Best '80s New Wave Songs

The 250 Greatest New Wave Songs

Before we start, I want to make it clear that I'm not implying that "Rock Lobster" is a better song than the others—it's just more "wavy" than most. In other words, take the rankings with a grain of salt. The B-52's were there when it all started, and that song was a freak anthem and so I honor it.

1. "Rock Lobster" by The B-52's. It clocks in at 183bpm, which is just ridiculously fast. It was a surf record made by weirdos from Georgia. It tears up the dance floor, and also it mixes with "Modern Love" by David Bowie and "Tenderness" by General Public. For a new generation, however, this song may also forever be immortalized by Peter Griffin's acoustic performance on Family Guy.

2. "People Are People" by Depeche Mode. Just one of many sad songs from a man named Gore. It was their first commercial hit in the U.S. back in the summer of '85 when it peaked at number 13. More importantly, though, it showed America who would become the most successful band of the genre. The Cure, The Smiths, and New Order all had their moments on top, but overall Depeche Mode (which means fast fashion in French) ruled supreme. Also, while "Personal Jesus" is a better song overall but this one turned the tide for all the doubters. Alternative music was commercially viable and would get more airplay from here on out.

3. "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners. I almost made this number one, but I have trouble giving the title to a one-hit wonder—although it should be noted they had many ska hits in the U.K. The overalls will be etched in our brains forever. One more thing: Is it just me or does this song feel like a prequel to Chumbawamba's 'Tubthumping?" From Ta Loo Ra to Danny Bo.

4. "Once In A Lifetime" by Talking Heads. A surreal foresight into the middle age crisis by the Heads here. Their ability to stretch the boundaries of what a pop song could be is their modus operandi. Where would music be without the immortal phrase, "Same as it ever was?" Also, the hilarious arm-chopping motion by David Byrne made the video an MTV staple.

5. "Sweet Dreams" by Eurythmics. Rhyming the words 'made of this' with the word 'disagree' might be a bad move for 99.9% of the people out there. However, for two pop geniuses like Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox, it's all gravy. Though, it's all about melody. The keyboard pulsing beat heats things up but the 'keep your head up, moving on' line is the icing on the cake.

6. "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats. I loved this record as a kid and now as an adult I can see why. It's a kids song! 'Ssss aaaa ffff eeee tttt yyyy Safe-ty Dance and then the keyboard chimes in.' That's the version we all loved. The video, of a European countryside (or was it Bilbo's hobbit hole) is quickly taken over by the cast of The Wizard of Oz. This is so new wave that you can argue its merits for number one, but let's face it—it gets annoying fast.

7. "Cars" by Gary Numan. Some songs get popular in an instant and some, like "Cars" just linger in the underbelly of the psyche until they are repackaged into a TV commercial. Then we go "Oh, yeah. That's a good song by that pale'faced freak who could barely sing. But yeah." For the record, it was a top 10 hit in 1980, but only because it sounded so good blasting in a roller rink. The radio mostly ignored it.

8. "Pop Musik" by M. The song that started it all. During the summer of '79, many people believe that this was the first new wave song ever. It wasn't, but man it shot right to #1 was a global smash and told everyone listening what music would sound like for the next eight years. It even had some staying power, as it stayed on the Hot 100 for six months.

9. "Whip It" by Devo. I don't think I'm at all qualified to judge a song like this. A psych professor maybe? There is so much yet, at the same time, so little going on. Thunderclaps and rockabilly via synthesizers and flower pots? It clocks in at less than 2 minutes and 15 seconds, making it one of the shortest songs of the 1980s. This video is notorious for freaking mothers out as their child watches this new thing called MTV.

10. "99 Red Balloons" by Nena. Urban legend claims that she died on tour, but Gabriele "Nena" Kerner is still alive today (and is living probably back in Berlin where the band first started). Wherever she is, she can always say that she wrote an anti-war song that was a smash hit in pretty much every country in the world. Nena and John Lennon, wow. We first heard and loved it as a German tune called "99 Luftballons". The English version has always been considered lame, but that's the one everyone seems to know, so . . .

11. "Take On Me" by a-ha. Another great video means another great Family Guy parody, another piece of perfect pop. This time it comes from Oslo, Norway. These guys went for the high note like nobody else. Their follow-up song was called what? Anybody remember? "The Sun Always Shines on TV." It made it to the Top 20 on their name alone but as soon as people heard it, a-ha came crashing down and alas the sun never again shined on them, at least not in America.

12. "Video Killed The Radio Star" by The Buggles. This is also mistakenly assumed to be first new wave song ever, which is impossible considering both "Pop Muzik" by M and "My Sharona" by The Knack were both out earlier in '79. However, the consolation prize is that it was the first video ever played on MTV. Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn. The duo both joined the group Yes in '80 and Downes would form Asia in '81. Horn become a prolific producer and is widely credited for the career success of soul singer Seal. Erasure also did a crazy cover a few years ago, make sure you check it out.

13. "How Soon Is Now?" by The Smiths. A lot of Smiths fans out there are in on the joke here. Morrissey would only be happy with the miserably unlucky number 13. "I am human and I need to be lo-uh-oved, just like anybody else does." This is timeless club music too. In fact, you may remember that SoHo sampled it for "Hippychick." Try mixing it with "My Doorbell" by the White Stripes.

14. "Brass In Pocket" by The Pretenders. We now bring you ironic moments in pop music: The one song Chrissie Hynde hates is the one song of hers that every woman loves. So she grits her teeth and plays it. This is also true of her ex-husband Jim Kerr. He hates the most popular song of his career too—"Don't You (Forget About Me)" was a soundtrack song he didn't write or want to record, but it probably extended the life of his band Simple Minds exponentially. Life is funny like that, sometimes.

15. "Situation" by Yaz. Vince Clarke left Depeche Mode in 1982 in search of more creative freedom. He would go on to make the New Wave Classic Album, "Upstairs at Eric's." With hits like "Don't Go" and "Only You," Yazoo, as they were sometimes credited as, was a huge smash. Also, "Situation" was every dance instructor and aerobics teacher's best friend. Everyone had this record. The mannequins on the cover are classic.

16. "Blister In The Sun" by the Violent Femmes. If the name of the band didn't clue you in, then maybe it was the line, 'big hands I know you're the one.' What was great was that no matter how flaming this song was, it also had built-in credibility with everyone. A song universally respected on merit. It was difficult to mix because of the time signature so nobody bothered. Just play the whole song. It's really short, and it has one of music's most memorable intro/outros ever. The whispering is hilarious. I often think James' song "Laid" was a Femmes song that they forgot to write.

17. "Rock The Casbah" by The Clash. This is a funk-hybrid mixed with New Wave as Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, and the gang move even further away from their punk roots. This album, "Combat Rock" killed the band, and everybody knows it. But, damn, it was still worth doing. The sheik and the aardvark in the video were so bizarre and right. (Sigh) I miss Joe.

18. "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" by Joe Jackson. Does Joe want her or him? Who cares? The conversational style of the lyrics is so difficult to pull off without the rhymes sounding forced and corny so props, because he certainly pulls it off. A lot of people seem to think that Elvis Costello sings this song, but no.

19. "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. This cover of the Gloria Jones soul classic was originally part of a 12" medley, along with The Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go?" However, it was never done as anything but a 45 single in the U.S. So, we all played the half the 12" and segued out. It is so completely overplayed now that I can't stand it, but if you're doing an 80s set and you want a sure-fire hit with the ladies, play this.

20. "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Now this is an interesting record! When it first dropped, they were a craze. That beat was unrelenting and the lyrics were seemingly about a man trying to delay an orgasm. Chaos ensued. The perfect video with the fans just mauling the band onstage during a performance. "Frankie Say: Relax" t-shirts are still selling on eBay, no doubt. There is a also great line in the movie "The Commitments" about the band as well, but I won't spoil it here.

21. "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" by Dead Or Alive. Was Pete Burns the jealous evil twin of Boy George? Maybe. Was this song better than anything Culture Club ever recorded? Most definitely. The 12" version is a DJ crate necessity because it had the 'I, I, uh-uh-uh-uh, I' part at the beginning. People will still be remixing this song in 50 years.

22. "Don't You Want Me" by The Human League. This song should be higher up, in terms of quality of songwriting and execution of vision. However, people in the U.S. just never took to the HL like they did with other similar bands (ABC, Thompson Twins, Tears For Fears, and so forth.) This also mixes great with "True Faith" by New Order, "The Promise" by When In Rome, "Right On Track" by The Breakfast Club, and HL's other big hit, "(Keep Feeling) Fascination."

23. "Town Called Malice" by The Jam. This is a great song! The problem is, not a lot of people know it. This song will probably make a comeback as part of a movie. It's got a cinematic feel to it, too. Sounds like a cooler version of 'Walking On Sunshine' which is in every movie so they'll get to it. Mark my word. Soundtrack Rebirth Candidate #1.

24. "Our House" by Madness. Like "Safety Dance," this is really a kid's song. Ska-Rock pioneers Madness have four great songs, as far as I know. While is the worst of the four, it was their only hit in America and, boy, is it fun. For a little while, at least. Since I brought it up, the other songs are "One Step Beyond," "It Must Be Love," and "House of Fun."

25. "Just Got Lucky" by JoBoxers. This song struck soundtrack gold during the closing credits of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," and good for those guys, because they must be broke. In a genre built around one-hit wonders, this was atypical but still a pretty little ditty nonetheless.

26. "Down Under" by Men At Work. This song is as easygoing as they come. It was not just a calling card for this band, but for an entire country as well. The "Born in the U.S.A." of Australia took the filthy taste of Crocodile Dundee and baby-eating dingos out of our mouths. Although those movies weren't out yet, so maybe it was the taste of a vegemite sandwich.

A great sense of humor can go a long way toward endearing yourself to the world. Their videos for "It's a Mistake," "Be Good Johnny," "Overkill," and "Who Can it Be Now?" were always on MTV in the early days. They recorded their own death sentence with that sense of humor though. It's called "Dr. Hekyll & Mr. Jive." I'm serious. You can look it up.

27. "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel. What a song, wow. That line "Grab your things! I've come to take you home" gets you every time, doesn't it? The beautiful guitar work, mmm mmm. Points off on this list however because it isn't very 'Wavy'. It is a standard on classic rock station playlists coast-to-coast since its re-release. Let me explain.:

After leaving Genesis in '75, Gabriel released this song originally in April of 1977. It was not a smash, but he knew he had a hit on his hands so he waited until 1983, when he rereleased it as a live recording for a follow-up/piggyback to his first Top 40 hit in the States, "Shock The Monkey."

Billy Idol did the same thing in '87, with his live cover of "Mony Mony" and it went to #1 even though none of the stations were playing the live version. They were all playing his original 12" from back in '81. It worked so well that Billy tried it again three months later with "Hot in the City," but it failed to crack the Top 40. Stayed tuned for more of Billy's antics in reissues.

