evolved from 'Punk' in the late '70s being less anti-social and more radio (and MTV) friendly, hitting it's high in '83 and faded around '87. It can be best described as mixing the energy of Punk with a bit of 'Glam', 'Pop', 'Art-Rock' & 'Dance' and relied heavily on synthesizers. (Note- These songs are not necessarily the artists all-time greatest, but their best of the 'New Wave' sound.)

Criteria: - These songs were chosen for their musical quality, originality, and popularity in the "New Wave" era of approx. 1978 to 1987.

Edited By: Lew
Last Updated: 8-19-08

Greatest New Wave Songs
 100 Greatest Songs by Year | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 |   
synth-pop radio



Adam Ant
Adam Ant



a-ha



A Flock of Seagulls
A Flock of Seagulls



Thomas Dolby



  1. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Eurythmics (1983)
  2. Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds (1985)
  3. Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears For Fears (1985)
  4. Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood (1983)
  5. One Way Or Another - Blondie (1978)
  6. Burning Down the House - Talking Heads (1983)
  7. Tainted Love - Soft Cell (1981)
  8. Down Under - Men At Work (1982)
  9. I Ran (So Far Away) - A Flock of Seagulls (1982)
10. Don't You Want Me - Human League (1981)
11. You Might Think - The Cars (1984)
12. I Melt With You - Modern English (1983)
13. Take On Me - a-ha (1985)
14. Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran (1982)
15. Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads (1980)
16. Whip It! - Devo (1980)
17. Blue Monday - New Order (1983)
18. Peace, Love And Understanding?, (What's So Funny 'Bout) - Elvis Costello (1979)
19. Don't Stand So Close To Me - The Police (1980)
20. Shout - Tears For Fears (1985)
21. People Are People - Depeche Mode (1981)
22. True - Spandau Ballet (1983)
23. Brass In Pocket - The Pretenders (1980)
24. Something About You - Level 42 (1986)
25. Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins (1984)
26. Turning Japanese - The Vapors (1981)
27. She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby (1984)
28. Psycho Killer - Talking Heads (1977)
29. Is She Really Going Out with Him? - Joe Jackson (1979)
30. Poison Arrow - ABC (1982)
31. Rock Lobster - B-52s (1979)
32. Need You Tonight - INXS (1987)
33. Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners (1982)
34. Heart Of Glass - Blondie (1978)
35. Everyday I Write The Book - Elvis Costello (1983)
36. Cars - Gary Numan (1980)
37. Tempted - Squeeze (1981)
38. Who Can It Be Now? - Men At Work (1982)
39. It's My Life - Talk Talk (1982)
40. West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys (1985)
41. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me - Culture Club (1982)
42. Pump It Up - Elvis Costello (1978)
43. Doctor! Doctor! - Thompson Twins (1984)
44. Promises, Promises - Naked Eyes (1983)
45. Spirits In The Material World - The Police (1981)
46. Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant (1982)
47. More Than This - Roxy Music (1982)
48. Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) - Squeeze (1980)
49. Love My Way - Psychedelic Furs (1982)
50. Wouldn't It Be Good - Nik Kershaw (1984)
51. Two Tribes - Frankie Goes to Hollywood (1984)
52. Senses Working Overtime - XTC (1982)
53. Obsession - Animotion (1984)
54. Save It for Later - The English Beat (1982)
55. Alive and Kicking - Simple Minds (1985)
56. Saved By Zero - The Fixx (1983)
57. Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics (1984)
58. Tenderness - General Public (1984)
59. Voices Carry - Til Tuesday (1985)
60. Mexican Radio - Wall of Voodoo (1982)
61. Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil (1988)
62. Send Me An Angel - Real Life (1983)
63. Always Something There to Remind Me - Naked Eyes (1982)
64. Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson (1982)
65. Why Me? - Planet P Project (1983)
66. No One Is To Blame - Howard Jones (1986)
67. Shake It Up - The Cars (1982)
68. The Metro - Berlin (1982)
69. You Spin Me 'Round (Like a Record) - Dead Or Alive (1985)
70. The Safety Dance - Men Without Hats (1983)
71. One Thing Leads to Another - The Fixx (1983)
72. She's a Beauty - The Tubes (1983)
73. Rock Me Amadeus - Falco (1986)
74. In a Big Country - Big Country (1983)
75. Life In a Northern Town - The Dream Academy (1985)
76. Major Tom (Coming Home) - Peter Schilling (1983)
77. Just What I Needed - The Cars (1978)
78. Time (Clock of the Heart) - Culture Club (1983)
79. The Sun Always Shines On TV - A-Ha (1985)
80. Come Back and Stay - Paul Young (1983)
81. Der Kommissar - Falco (1986)
82. Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles (1979)
83. Girls on Film - Duran Duran (1981)
84. Only the Lonely - The Motels (1982)
85. Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You) - A Flock of Seagulls (1982)
86. Avalon - Roxy Music (1982)
87. I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow (1982)
88. Too Shy - Kajagoogoo (1983)
89. Dance Hall Days - Wang Chung (1984)
90. A Little Respect - Erasure (1988)
91. Our House - Madness (1983)
92. Reap the Wild Wind - Ultravox (1982)
93. Destination Unknown - Missing Persons (1982)
94. Messages - OMD (1980)
95. Working Girl - The Members (1982)
96. I Got You - Split Enz (1980)
97. So In Love - OMD (1985)
98. I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats (1979)
99. Lawnchairs - Our Daughters Wedding (1980)
100. Love Plus One - Haircut 100 (1982)
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Disclaimer: There is nothing 'Official' about these lists. They are compiled by the 'editor' using the
stated criteria, and revised considering the competent suggestions of visitors to this website only.


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