28. "Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo. Also known as: "I Wish I was in Tijuana eating barbecued iguana." How original can a song be? The crescendo at the beginning deposits you right in the middle of a bad dream for our south-of-the-border disc jockey/narrator. Nod to I.R.S. Records for finding guys like this all the time. 1983 wouldn't have been the same without them. Word of mouth can take a song very far indeed.

29. "The Promise" by When In Rome. By 1988, New Wave music was starting to become mainstream and was wearing a bit thin, as well. This was the rare integrity track in your DJ set because all the girls loved it! It went all the way to #11 on the charts, but their follow-up track was? Anybody? It was "Heaven Knows" and it peaked at Number 95, and another one-hit-wonder was born. It is now known to a whole new generation as the tether-ball song from the end of the film "Napoleon Dynamite."

30. "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors. Here's The Great Debate: Is this song about masturbation or not? The band says no, but the lyrics say yes. Like "spanking the monkey," and "turning 'Japanese,'"—both being slang terms for wanking. Also, lines like, "I got your picture and I look at it all by myself," and "I often kiss when there's no one else around" only add fuel to the fire. Leave me a comment and you decide.

31. "Puttin' On The Ritz" by Taco. Aw jeez, this song just broke my New Wav-O-Meter. Written in 1929 by Irving Berlin, it was a #1 song for Harry Richman in 1930. 25 years later, Taco Ockerse (his real name) was born to Dutch parents in Jaharta, Indonesia. Raised in Germany, he dreamed of pop stardom. He signed with RCA in '83, and this single was soon certified gold.

32. "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol. Billy can repackage an old hit like nobody else. This song was originally recorded by the London punk band Generation X which led by Billy Idol. Weird fact: His new version is a classic, well-known punk-wave dancefloor screamer, but it never entered the Hot 100 Billboard charts. The video of vampish zombie-babes climbing the walls was on MTV every hour in 1983. It never was among the 100 most popular songs? Baffling. He clearly fashioned himself as a blond Sid Vicious and his "sweat, sweat, sweat-sweat-sweat AAAaaWWWWWW," was pretty mean.

33. "West End Girls" by Pet Shop Boys. Neil Tennant was a writer for the British fanzine Smash Hits, hwhere he must have figured out the secret formula for street smart pop hooks. The guy rapped with a monotone British accent about suicide and fashion, and people were incredulous to explain why they loved it. They had five Top Ten hits from '86-'88, but this was their debut single and their only Number 1 in the U.S. I guess for some people, "Sometimes, you're better off dead, the gun's in your hand..."

34. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears. If you listen to the lyrics, you'll understand why Dennis Miller chose it as the theme song for his political-comedy show. There's a whole lot more going on here than in your average #1 pop song. I absolutely love the bridge part, "There's a room where the light wont find you. Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down." I always like the bridge the best though. "I can't stand this indecision married with a lack of vision" is Bush-worthy to say the least. This is a freakin' song right here!

35. "Close To Me" by The Cure. To be honest, I don't have a preference between the 1985 album cut and the remix from 1990. They are very different, but both really good in their own way. The beat, of course, always gets better with newer versions but you really should get both versions. Ditto with "Safety Dance," "19," and "Rock Me Amadeus." You have to get both versions. DJ's note: the one from '90 mixes great with "Live is Life" by Opus and "Seattle" by PiL.

36. "Hold Me Now" by Thompson Twins. Some songs thrive simply because they slip so well into the background that you don't ever realize that you know all the words to them. Lyric question? Does xylophonist / backup singer Alannah Currie say "Oh, my cold Italian heart" toward the outro? It is not listed in the official lyrics and I know outros usually aren't because it's just skatting by the vocalist, but I'm so curious? FYI, Ms. Currie is from New Zealand which makes the quote that much weirder.

37. "Always Something There To Remind Me" by Naked Eyes. Catchy, catchy, catchy as hell. This song is a guilty pleasure that I can't resist. Do I hate his voice or do I love it? This song has an intro that is very mixable. Some suggestions, "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, "Grey Cell Green" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin, and "We Got The Beat" by The Go-Go's.

38. "In a Big Country" by Big Country. Who doesn't love this song? I mean, at least the first minute or so anyway. I even love the way it annoys me with bagpipe overkill. These dudes from Scotland were that group I wanted to root for, but didn't. I hear the album is great, but I never got around to picking it up. That's what I'll end up doing after I post this. Trying to find a Greatest Hits for Big Country. Wow, my whole life just passed before my eyes.

39. "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. I'm completely biased and I admit this straight up. Most Police songs are some form of ragga. This brooding, aching, creep you out and break your heart song is not. They simplified the arrangements and stripped it down to a baseline that sounds like a stalker's footsteps. It became the biggest song of the year. It spent 8 weeks at Number 1 in the summer of '83. From July 9th to September 2nd, which is like the whole summer.

Coincidentally, the second biggest song of the year was also of the stalker variety. It spent seven weeks at #1 through March and most of April. Can you name it?? While I give you time to think about it, check this out. In 1983, 27 weeks of the year were conquered by only four Number One Songs. If "Billie Jean" is your answer, then you are correct, sir! (Michael Scott Rules! Sorry.)

A lot of people believe that the intro to "Billie Jean" in all it's moonwalkin' glory is best piece of pop music ever. Seriously. I'd compared it to both, the riff and whisper from "Satisfaction" and the vocals from Aretha's version of "Respect." But "Every Breath..." was just a little better. Here's why I think that is:

A personal note: I actually believe that the bridge of "Every Breath You Take" is the greatest piece of recorded music ever. Just pure honesty and soul bearing going on right there. I sing it at the top of my lungs every time. Wanna try it? Cool. Okay, ready, (boom boom boom) "SINCE YOU'VE GONE, I'VE BEEN LOST WITHOUT A TRACE! I DREAM AT NIGHT..."

40. "Shoot You Down" by apb. If you don't know this song, you need to go wherever you go and get it right now. Download it while you finish reading my list. This funky-ass, rock the dancefloor, new wave jam is also a best bet to be reborn a la the soundtrack. The album was finally released on CD at the behest of thousands of fans and one of them; Matt Pinfield does the amazing liner notes. The album is called Something to Believe In and you'll love almost every track. Soundtrack Rebirth Candidate #2 . Long Live apb!

41. "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. It was 1991, but it was New Wave-Folk and it was downright moving in a way we don't always understand. Michael Stipe claims to be mystified by it still to this day. Every once in a while everything just falls into place perfectly. "Life . . . is bigger."

42. "Ca Plane Pour Moi" by Plastic Bertrand. The little Belgian song that could. This international super duper Punk Smash is one of our favorites because it's overtly friendly and doesn't overstay its welcome. I often thought that Lindsey Buckingham got the idea for "Holiday Road" (aka the theme to National Lampoon's "Vacation" ) right here.

43. "Save A Prayer" by Duran Duran. Why is this so high? Because every single hot new wave chick in the world loved it, that's why. This was after all the girls' medium. All the men of New Wave are androgenous and wimpy, and all the girls are powerful and venomous. Guys like me who were into Rush & Van Halen made it a point to learn about Depeche Mode and Yaz because we wanted to know about those girls. Those really cool, gothy, punk, "grrl power" babes, with their hair flopped over their eyes. Ahhh, memories. "Save 'em til the morning after."

44. "Need You Tonight" by INXS. Whether or not Michael Hutchence was doing a Jim Morrison impression is not relevant. All INXS songs have the same formula, almost. Here they just found the secret ingredient. This was the peak for an Australian band that would end up going from so underrated to way overrated in just three years. Mostly because they were never able to overcome their own masterpiece. Everything after that sounded so lame by comparison. Same story as the Eagles and "Hotel California."

45. "I Got You" by Split Enz. Before there was a Crowded House, there was Split Enz. Two brothers from New Zealand who could really write a hook. They broke up, and one brother Neil Finn would go on, perhaps naming his new band as a way of explaining why the old one couldn't go on. This song is most commonly searched for on Limewire as "Frightened" by Crowded House, but it isn't. Now let's all gleefully sing, "I DON"T KNOW WHY SOMETIMES I GET FRIGHTENED, YOU CAN SEE MY EYES..."

46. "One Way Or Another" by Blondie.

47. "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club

48. "Celebrate" by An Emotional Fish

49. "Heartbreak Beat" by The Psychedelic Furs

50. "Don't Change" by INXS

#42 is another one of my all-time favorites from those days.

51. "Holding Back The Years" by Simply Red

52. "Kiss Me" by Stephen ‘tin tin' Duffy

53. "True Faith" by New Order

54. "Alex Chilton" by The Replacements

55. "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" by U2

56. "Perfect Way" by Scritti Politti

57. "Spirit In The Sky" by Dr. & The Medics

58. "Don't Stand So Close To Me" by The Police

59. "Love & Pride" by King

60. "Life In A Northern Town" by The Dream Academy

61. "Love Plus One" by Haircut 100

62. "My Sharona" by The Knack

63. "Up The Junction" by Squeeze

64. "New Song" by Howard Jones

65. "Ever Fallen In Love" by The Buzzcocks

66. "Where The Streets Have No Name" by U2

67. "Dear God" by XTC

68. "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police

69. "I Don't Like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats

70. "What's So Funny Bout (Peace Love & U...)" Elvis Costello

71. "Alive & Kicking" by Simple Minds

72. "White Wedding" by Billy Idol

73. "Our Lips Are Sealed" by The Go-Go's

74. "Burning Down The House" Talking Heads

75. "Ship Of Fools (Save Me From Tomorrow)" by World Party

76. "Live Is Life" by Opus

77. "Train In Vain" by The Clash

78. "Modern Love" by David Bowie

79. "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)" by Icicle Works

80. "Genius Of Love" by Tom Tom Club

81. "Oh Yeah" by Yello

82. "Cry" by Godley & Crème

83. "Din Daa Daa (Trommeltanz)" by George Kranz

84. "Rush" by B.A.D. II

85. "Lips Like Sugar" by Echo & The Bunnymen

86. "Someday, Someway" by Marshall Crenshaw

87. "Why Can't I Be You?" by The Cure

88. "Antmusic" by Adam & The Ants

89. "Shout" by Tears For Fears

90. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking for" by U2

91. "The Look Of Love" by ABC

92. "Red Skies" by The Fixx

93. "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow

94. "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush

95. "Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)" by INXS

96. "Desire (Come And Get It)" by Gene Loves Jezebel

97. "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" by The Clash

98. "The Honeytheif" by Hipsway

99. "Oh L'amour" by Erasure

100. "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure

101. "Tempted" by Squeeze

102. "I Melt With You" by Modern English

103. "Blue Monday" by New Order

104. "Everyday Is Halloween" by Ministry

105. "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel

106. "Boys Don't Cry" by The Cure

107. "One Step Beyond" by Madness

108. "There She Goes" by The La's

109. "Watching The Detectives" by Elvis Costello

110. "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads

111. "Misfit" by Curiosity Killed The Cat

112. "With Or Without You" by U2

113. "Sunday Papers" by Joe Jackson

114. "The Mayor of Simpleton" by XTC

115. "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult

116. "Major Tom (Coming Home)" by Peter Schilling

117. "Ana Ng" by They Might Be Giants

118. "Here's Where The Story Ends" by The Sundays

119. "Tears Of A Clown" by The English Beat

120. "Add It Up" by the Violent Femmes

121. "Destination Unknown" by Missing Persons

122. "The One Thing" by INXS

123. "China Girl" by David Bowie

124. "Lost In The Supermarket" by The Clash

125. "Rudi Can't Fail" by The Clash

126. "Tenderness" by General Public

127. "So Lonely" by The Police

128. "If You Were Here" by Thompson Twins

129. "Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil

130. "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode

131. "Here Comes The Rain Again" by Eurythmics

132. "Moving In Stereo" by The Cars

133. "Radio Free Europe" by R.E.M.

134. "I Ran (So Far Away)" by A Flock of Seagulls

135. "Don't Go" by Yaz

136. "Beat's So Lonely" by Charlie Sexton

137. "Pulling Mussels (From A Shell)" by Squeeze

138. "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order

139. "Grey Cell Green" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin

140. "Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung

141. "Circle" by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians

142. "What You Need" by INXS

143. "Life During Wartime (This Ain't No Party)" by Talking Heads

144. "Satisfaction (I Can't Get Me No)" by Devo

145. "Words" by Missing Persons

146. "Dreaming" by Blondie

147. "Enjoy The Silence" by Depeche Mode

148. "It Must Be Love" by Madness

149. "Let The Day Begin" by The Call

150. "It's The End of the World As We Know It" by R.E.M.

Love and Rockets do the Temptations. Brilliant!

And the Beat Goes On . . .

151. "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" by XTC

152. "Space Age Love Song" by A Flock of Seagulls

153. "Fly On The Windscreen" by Depeche Mode

154. "Back To Ohio" by The Pretenders

155. "Shoplifters of the World Unite" by The Smiths

156. "Joey" by Concrete Blonde

157. "See A Little Light" by Bob Mould

158. "I Go Crazy" by Flesh For Lulu

159. "Obsession" by Animotion

160. "Wouldn't It Be Good" by Nik Kershaw and Danny Hutton Hitters

161. "Overkill" by Men At Work

162. "Ball of Confusion" by Love & Rockets

163. “What Is Love?” by Howard Jones

164. “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby

165. “Don't Dream It's Over” by Crowded House

166. “In Your Room” by The Bangles

167. “And She Was” by Talking Heads

168. “Radio Radio” by Elvis Costello

169. “Would I Lie To You?” by Eurythmics

170. “Girls On Film” by Duran Duran

171. “Synchronicity II” by The Police

172. “Strip” by Adam Ant

173. “Poison Arrow” by ABC

174. “Head Over Heels” by The Go-Go's

175. “Sunday Girl” by Blondie

176. “Just Can't Get Enough” by Depeche Mode

177. “The Politics of Dancing” by Re-Flex

178. “Message Of Love” by The Pretenders

179. "Sanctify Yourself” by Simple Minds

180. "Left Of Center” by Suzanne Vega

181."Mirror In The Bathroom” by The English Beat

182. "Like the Weather” by 10,000 Maniacs

183. "Here Comes Your Man” by The Pixies

184. "19” by Paul Hardcastle

185. "Blue Jean” by David Bowie

186. "One Thing Leads To Another” by The Fixx

187. "We Close Our Eyes” by Go West

188. "This Is Not A Love Song” by Public Image Ltd.

189. "What Do All The People Know” by The Monroes

190. "The Motion of Love" by Gene Loves Jezebel

191. "Der Kommissar" by After The Fire

192. "Living in a Box" by Living in a Box

193. "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel

194. "Black Coffee In Bed" by Squeeze

195. "No New Tale To Tell" by Love & Rockets

196. "This Time" by INXS

197. "Can't Get Enough of You Baby" by The Colour Field

198. "Together in Electric Dreams" by Georgio Moroder & Philip Oakey

199. "Don't Let's Start" by They Might Be Giants

200. "If I Had A Rocket Launcher” by Bruce Cockburn

90s New Wave?

The new wave movement went into the 90s, and the following 50 reflect that period:

201. “Groovy Train” by The Farm

202. “Policy of Truth” by Depeche Mode

203. “Unbelievable” by EMF

204. “So Alive” by Love & Rockets

205. “Divine Thing” by The Soup Dragons

206. “Connected” by Stereo MC's

207. “Right Here, Right Now” by Jesus Jones

208. “Digging in the Dirt” by Peter Gabriel

209. “The Beat of Love” by Voice of the Beehive

210. “Room At The Top” by Adam Ant

211. “There's No Other Way” by Blur

212. “Tom's Diner” by DNA w/ Suzanne Vega

213. “Dogs of Lust” by the The

214. “Friday I'm in Love” by The Cure

215. “Regret” by New Order

216. “Break it Down Again” by Tears for Fears

217. “Birdhouse in Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants

218. “Jesus On The Payroll” by Thrashing Doves

219. “Valerie Loves Me” by Material Issue

220. “Laid” by James

211. “Jealous” by Gene Loves Jezebel

212. “Show Me Your Soul” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

213. “Like A Drug” by They EatTheirOwn

214. “Your Woman” by White Town

215. “Love U More” by Sunscreem

216. “Summertime” by The Sundays

217. “All Together Now” by The Farm

218. “Baby's Coming Back” by Jellyfish

219. “I'm Free” by The Soup Dragons

220. “Real RealReal” by Jesus Jones

221. “More” by The Sisters of Mercy

222. “This Is Ponderous” by 2nu

223. “Growing Old” by The Origin

224. “Step On” by Happy Mondays

225. “Blood Makes Noise” by Suzanne Vega

226. “See The Lights” by Simple Minds

227. “Pure” by The Lightning Seeds

228. “People Are Still Having Sex” by LaTour

229. “Bizarre Love Triangle” by Frente

230. “Pets” by Porno for Pyros

231. “Happy” by Ned's Atomic Dustbin

232. “Loaded” by Primal Scream

233. “The Dead Heart” by Midnight Oil

234. “Beautiful Imbalance” by Thrashing Doves

235. “Caroline” by Concrete Blonde

236. “International Bright Young Thing” by Jesus Jones

237. “3 Strange Days” by School of Fish

238. “Particle Man” by They Might Be Giants

239. “Woman in Chains” by Tears for Fears

240. “Labour of Love” by Frente

241. “Hippychick” by Soho

242.”Movin' On Up” by Primal Scream

243. “Dreaming” by O.M.D

244. “Mandinka” by Sinead O'Connor

245. “Chains of Love” by Erasure

246. “Blue Sky Mine” by Midnight Oil

247. “King of Wishful Thinking” by Go West

248. “What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)” by Information Society

249. “Lies” by EMF

250. “Pop Goes The World” by Men Without Hats



Do you think I should continue the little blurbs for every song?

Do you think I should break the chart apart into groups of smaller than 50?

Do you think the countdown should be in inverse order?

More by this Author

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Something to listen and chuckle to while you leave me a comment. 336 comments

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 8 years ago from Standing right behind you!

Great List. I don't necessarily agree with the order, but the selection rocks!

gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

I think you should continue writing the blurbs, however it'd be much easier to read if it were in sections. ;)

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Thanks gamergirl I 've been thinking that it looks lopsided.

gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

It does, kinda. It's a really good list, and putting a personal touch to it is very cool, maybe you could break it down by genre? Then it'd be easy to give a little info at the beginning about what elements you like about the genre as a whole, and then go into a description of the songs that fit in each category.

But then, that's just my take on it. Love it or lump it, your hubs are your own and up to you. :P

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Great idea. (New Wave subgenres) if this one didn't take so long to put together I might consider dismantling it.

Drew 8 years ago

You know what song Im trying to find? A New Wave dance song that has the sample of GQ's ''Disco Nights'' There is a spot in the song where it goes ''Rock. Freak'' followed by two whistle blows. Then the beat hits again. The singing is a real mellodic baritone voice. Sounds like the lead singer from Heaven 17. Its reminds me a lil of Westworld's ''Painkiller''.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Well, DREW I listened to that part of the song and heard that part but the two whistle blows were not there.  But I did some investigating and maybe this is the answer >>>>>GQ - Their smash "Disco Nights (Rock Freak)" was first recorded on Vigor as "Soul on Your Side"; the track is identical, but a new title and... >>>>>

Since you brought it up, you might want to check out

Drew 8 years ago

Damn. I found it. Kon Kan's I beg your pardon.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

OH YEAH!!!!   They also did a cover of 'Puss n Boots' as I recall.  I saw them live back in 1990!  Not a big fan!   Glad you got some closure.

Look at this it says here KON KAN's "I beg your pardon" samples Rock Freak as well as several lines from Lynn Anderdon's "ROSE GARDEN"

and PUSS N BOOTS / THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN" was sampling Nancy Sinatra as well as IMMIGRANT SONG by Led Zeppelin

Drew 8 years ago

Thanks for your help:) Closure wasn't quite the I almost went nuts trying to find this song! One you might have missed is 68 Guns by The Alarm. I know everyones list is different with this genre.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

LOVE "68 guns" but...that is straight forward U2 rip-off though. If I add it we gotta delete somebody else. Who do think should go?

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 8 years ago from Standing right behind you!

I love this list. In my comedy/musical act I do a long-assed medley of 80's songs (i have re-wriiten of course) and this hub is going to come in handy for my new stuff.

Did I miss Debbie Harry, or did I scroll to fast? Blondie has to be on there somewhere.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Dreaming and Sunday Girl by Blondie are both there.

Blondie is tricky cause she has reggae, "The Tide is High", Hip-Hop, "Rapture", Rock n Roll, "Call Me", and dance, "Atomic" songs.

She and Chrissie Hynde and David Bowie are all genius' but didn't always operate in the New Wave genre.

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Great list.

You should fit War Baby by Tom Robinson in there. A great new wave song, that and his version of Atmospherics....

tom z profile image

tom z 8 years ago from Danbury, CT USA

your list is right in the zone. excellent, mister DJ funktual, thanks! Your list reminded me of a BUNCH of songs that i'd long since forgotten.

the problem is, now i gotta go GET those songs! best ones i'd completely forgotten included: so alive / love & rockets (#204), right here right now / jesus jones (#207), hippychick /soho (#241), what's on your mind /info society (#248), and MANY more.

thanks, some great memories here.

tom z

this list brings back the 80's when i was travelling around the country working with radio stations.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Uninvited Writer : I MOS DEF will be looking into it, believe me, if it isn't in these crates somewhere, I'll make it a point to check it out!!

Once again we are on the same path TomZ.  While I am waiting to be discovered out here, what I really get off on is like you say. *** the problem is, now i gotta go GET those songs!  best ones i'd completely forgotten*** that's the good stuff for me!

Wait til you see ...

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Congrats to non-hubber Drew who is the first person on HUBpages to effect the airwaves of outer space!! Your suggestion of "68 Guns" by The Alarm is now #451 on the Future Funktual 500!

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Tons of traffic but no comments in 2 months. Whoa is me.

WVNUWAVE 8 years ago

What about Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good?"

abowie profile image

abowie 8 years ago from San Francisco

Crazy! I know almost every word to every song on this list. With the exception of a few I've never even heard of of course. Nice list in all :)

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Which ones haven't you heard? Just curious.

Anthony2816 8 years ago

Questions: Do you think I should continue the little blurbs for every song? Yes! Was disappointed when they ended.

Do you think I should break the chart apart into smaller groups of 50? No, not worth the effort. And subgenres would be a pain, as no matter how many you designated, you'd invariably find songs that either wouldn't fit any of them, or fit more than one.

Do you think the countdown should be in inverse order? Why not just put them in alphabetical order? That would avoid people telling you that your opinion is wrong.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Ha! Great comment. I forgot the questions were even still up there! This was like my first or second hub ever,

Dave 8 years ago

"Does xylophonist / backup singer Alannah Currie say "Oh my cold Italian heart" toward the outro?"

I'm pretty sure she's saying "warm my cold and tired heart."

Sparks profile image

Sparks 7 years ago from South Korea

Wonderful List! And what's really cool os that I was listening to all this stuff when it first came out!

JakeYourBooty 7 years ago

your lists are always amazing but yeah i think u should continue with the little blurbs about each song....your music knowledge is beyond belief you should be a pop culture professor somewhere....

Steerpike 7 years ago

Great list and info, but no BOINGO? Are they not worthy? :(

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 7 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Did I leave them off completely? OVERSIGHT!

Good lookin' out Steerpike!

Vox 7 years ago

non-HUBer here... let em throw a couple more against the wall to se if they stick: The Nails/88 lines about 44 women... The flying Lizards/Money... and Level 42/Lessons in Love...

Echoing a couple other posters.. there were a bundle of "OMG, I gotta get that song" flashbacks! Props of a totally bitchin' list!

7 years ago

APB! I had to find your profile to make sure you were from Long Island after I saw them on the list.

jessrw 7 years ago

"my cold and tired heart" thompson twins

Violet Eyes 7 years ago

Hey There,

On your list, # 160 - Wouldn't It Be Good ~~ Danny Hutton Hitters, that song should be listed with the rightful artist of Nick Kershaw.

Although your list is pretty comprehensive, there are other songs you forgot about like Love Tempo, Slang Teacher, Situations, Escalator of Life, A Different Story, Around My Dream, Certain Things Are Likely and how about... I Love A Man In A Uniform... actually there are way too many others to list...

Jeff Adams 7 years ago


Jeff Adams 7 years ago

Add "What's He Got" by the Producers.

McCormicculus 7 years ago

Great list, but where is Television? I thought Marquee Moon would be in the top 50 or so, but I couldn't find it anyway.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 7 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Great song. I always considered it punk.

Arabic music 7 years ago

I don't like Rock Lobster but thank you anyway for this list

DonnyRay 7 years ago

Totally tubular dude! Brought back a ton of memories and gave me some new songs to look up. Would LOVE you to put blurbs about the rest of the songs up, thats the best part of the list!

AmpMan profile image

AmpMan 7 years ago from London, UK.

Many - though not all - of these guys had tone. But, you know, where did punk end and New Wave begin on your list cos I played with some of these guys in the early 80s and we were definitely doing punk then. Well, in our heads anyway! Ha! In our out of them, I mean. Our ... heads. Those were the days. Maybe we could do a top 100 of forgotten gigs. Number one. Apparently I played at Appollo, Glasgow. in 1979.

Hext 7 years ago

great list. please continue with the blurbs. its really great info :)

mtd profile image

mtd 7 years ago

Inspiring hub! Never heard of some of these songs. When you say an INXS song, I right away think of "The One Thing" or "What I Need" or "New Sensation" not "Don't Change". I'm gonna need some time to look this over. Thanks for the insight!

wicked 7 years ago

this hub is so cool but i cant seem to find the right song title of this new wave song that i realy love but i do forget. can someone help me out with this - need to know the song title here some part > " come to the place i know where the grass is green and we're both unknown, i am never grieving the wicked things we've done let walk in to the world"

thanks so much

raym 7 years ago

What about Fine Young Cannibals? One of the better spinoff bands.

JD 7 years ago

Love the list - keep up adding blurbs.... brings me back to the college days!! As always there are songs some like more than others, but it's a great list and you gotta stop somewhere right?

Darcy 7 years ago

I think you need to add 'wishing' by a flock of seagulls

and 'get it right this time' by the human league

atlovesbm profile image

atlovesbm 7 years ago from Orange County, California

Great Hub!! I love 80s music! And I love the fact that you included Material issue! =)

Alberto 7 years ago

Thanks for the list, but I must say that any list about New Wave without any songs from the best NW band ever is a little suspect. ;)

Where is the love for OMD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damce 7 years ago

Hey I was looking for a song from the 80s.

But, first hey sup bigup DJ Funktual! I know you from the Tube sample series. Even sent you a funk remix.

Co-incidence! You a true blue music lover! Yeah man, hiphop is good for me too, showing me all styles of music. samples and breaks for days.

But I got here trying to find a track from ca 85 86. A punky looking black band with colours in their hair (no not george clinton, parliament). I think they were playing synthesizers and they also are whistling in the song. They sing like - "Fariaaaaaaa" - in the hook. Hahahaaaa. DD cant find it nowhere.

pls can you comment on my youtube page if..... or just holler!

babe.rainbow profile image

babe.rainbow 7 years ago from Huddersfield, United Kingdom.

i loved this ... some awesome songs in there from ledgendary bands ... great hub you can see alot of time and effort went into this xxx

bowloftoast 7 years ago

It's a good list, and a noble effort, however...

As the 'New Wave' was a product of the UK, and the 70's, I wonder how you can have selected many of these artist and foregone so many of the true New Wave?

Bands like A-ha, Dexy's Midnight Runners, The La's (and several others on your list) have nothing to do with the new wave. Call me a stickler, but having these sort of artists interspersed in what is otherwise a great list, is ridiculous. It's akin to saying Monet, Renoir, Manet were all part of the Realism movement in art. It's just inaccurate.

There's a huge difference between a pop band in the 80's that had a popular video and charted in the US, college radio artists, pop acts that tried to sound New Wave, Bands that had a one-off in an 80's movie soundtrack, and the actual artists who were at the cusp of (or in the immediate tradition of) New Wave. I completely agree with bands like Blondie, Talking Heads, Devo, et al - hell I even agree the Madchester stuff was a direct result of Factory and therefore New Wave - but this other 'stuff' is only considered 'New Wave' in America.

e.g. They Might Be Giants...great band, unique, innovative - not a New Wave Band. Ditto Pixies (one of my favorites)

Perhaps it's because I spent the 80's near Toronto, which had:

a)cfny fm - considered one of the 5 definitive alternative radio stations in the world during the 80's

b) stronger ties to the UK and greater access to the music

c) Gord's Place (which was to 80's New Wave in Ontario what Studio 54 was to 70's Disco in New York)

I'm a purist when it comes to the 80's, and I'm wondering why Heaven 17, Rational Youth, Lords of the New Church, ABCedarians, Fad Gadget, Freur, Kirsty MacColl, Blancmange, Joy Division (...for the love of God), and about 1000 other great New Wave acts got bumped in favour of kife like The Bangles.

bowloftoast 7 years ago

to Damce, comment above

Sounds like Fishbone

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 7 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

agreed, prob'ly Fishbone. regarding your post above I can't argue with any of what you said. Is Joy Division really NOT on there? Whatever. The only criteria I used in terms of genre designation was this. WLIR, the greatest radio station in the US during the 80's. Sure you heard of it being the conisseur that u are. If THEY played it, i listed it. Thanks for the edutaining comment.

Don't be a stranger because your comments will most certainly be valued. If you want to make some submissions, go for it. I will make amends by adding NOT ONLY "Love Will Tear us Apart" but did I leave out Plastic Bertrand too? Ian Dury? This hub needs love I guess. Made sooo long ago.

Mike 6 years ago

Great list - brings back lots of memories. However, I don't know why every list of top New Wave songs always forgets the top New Wave song ever - Don't walk past by Blue Peter

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 6 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Never heard of that or them before!

Robert Johnson 6 years ago

Great list!

One glaring ommision in my opinion:

One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head

Can't believe it 6 years ago

I don't think I've ever seen such a poor list. You miss a huge quantity of classic New Wave songs and bands, and clutter what little you have with the Clash? No wonder radio stinks so badly. You don't put in Human, by Human League, but you have Rock the Casbah (an atrocious song whatever genre you want to attach to it, though most consider it punk or rockabilly). In fact you have 5 Clash songs on here, but not "That Smiling Face" by Camouflage, which is a classic (studio version may not be currently available on YouTube, though it was at one point).

And Ned's Atomic Dustbin, while a good band, is not New Wave, and they get two listings?

Here's a hint from the clue bus: Songs or bands don't become part of the New Wave genre just because they were played on some modern rock station you admire.

No Fade to Grey by Visage, instead you have Simply Red's Holding Back the Years, and near the top of the list, no less. Were you even around when this music was being made? You certainly weren't listening to it, at any rate.

bera 6 years ago

great music Love the 80's flashback

adiksadiatabs 6 years ago

the list is just OK. really depends on where you grew up or which radio station you listened to.

Kitty255 6 years ago

I think this is the best list of songs ever created. I am now spending way too much downloading all of them!

Kori Lee F.P. profile image

Kori Lee F.P. 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

OMG!!! I just had a retro-moment- thanks for reminding me of stuff I tried to forget- I guess if you know more than 15 of these songs you were a 80's victim- Just Kidding- but come on it was a weird era-!!! Man great list- I mean Pet- and Erasure- Man I can't believe your list-well done!!!

daniel 6 years ago



dj slowe 6 years ago

Here are just a few that you missed(I have about 150 more that should be intermixed with some of your 250).

"Marcia Balia"-Rita Mitsouko

"Go","O.K. This is the Pop's-Tones on Tail

"Eye's of a Stranger"- The Payola's

"All Roads Lead to Rome","Peaches"-The Stranglers"

"Never Say Never"-Romeo Void

"Revenge",Effigy",Work for Love"-Ministry

"Imagination"-Belouis Some


"One Step Beyond"-Madness

"Her Heads Revolving"-The 3 O'Clock

"Dance With Me"-Lords of the New Church

"Promised You a Miracle"-Simple Minds

bigfun 6 years ago

Hi could you tell me the name and artist of a song i've been looking for "seconds turn to minutes and the minutes turn to hours as the time slips away" "cover everything under the sun and nothing else to say, what do you say" "time to go but its to late to leave so will you stay the night" " dont leave me in the dark by spending afterhours on your own" etc. Please help someone I cant get the song out of my head

kiwi 6 years ago

come on , not one Tubes song ??????????????

Pauline 6 years ago

Hate to break your bubble love, but can't even consider sngs of the B-52's "NEW WAVE" New Wave is essentially named for the undergound bands from the 80's. Not those acts trying to sound like the 80's. But I respect your opinions regarding this. I mean, why isn't the Wild Swans there? :-P

Deng 6 years ago

Nice List..

cszpct 6 years ago

bigfun...i believe the song you are looking for is "will you stay tonight" by the comsat angels

Bigfun 6 years ago

Thank you cszpct it is!

Bigfun 6 years ago

Another one for the list, Martha and the Muffins- echo beach

PimpaliciousKidd 6 years ago

Great Playlist.! Born In '94 But iWish iWas Born In This Era Greatest Type Of Music.! My Mom Is Sooo Lucky She Got To Experience Good Music...& Im Stuck Here Having To Listen To A "MUSICAL RECESSION" D:

sms 6 years ago

why did you put danny hutton hitters for "wouldn't it be good"(#160) and not nik kershaw?

Photoblue 6 years ago

Name Alternative Austrian band in the 80's that had a song named Trouble or had the chours of "If your in trouble..."

martang 6 years ago

where is omd?

roel.. 6 years ago

i love the songs of the new wave...i really Love it!

plankton 6 years ago

i'd like to add some bands, hope you will remember their songs, 10,000 maniacs, 38 special, a flock of seagulls, abc, alphaville, altered images, aztec camera, big audio dynamite, big country, bolshoi, book of love, cactus world news, camouflage, china crisis, concrete blonde, crowded house, dead or alive, descendents, echo & the bunnymen, fiction factory, flesh for lulu, fra lippo lippi, general public, go west, h2o, industry, information society, james, jesus & mary chain, kon kan, midge ure, midnight oil, morrissey, o.m.d., oingo boingo, positive noise, psychedelic furs, real life, red flag, seona dancing, shriekback, simple minds, strawberry switchblade, the adventures, the alarm, the church, the cult, the fixx, the flirts, the lotus eaters, the mighty lemon drops, the mission u.k., the pale fountains, the ramones (hehe, this is punk rock), the soup dragons, the swans, the waterboys, the wild swans, thompson twins, toad the wet sprocket, translator, ultravox, white china, wire train........

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 6 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

More than half these people are on here, most with multiple songs.

kc 6 years ago

great list,it brings back alot of memories of the old wlir days

doc steev 6 years ago

anybody have any idea where the term "new wave" came from? I heard it was a hair gel in the philippines that came out at the same time (and the rest of asia too, i guess). twas a must have on one's dresser back then. what set this brand apart was that it was one of the first that integrated glitter into the gel. clear jar and purple screw top.

oscar g, 6 years ago

some bands are missing like ultrabox, alphaville. O.M.D. , china crisis, icehouse & imagination ...

JP 6 years ago

its a great list but i think u missed Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place

Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

I love the 80's bands & music! Great job on listing them and some of the facts that go along with the songs history...

mj 6 years ago

What a detailed narration of essential (party) songs of the 80's! Aside from the omission of OMD, pretty much recall other staples by Roxy Music, Romeo Void, Gazeebo, Split Enz. Real Life... Still, great heck of a job compiling this up and touring us back in time.

MJ 6 years ago

Ooops, feel I owe you this one for the Split Enz duplication earlier. Saw you listed them at #45. "Such A Shame" we can't be "Forever Young"..."Absolute Reality". Live a "Million Miles Away" with a lot of "Cool Places" near "China".Got an "Appetite" for 80's music that "Never Ceases To Amaze Me". "Wishing" for "Heaven" to "Send Me An Angel". Hope "This Is The Day". So "I Can Be Happy" like "The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death" reading this "Masterpiece". HAHAHA "More Than This", "Thank You" for the flashbacks.

JT 6 years ago

Good list, however pretty mainstream. I grew up in Houston and club scene in the late 80's was incredible. Here are few I would add...

A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray (Gerald's Rham On Acid Mix).mp3

Axodry - You (Razomaid Mix).mp3

Bappi Lahiri - Habiba (Bomb the bass remix) (1988).mp3

BOXCAR - Freemason (Extended) - 1988.mp3

Boytronic - Bryllyant (33 8 remix).mp3

Boytronic - Hurts.mp3

Cappella - Helyom Halib (classic acid house).mp3

Cetu Javu - Situations.mp3

COLM III- Take Me High (Original Version).mp3

Micro Chip League - Communicate.mp3

Confetti's - The Sound Of C... (1988).mp3

Double I.D. - Communicate (Rock Beat Dynozor Mix) (1989).mp3

English Boy on the Love ranch - The Man in your Life.mp3

Getting Away With It - Electronic.mp3

Hasim- Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)..mp3

Hithouse - Jack To The Sound Of The Underground (1988).mp3

Hohokam - Harlequin Tears.mp3

HUBERT KaH - Military Drums (Power Mix).mp3

IN-D - Bastion In-D Stress (Extended Version) - 1988.mp3

L.A. Mix - Check This Out.mp3

Lil Louis Vs George Krantz - Din Daa Daa French Kiss.mp3

Live Cinema - Pop Density.mp3

/MAJOR PROBLEM - Acid Queen (Dirty Version) - 1988.mp3

MAN 2 MAN MEETS MAN SPARRISH A1 Male Stripper (Original US Mix).mp3

M C Wildski - Warrior.mp3

Moskwa TV - Generator 7_8.mp3

New Order - Fine Time (steve silk hurley mix).mp3

OKAY! - O.K. (OK).mp3

Paul Rutherford - Get Real (stereo).mp3

Peter Godwin - Images of Heaven.mp3

PETER SCHILLING - The different story(remix).mp3

Pluuto - Isn't it Crazy? RZMX.mp3

Poesie Noire - Pity for the Self 1989.mp3


Gene and Jim are Into Shakes - Shake.mp3

Sparks - Music That You Can Dance To.mp3

T 99-Too Nice To Be Real.mp3

The Bolshoi's Away.mp3

The Gruesome Twosome - Hallucination Generation.mp3

Trance Dance- Do The Dance (Extended Version) 1986.mp3

VOYOU - Houseman (Razormaid Remix).mp3

White Rabbit - Airplane Crashers.mp3


Xpansions Move your body (higher) Elevation.mp3

Zero Zero - Zeroxed.mp3

DAN 6 years ago

jt- I am a big new wave fan but do not know alot of these songs. Do you have any compilations you may want to share?



GO 6 years ago

20-20 yellow pills? where is it?

Robert 6 years ago

Why is there no Fra Lippo Lippi Song mentioned on the List didn't you heard the song: Stiches and Burns, Light and Shade, Everytime i see you, Angel, Tell me Why, Later and other hits?

JT 6 years ago

Dan, I don't have any compilations except some old recording from live radio broadcasts from the clubs back in '88 and '89. Give me your email and a list and I'll send you some mp3's.

john 6 years ago

killing joke please

Rennie Foster 6 years ago

no Kraftwerk? nice list, but very pedestrian.

needs more advanced Bowie and Ultravox, Visage, Sousixe etc. to be a serious New Wave ranking. This is basically just 80s top 40. Really good to see the Tin Tin one though.. Kiss Me.. great tune. How about Peter Godwin, Images of Heaven.. or Heaven 17 etc....

edgar 6 years ago

the sound - i can't escape myself (& many other sound songs)

japan- adolescent sex(& many other japan songs)

cure - play for today (& may other cure songs)

jennifer 6 years ago

It's a good start - I have most of these already, I think you need to put more obscure bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Pig Big - I can't break away, etc. That would definitely accentuate the list.

Brad 6 years ago

Can't help but wonder why Trans-X's "Living On Video" wasn't on the list?

Sian 6 years ago

Your Woman ~ White Town is actually from 1997, but besides that, great list!

Will 6 years ago

Like the list and the blurbs on the first part of the list - would like to see blurbs expanded.

One song I just recently heard on the radio in an 80's slot was "We run" by Strange Advance - didn't make your list (maybe only charted in Canada and not the U.S.)

Laurie 6 years ago

Just a side note for Cmart: Close to Me is #35 on the list. ;)

Cindy 6 years ago

Mandinka by Sinead O'Connor came out in 1987, not the 1990s. It's on her album The Lion And The Cobra, which was released in 1987. I clearly remember it being played on the radio shortly after Jerusalem, which was her first hit.

Al Cannon 6 years ago

Some of these song don't qulify as "New Wave"; makes me wonder who made the list.

Al Cannon, NC 6 years ago

Let's remember "New Wave" was really only the years of 1977 to about 83. The Producers, 20/20, Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric, Quincy, The Sports, Gruppo Sportivo, The Photos, Bruce Wooley, Scott Wilk...and the list goes on and on...

Bigfun 6 years ago

Al Cannon, NC. Since you invented New wave we should take 1977 to "about" 83 as fact? Right now your just a Hater this is a nice blog for all of us who loved the music. That goes for all the critics.

sg1268 profile image

sg1268 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

Wow, I think we share the same brain..great list! Of course there are many more but, nonetheless you caught all the classic greats for sure. Hard to believe they are considered classic now.....uggh I'm so old.

Chris Way 6 years ago

B Movie - Nowhere Girl

Japan - Life in Tokyo

Visage - Fade To Grey

Sharpe & Numan - Change Your Mind

Voice of America - Story Of Love

Flesh For LuLu - I go Crazy

Heaven 17 - Let Me Go

Images in Vogue - Lust for Love

China Crisis - African & White

Blancmange - Game Above My Head

Simple Minds - Changeling

Just some favs of mine... cheers!

mike 6 years ago

I remember listening to the Thompson Twins a lot in the 80s.

Dave_in_Bama 6 years ago

I love the list. A lot of memories there. Love the suggestions for mixing in the early part of the list. One song I didn't see in the list, or in the comments (I used the "find" tool in my browser), was The Waitresses "I Know What Boys Like". Kind of surprising. I always thought that song was a great representation of the overall sound and "feel" of New Wave. Not quite punk, not overloaded with synthesizers, the singer sounds like she couldn't care less if you like the song or not - just kind of a "Here's the song, deal with it" attitude. Thanks for letting me get my 2 cents in!

Lisa 6 years ago

Why did you list the English version of 99 Luftballoons? More famous doesn't necessarily mean better.

And how could you forget Cyndi Lauper's Right Track Wrong Train

Jillian 6 years ago

This is a great list! I appreciate the people who added long as they aren't di@ks about it!

I really loved the commentary, especially when you added possible songs to mix with. Forwarded to my 17yo son who does a lot of mixing and mashups. Thanks for taking the time to put this together!

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 6 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Glad you like it Jillian though I must defend my detractors here (the ones who aren't dicks) because my definition of New Wave Songs was songs heard on my favorite radio station that played mostly new wave. However they also played a lot of modern rock stuff too and this list is really a combination of both genres but listed as New Wave.

JonnyFive 6 years ago

Really Great list. Couple of suggestions; You have to add Love my way by the psychedelic furs, Goodbye horses by Q lazarus, Age of consent by New order and move up Bizarre love triangle to number 1

Albert Finney 6 years ago

Great list! A few more songs for thought...

Painted Moon by the Silencers

Ballerina Out of Control by the Ocean Blue

Strobelight by the B-52s

1963 by New Order

There is a Light That Never Goes Out by the Smiths

Suedehead by Morrissey

The Bottom Line by B.A.D.

Our Lips Are Sealed by the Go Go's

I Touch Roses by Book of Love

Never You Done That by General Public

Life Goes On by Guadalcanal Diary

Strength by The Alarm

To name a few... :)

Dan 6 years ago

Hey All, great list. There is a song I have been trying to find for years. It sounds a little like Don Henley but its not, and what sux is I don't know the name of the song or the artist. All I know is the chorus:

"So I cried

And I tried

A little at a time,

Oh I cried"

Satan 6 years ago

Umm, OK list, but how the hell does Porno For Pyros qualify as 80s? 6 years ago

need help, can't think of the song or the artist, in the song male singer says something to the effect of 'her and her mum had a big row' brish slang for argument. Thanx for your help!!!

t-money 6 years ago

Dear Prudence

Siren Song profile image

Siren Song 6 years ago from The Golden State

I've greatly enjoyed looking at your list. May I add a few (In no particular order):

E=MC2 - Big Audio Dynamite

Always Something Breaking Us in Two - Joe Jackson

Love is a Stranger - Eurythmics

Up the Neck - The Pretenders

You're Everywhere that I'm Not - Translator

True - Concrete Blonde

Black Coffee in Bed - Squeeze

Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush

I Confess - English Beat

Lucky Number - Lene Lovich

It's My Life - Talk Talk (great video with animals)

Sister Europe - Psychedelic Furs

I Love a Man in a Uniform - Gang of Four

The Power & the Passion - Midnight Oil

Mission of Mercy - The Motels

Nellie the Elephant - Toy Dolls

People Who Died - Jim Carroll

White Girl - X

Fourth of July - X

Never Say Never - Romeo Void

Siren Song profile image

Siren Song 6 years ago from The Golden State

P.S. I adore your blurbs with each song. It's fun to learn little tidbits or remember forgotten facts. Yes and yes for your other questions.

djvick 6 years ago

there was a song called i thing (on t.v) who where they

i think it was new wave

omega 6 years ago

You may or may not the song, but.......

DON'T YOU WANT ME by Human League is the definitive song of the 80s. It pretty well set the standard and served as the blueprint to which all other bands would aspire.

The song SHOUT by Tears for Fears closed out this era, and must be considered the second best tune.

Think of these two songs as the bookends for what many believed to be the most creative period in pop music.

This song brought tears to my eyes, because upon hearing

it, recognized it to be the 'swan song' of the period.

1981-1985 R.I.P. Thanx for the memories.

We may never see anything like this again.

den_2528 6 years ago

can you give me the title of this song folks? chorus is goes something like this..."THERE WILL BE NO TIME TO HOLD US IN THE SKY....."

Dean Krouse 6 years ago

Oh the memories that stirred up reading the 250 songs. I knew almost all of them. I am from the class of 1986 so this was my time!! Amazing music. Like they all say, " They just don't make music like this anymore!" Such good stuff. Thanks for posting it!!!!

galaxxy 6 years ago

great list.....were The future's so bright I gotta wear shades....and I wanna be a cowboy on there...and I love how everyone has their list...just read everyones comments and combined you missed 2467 tracks...

top job...

chad piper 6 years ago

spent a few years in santa fe where nu wave and goth shared the same seat. '87-'88 was a great time. came back a few years later and a fresh wave of hippies and hippy music moved the nu wavers out. got no problems, but the music just wasn't as fun. worked at a place on the plaza square called haagen dazs/plaza bakery and it was the center of high school life on the weekends. god it was great. if any of you were there in the the 80s and a big texan kicked you out for crowding the door, drop me a line at

dougrad 6 years ago

great list. there were just so many good new wave songs that came out of the 80s, and you'd probably have to make a top 500 list to include them all.

norms 6 years ago

you forgot the " the ghost in you" in the list by psychedelic furs

ibeeeg 6 years ago

Great list. I have been listening to my 80's radio station lately so I've been in the mood for this stuff. I'm not a purist about genre stuff, who cares? I don't but I know others do, regardless, i think your list is quite good. I also have liked reading the comments, remembering other songs. Fun.

Side note: kind of funny that there is now an 80's station. I remember when I would listen to my Dad's station and thought the stuff is old, I don't think that about the 80's.

Ellie 6 years ago

Great list!!!!! i know most of the songs and love them =) you should add "Forever Young" by Alphaville. it was a great hit! but great selection anyways!

devo 6 years ago

I didn't see Heart of Glass. That was after all the first major New Wave hit in the US. It is sometimes wrongly classified as disco, but it actually was a fusion of rock and disco elements. In many ways the coupling of rock with a danceable beat was the template for New Wave.

radiohead 6 years ago

Modern Lovers.

80smusicfreak 6 years ago 2 months ago

need help, can't think of the song or the artist, in the song male singer says something to the effect of 'her and her mum had a big row' brish slang for argument. Thanx for your help!!!

"Come Dancing", by the Kinks.

"My sister should have come in a midnight

And my mom would always sit up and wait

It always ended up in a big row

When my sister used to get home late"

Maria 6 years ago


The song that was missing in my opinion is Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy :)

Trey Odom 6 years ago

I know that you couldn't fit everything here, but I must point out a painfully glaring omission from the collection you have amassed here............

The Alarm- Sixty Eight Guns

This is one of my alltime favorites from the golden era of New Wave!

pangyaoph 6 years ago

please i need ur help guys.

could not remember the title and artists of this song:

so she said its time she goes but one thing to be sure

i know she hope we can be friends.



Paperclip 6 years ago

To pangyaoph:

I believe the song you are looking for is "No Myth" by Michael Penn. I don't know the song, but I found it by doing a quick lyric search in google. Here is the wikipedia page:

To DJ Funktual:

Thanks so much for this awesome list!!! I'm looking to complement my already excellent New Wave playlist with more New Wave songs. It's really hard to classify something as straight "new wave," so I totally understand why there are a few songs in the list that might be more rock or punk and not so much new wave. I'm really looking forward to listening to the treasure trove of new wave songs that I don't would be awesome to re-discover a song I haven't heard in ages or to find new favorites.

PS - I swear that I saw a VH1 show where they interviewed The Vapors who finally admitted that the song "Turning Japanese" was about masturbation. Ah, yes, after doing a quick search, I have found that the show was called One Hit Wonders of the 80s, but I haven't been able to find a clip.

cal 6 years ago

Enjoyed your list very much. I would put some songs higher than "Pop Musik" and "Cars" (because I hate those songs and because "Tempted" deserves to be higher than 101!) but overall a great memory jogger for the soundtrack of my teens. Thanks!

2k 5 years ago

how did "space age love song" - flock of seagulls not make..? or did i miss something somewhere?

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

It is #152!

Ed 5 years ago

Do you remember a song called "Imogene"? I'm in love with imogene. I feel good until the rerun ends.

It was circa 1985.

Bink 5 years ago

The U.S. may not have take to the Human League like those other bands... yet most folks can sing that chorus and boy, they sure dont mind jumpin' out onto a dance floor when it pumps through the speaks, In Ca.where I grew up you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing 'Don't you want me', and its still played pretty regularly, moved to Austin TX and its pretty much the same... they got a new album comin out too...STAYING power for sure...

Kate 5 years ago

Yeah, no OMD? Whaaaaa? If You Leave is definitely one of my all time favorite songs. And I wasn't even alive during this time. ha And Enola Gay and Electricity. Mmm..

I was also going to comment on the Hold Me Now lyrics. I think it's "Hold my cold and tired heart", am I wrong?

80's Mike 5 years ago

I listened to KROQ back in the day in LA, memorable songs that I remember: B-Movie "Nowhere Girl" and Blancmange "Blind Vision" or "Don't Tell Me". Anyway, great list with some really good memories. Thank you!

Simon Robeyns 5 years ago

I'd like a darker version of this!

more clan of xymox, cure, sisters of mercy kinda thing!

found a lot of new groups to listen too

so thanks already

apple 5 years ago

i love a song but can't remember the title or the artist. all i can remember is a part of the lyrics:

"Come with me, take my hand

Thru the milk and honey of a broken promised land

Side by side, don't say no

Time will tell our secrets everywhere we go"

Hope you can help ;)

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

It's "Come With Me" - Translater

Just googled it myself.

apple 5 years ago

thanks a lot ;)

anon 5 years ago

Where's Style Council??

Anthony 5 years ago

GREAT LIST!!! Anyone who knows anything at all about New Wave would have to agree. It's impossible to list, and in a "correct" order, EVERY possible song. It's also left to some interpretation. But I really agree with this list. I would like to add "Secret" by OMD and "Don't Leave Me This Way" by the Communards. Thanks!

ts 5 years ago

Way late to this list but want to say: wonderful. the arguments are awesome and its awesome you take position and let people go at it. Luv it from Shanghai.

m tariq ali o-pak d 5 years ago

GREAT LIST!!! Anyone who knows anything at all about New Wave would have to agree. It's impossible to list, and in a "correct" order, EVERY possible song. It's also left to some interpretation. But I really agree with this list. I would like to add "Secret" by OMD and "Don't Leave Me This Way" by the Communards. Thanks!

FMLPhotography 5 years ago

Fantastic List. You made my night. I can't believe I forgot so many songs I love.

David 5 years ago

Hey. Bravo to the guy that posted this list for his great attitude even to those that are providing criticism. That is very rare. I think a lot of the posts provide some accurate appraisals, and there are some fantastic additions by others. Overall, I *love* this list. A lot of people that like these genres are also those that push songs away once they become too well known and get off a bit too much on "obscurity", etc, if that makes sense. Bottom line is, most of us loved all of these songs even though nowadays a lot are the "mainstream" of the "obscure" we loved.

Jammie 5 years ago

Great list! Brought back some great memories!

grannash 5 years ago

Was looking for an 80's alternative playlist to spend some of my itunes money on, and I definitely found it! Thank you!!!

insstavlin 5 years ago

There was this song in the early 80's that I used to hear at clubs. It's killing me because I don't know who sang it or what the title is. I just remember the one sentence "What are we fighting for" being sung over and over in a raspy (female?) voice over new wave sounding mid-tempo music. I used to think it was the same singer as Mondo Man (Roni Griffith)because I first heard these songs around the same time, but the rest of her music I have found is very disco! Does anyone know what I am talking about?

Flip 5 years ago

Major issues with this list! Spirit in the Sky and I Want Candy are both remakes and shouldn't be considered classic New Wave or be included in a list of top new wave songs at all. Opus?? new wave??? really?? don't get that one. Mayor of Simpleton was released in the 90's late 89' at best and is not by any means part of the New wave genre. If you Leave-thompson twins may be the single glaring mistake on this list, top 10 without a doubt! i applaued your effort as there's so much to chose from.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

If You leave is by O.M.D btw.

Flip 5 years ago

Touche'! lol If you were here.

.abeauttiful 5 years ago

........................................... i enjoy it.....................................................

insstavlin 5 years ago

Now that I found that song I was looking for I will say I don't remember seeing Marianne Faithfull on this list, like the songs Broken English and Why'd Ya Do It? Also Roni Griffith's Mondo Man and The Plastics A Japanese band from the early 80's who modeled themselves after the B-52's, Mostly the songs Delicious/ Diamond Head.

Caleb 5 years ago

Hey DJ I absolutely love this list. I often listen to 80's music when I'm playing a game, or cleaning the house, or working, or whenever! I'm not sure if this would count as "New Wave" on your list, but the theme from Midnight Express (The Chase) by Giorgio Moroder is just oozing 80's synth and sound. I have that one on repeat most of the time, I just can't hear it enough!

Anyone else that likes 80's music should give it a listen, you can find it on youtube.

AlternativeSteveality 5 years ago

Hell yeah with the comments for each song!

Dog8mybag 5 years ago

I am severely stuck in the 80s. A lot happenned in the 80s. Music videos on TV - Hell ya. The internet. New wave was rad. You actually had to be there to be able to appreciate the full experience. I was in my 20s all the way through the 80s. I constantly think about how much fun I had then. If I had 3 wishes.....

Jerry 5 years ago

Not sure if anyone mentioned it but you doubled up on 211-220 with different songs each time, so this is actually a Top 260. =D

Jerry 5 years ago

Forgot to mention, I know you posted this a couple years back, but, thanks for the list! Just came across it and copying to a spreadsheet so I can start downloading.

Only song I didn't see in the list, or in the comments somewhere, is Sugar Hiccup from the Cocteau Twins.

Lexter 5 years ago

your woman, by white town came out in 1997. great song, but not 80s :(

Drink Booty Sweat 5 years ago

Adam Sandler's character from The Wedding Singer when he sings "But it all was bullshit...."

Baker 5 years ago

Loved the list. Can't be critical about anything except I would remove the Simply Red song Holding back the Years (since it's a song my mom listened to on easy-listening stations at the time I wouldn't qualify it as New Wave, even though it's a great song!) and replace it with Blancmange's Blind Vision. The extended mix of that song is quintessentially 80's and New Wave to the core! Good work DJ Funktual!

KM 5 years ago

Poor and tired heart! Not poor Italian heart. LOL

Steve 5 years ago

Love this list, and I like almost everything on it. I wish there was a way for the page to play the songs, sort of like a playlist. That would be terrific.

Phreez 5 years ago

Wow, your list... other people adding.... wow

Class of '82 Just went into a memory flashback coma :)

Yellow Yahoo 5 years ago

Was looking around for a list of greatest new wave song for me to download, good thing i came across this. Great list. Wish you got to finish adding your personal comments about each song though.

DaveysRecipeRead profile image

DaveysRecipeRead 5 years ago

That's what they used to call a herculean effort. Very extensive list!

AGood Read 5 years ago

I gotta say....I really enjoyed reading this, top to bottom. List on the whole is good; not great, but good. Yes, there are some omissions, and perhaps a few indulgences, but I challenge anyone to come up with a fully accurate list of 250 songs, that 100% of public would agree to....not to mention the blurbs at the start of the 1st 50 or so songs...nice touch. Kudos to you DJ. And Thank You for taking the time to do this list up. regardless of accuracy (one of the most accurate lists I've seen in a blog yet, if not the most accurate, on the whole, in my opinion. Again...KUDOS for the time and effort and material content.

may landicho 5 years ago

love it much!!!

Spook 5 years ago

Hmmm - mostly pop - not new wave songs ...

ugo 5 years ago


jared 5 years ago

I love this list!

pat 5 years ago

i 'm looking for a title of a song i heard something like " hot dog you need love i am cooking" does someone remember this song?

Back to the 80s 5 years ago

That is a hell of a list, my respect to you.

John S 5 years ago

Not really a good list. I didn't see Sedated by the Ramones. That should be a top ten. Joe Jackson?? Some songs are overrated, while others, most notably I Ran and She Blinded Me With Science are way too low. Others I didn't see were INXS - To Look At You, Romeo Void - Never Say Never. I could go on and on. I do agree with the #1 song and that can't be said for many lists. Rock Lobster was the first and still the best new wave tune.

John S 5 years ago

Here, I'll give you a quicker and better top ten. #1 Rock Lobster (we agree), #2 Whip It - Devo, #3 White Wedding - Billy Idol, #4 Tainted Love - Soft Cell, #5 Sedated - Ramones, #6 I Ran - Flock Of Seagulls, #7 New Years Day - U2, #8 Don't Change - INXS, #9 She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby, #10 Turning Japanese - Vapors. I prefer songs before 1983 as the genre was mostly full of copycats after this point. I could however produce a solid list of late 80s New Wave much more impressive than this one.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Dear John S, I can appreciate the thought that went into your comments however, to insult this list you could do better is total BS. That is the easiest statement in the world to make. I could do better..BUT YOU DIDN'T. What you COULD do helps nobody. Sedated is punk btw, maybe you've heard of it.

Freddie Maj  5 years ago

Good overall list brought me back. Don't listen to these stupid haters. Everyone will disagree with any top 250 list in anything! Great job! Class of 82

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Thanks Barbara. I never considered them very new wave. More like classic rock and pop.

Amanda  5 years ago

Thanks for bringing back all the memories!!!!!

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Ahhh Nostalgia!

Jeff 5 years ago

In the Thompson Twins Hold Me Now, she says my cold and tired heart.

TG 5 years ago

Great list. Didn't find the name of the band that brought me here--guess I'll have to make my way through the LP boxes at my parents' house to find it. Don't agree with ALL the choices (and putting 90s bands in seems...wrong), but I loved the list--and the comments. A few quibbles--no Siouxie (did I miss it?), Tones on Tail, OMD, or the band whose name I still can't remember?

Marleece 5 years ago

Thanks putting such an extensive list together, it helped me find songs I had forgotten!!

Sandy 5 years ago

Good Job with this list. Will save it to my favorites for future reference.

Benman 5 years ago

It was cool to see my alltime favorite band mentioned by some of the posters...20/20. Anyway...everyone's life experiences is different so we could have a million people do this list and they'd all be different. To get angry or nasty is stupid. Make your own list and respect this one for what it is ....someone else's opinion. Not wrong, just different. Good job!

leroy 5 years ago

"Hmmm - mostly pop - not new wave songs ..."

That's true. Classic New Wave is A Flock of Seagulls, Modern Romance and Depeche Mode. The music was mainly based on synthesisers. but hey a good list, just not New Wave.

leroy 5 years ago

then again, new wave has been used to describe everything from culture club to the specials and Duran Duran and certain sub-cultures of punk rock, it can mean many different things. for me it embodied the era of the synthesizer in the 80s, the Roland Juno 6 i believe.

qwerty 5 years ago

Sweet dreams are made of THESE, not "this".

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

That's how it sounds but those aren't the words. Right on the cover of the single it says THIS.

Joey 5 years ago

Wow - tough crowd! I thought the list was great!


bargi 5 years ago

Listen to their song, proudly Pinoy band: The Dawn - Enveloped Ideas. Such a great hit during new wave era here in the Philippines.

Add to the list: Xmal Deutschland, Friend Again - State of Art, Till Tuesday - Voices Carry, Prefab Sprout - When Love Breaks Down, C.C.C.P. - American Soviet, ABC - Be Near Me, The Adventures - Two Rivers, Industry - State of the Nation, The Alarm - Absolute Reality, Jane Weidlin, The Propaganda - Duel, The Eurogliders, A House - I'll Always Be Grateful, The Care - Flaming Sword, The Sound - Total Recall, I start counting - You & I, The Railway Children - Every Beat Of The Heart, Johnny Hates Jazz, April Showers, The Bible - Graceland, Translator - Gravity, Riverside - Cinnamon Eyes, Wire Train - Chamber of Hellos, Red Rockers - China, .......

Pelu 5 years ago

Everything was going ok while I was reading this acceptable list, I disagree with the election of the B-52’s because I don’t like too much this group whereas I love Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, A-ha, Soft Cell, Talking Heads, Eurythmics.., The problem is when I hear that Madness has only 4 good songs, That is blasphemy! Madness were one of the most creative groups of the 80’s, they didn’t only play ska, but also they did so wonderful albums (absolutely, 7, the rise and fall…) Making a list about the 80’s is mission impossible, it’s impossible to satisfy to everyone and it’s impossible to include all of these genius and modern and futuristic artists from the past; however, it is always good to hear about all this music,

Bram Slam 5 years ago

As someone who is still entrenched in 80's music except for the occasional decent band that pops up amongst the muck of current music (The Killers, Muse, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, etc), I thought you did an excellent job compiling your list. Of course the order of songs is going to be subjective, but your depth of different bands was excellent.

By the way for Barbara from a few weeks ago, he did have "Moving in Stereo" by the Cars at the top half of the list. Anyone who was a preteen or teenage boy like I was in 1982 could never forget this song playing as Phoebe Cates took her top off in Fast Times...

James 5 years ago

Where is Heaven 17.....? Let me go..... and tones on tails.... go...?

dooleywomack profile image

dooleywomack 5 years ago

Really fantastic!

gs 5 years ago

Grace Jones needs to be on this list somewhere. #JustSayin.

davepmiller 5 years ago

Great list. I really like the idea of ranking songs by how new wave they are as opposed to how independently great they are. I was surprised not to see more Psychedelic Furs on the list and no Siouxie and the Banshees or Bauhaus. Too goth to be new wave? I also would have liked to see something from The The's "Soul Mining" as opposed to the later stuff. Martha and the Muffins' "Echo Beach" belongs on here and maybe even some of their later stuff. I also agree with others who said Heaven 17 belonged here. Somebody else thought you should have had the X-Ray Spex, but, great as they are, I really don't think they belong on a new wave list. Anyway, nice job.

ThorHa 5 years ago

Thanks. Used your list as a starting point for an extensive order for music from the time I was below 30 (which covers the 80s). It looks (almost) like a playlist of Germanys best disco in the 80s - Hamburgs "Madhouse". You really missed - tastes aside - just one no brainer: Blancmanges "Blind Vision".

Regards from Germany,


Shannon 5 years ago

Awesome list! I especially loved the inclusion of "The Honeythief," one of my favs that often gets overlooked. Thanks for doing the legwork!

The Buddhist 5 years ago

Hi, I LOVE all music, hard work, good authors' research and especially lists! Do blurbs on every song, but please stop ranting about what the "chicks" liked. NOT a good music-o-meter.

Since I was already an old man with a bad prostate, I recall The Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian" and baby, we considered that New Wave (pardon me if it is on your list).

I have a question, I'll grant a new Chinese Buddhist name to anyone who can answer: my pals and I liked a song sung by a girl with a lovely throaty voice. All I can remember is that it was New Wave, it had a hook with the words "the bell of st. mark" and another lyric which said "he won't talk to strangers/he's so mysterious"

I am so nostalgic for that song. HEEEEEELP!!!!!

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 5 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

The Bell of St Mark is from Sheila E.

everywhere that im not 5 years ago

Cool list. Enjoyed being taken back to the day (even though much of me has never left the 80's). Not gonna critique and tell you where you were wrong because that would be my list and not yours. Geez, I'm still waiting for someone to slam you for excluding the Blow Monkeys. Thanks for the effort.

queenfeonix 5 years ago

Great find! Thank you. List order is alright. Enjoyed this!!

Just Nic 5 years ago

Loved the list...even some of the songs not on your list were triggers by the artists and songs that WERE! Thnx

Brock 5 years ago

Surprised to Not see any mention of The Cars (They ruled the Airwaves.

20/20,Nerves,Plimsouls,Beat(Paul Collins),Kings,Motels,Pop,Tommy Tutone,

To name a Few :)

JAWA 5 years ago

Liasons Dangereuses - Los Ninos Del Parque

A True Classic in it's own time and still strong.

Simple Minds - I Travel

Another NW classic before turning mainstream

Anne Clark - Sleeper in Metropolis

Anne Clark - Oud Darkness

Mmm... Anne Clark the Queen of New Wave?

Joy Division - New Dawn Fades

A dark cult NW classic, should not be missed

Spandau Ballet - Chant No.1

Another legendary song, made before the Ballet Boys went mainstream.

Larry P 5 years ago

Great effort, provided me with lots of thought, and of course open to debate. Where to draw the line between "punk" and "new wave" and what year to cutoff. I personally think more Ramones and New Order, & some Blancmange would be in my list, but hey no one's going to be a clone in taste.

warren 5 years ago

Look, there were SO many other songs that could have been mentioned but they are all down to personal tastes. The fact that you took the time to compile this lot is so meritable and demonstrates how serious you take the industry, whatever the genre or the period it came from. Bloody well done you mate!!!

Oz O'Donnell 5 years ago

I hate it when people refer to Dexys as one hit wonders. Do your research? Geno was Dexys first number one hit. Jackie Wilson Said, Show Me, Celtic Soul Brothers, Because of You and others made the top 10.

Weinz Belardo profile image

Weinz Belardo 5 years ago from Marikina City,Philippines

Great list DJ :) I think we all have our individual...personal list of the greatest New Wave songs...coz we all have personal preferences.

Would love to share to you and everybody my favorite New Wave songs,while I wouldn't claim that it's the greatest New Wave songs.So here's some of my list (Note: A few bands listed here are not exclusively New Wave bands, but are involved (and associated with )in releasing New Wave songs in the 80's and early 90's.And most of this list are of the lighter side...'love song' and 'rare' type New Wave songs which are good in listening while in a relax mood :)

Somebody ~ Depeche More

It Doesn't Matter ~ Depeche Mode

Strange Love ~ Depeche Mode

Little 15 ~ Depeche Mode

See You ~ Depeche Mode

Any Second Now ~ Depeche Mode

A Question Of Lust ~ Depeche Mode

I Love You ~ Primal Scream

Meaning Of Love ~ ABC

Be Near Me ~ ABC

Rain ~ Red Flag

Broken Heart ~ Red Flag

Russian Radio ~ Red Flag

Wonderful Life ~ Black

Everything Coming Up Roses ~ Black

Imagination ~ Clan Of Cymox

Living On The Borderline ~ Smash Palace

Emotion In Motion ~ Ric Ocasek

I'm Been In Love Before ~ The Cutting Crew

I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight ~ The Cutting Crew

Any Colors ~ The Cutting Crew

Sahara ~ The Cutting Crew

My Sanctuary ~ Identity Crisis

Enveloped Ideas ~ The Dawn

What About Love ~ 'Til Tuesday

Voices Carry ~ 'Til Tuesday

Wishful Thinking ~ China Crisis

Cat ~ The Essence

In The Meantime ~ The Railway Children

Careful ~ The Railway Children

The Killing Moon ~ Echo & The Bunnymen

Lips Like Sugar ~ Echo & The Bunnymen

A Southern Sky ~ Killing Joke

Love Like Blood ~ Killing Joke

Adoration ~ Killing Joke

State Of Art ~ Friends Again

Love Is A Lonely Harbour ~ Fra Lippo Lippi

Thief In Paradise ~ Fra Lippo Lippi

Distance Between Us ~ Fra Lippo Lippi

Regret ~ Fra Lippo Lippi

Candy ~ Iggy Pop & Kate Pierson(B52's)

Say Hello,Wave Goodbye ~ March Almond(Soft Cell)

Tainted Love ~ Soft Cell

Tears ~ The Chamelions

Pain and Pleasure ~ The Chamelions

Fade To Gray ~ Visage

Japan ~ The Creatures

Cuts You Up ~ Peter Murphy

Indigo Eyes ~ Peter Murphy

Plastic Flowers ~ The Wake

Total Recall ~ The Sound

One Thousand Reasons ~ The Sound

Under The Gun ~ The Sisters Of Mercy

Whatever Possessed You ~ The Care

Flaming Swords ~ The Care

Bringing Home The Ashes ~ The Wildswans

Bitterness ~ The Wildswans

The Great Commandment ~ Camouflage

Love Is A Shield ~ Camouflage

That Smiling Face ~ Camouflage

Butterfly On The Wheel ~ The Mission (UK)

Like A Hurricane ~ The Mission (UK)

Severina ~ The Mission (UK)

Have In Mind ~ Cetu Javu

The First Picture Of You ~ The Lotus Eaters

Love Still Flows ~ The Lotus Eaters

German Girl ~ The Lotus Eaters

Pictures Of You ~ The Cure

Faith ~ The Cure

Love Song ~ The Cure

Just Like Heaven ~ The Cure

Beautiful Girl ~ INXS

Need You Tonight ~ INXS

Never Tear Us Apart ~ INXS

Not Enough Time ~ INXS

Everybody Want To Rule The World ~ Tears For Fears

Head Over Heels ~ Tears For Fears

Mad World ~ Tears For Fears

Woman In Chains ~ Tears For Fears

Twist In My Sobriety ~ Tanita Tikaram

Good Tradition ~ Tanita Tikaram

You Don't Know ~ Scarlett and Black

Leave Me Alone ~ New Order

Bizzare Love Triangle ~ New Order

True Faith ~ New Order

One ~ U2

Night And Day ~ U2

Pride In The Name Of Love ~ U2

With Or Without You ~ U2

Where The Streets Have No Name ~ U2

October ~ U2

All I Want Is You ~ U2

Asia ~ Mo

Turn To The Sky ~ March Violets

In A Manner Of Speaking ~ Martin Gore

Oh My Love ~ Martin Gore

Compulsion ~ Martin Gore

Under The Milky Way ~ The Church

Honey Be Good ~ The Bible

The Last Supper ~ Howard Jones

The Light Is Always Green ~ The House Martins

Ghost In You ~ Psychedelic Furs

Angels Don't Cry ~ Psychedelic Furs

Heaven ~ Psychedelic Furs

This Love ~ Cocteau Twins

How Can I Fall ~ Breathe

Hands To Heaven ~ Breathe

More To Lose ~ Seona Dancing

Upside Down ~ Two Minds Crack

Goodbye Is Forever ~ Arcadia

Secrets ~ Fiat Lux

Smallville ~ Bazooka Joe

Hynotized ~ Copy-Right

Regina ~ Sugarcubes

Birthday ~ Sugarcubes

A Girl In Trouble (is a temporary thing) ~ Romeo Void

Cinnamon Eyes ~ Riverside

Waterfall ~ Riverside

Telephone Call ~ Kraftwerk

The Model ~ Kraftwerk

Major Tom ~ Peter Shilling

China Girl ~ David Bowie

Absolute Beginners ~ David Bowie

No More I Love You's ~ The Lover Speaks

Alone Again Or ~ The Damned

Proud To Fall ~ Ian McCulloch

Flickering Wall ~ Ian McCulloch

Candleland ~ Ian McCulloch

Faith and Healing ~ Ian McCulloch

Eyes Without A Face ~ Billy Idol

White Wedding ~ Billy Idol

Catch My Fall ~ Billy Idol

Nowhere Girl ~ B-Movie

Presence Of Love ~ The Alarm

Rain In The Summertime ~ The Alarm

Absolutel Reality ~ The Alarm

Our Lips Are Sealed ~ Soup Dragons

Someday ~ Glass Tiger

This Is How It Feels ~ Inspiral Carpets

Birthday Girl ~ Microdisney

Blue Spanish Sky ~ Chris Isaak

Blue Hotel ~ Chris Isaak

Wicked Game ~ Chris Isaak

Dear God ~ Midge Ure

Dancing With Tears From My Eyes ~ Ultravox

Dear God ~ XTC

Dream Kitchen ~ Frazier Chorus

Typical ~ Frazier Chorus

Blue Diamond ~ H2O

Forever Young ~ Alphaville

Big In Japan ~ Alphaville

Dance With Me ~ Alphaville

Sounds Like A Melody ~ Alphaville

Flame ~ Alphaville

Voyage Voyage ~ Desireless

Stay ~ Blue Nile

Headlights On The Parade ~ Blue Nile

Stay ~ Marc Spencer

Send Me An Angel ~ Real Life

Is This Love ~ Alison Moyet

Appetite ~ Prefab Sprout

From Dawn To Distraction ~ The Colourfield

Colourfield ~ The Colourfield

Thinking Of You ~ The Colourfield

Castle In The Wind ~ The Colourfield

Confession ~ The Colourfield

I Don't Wanna Talk About It ~ Everything But The Girl

Cross My Heart ~ Everything But The Girl

I Melt With You ~ Modern English

Love Will Tear Us Apart Again ~ Joy Division

Cars ~ Gary Numan

Rock Lobster ~ The B52's

I Won't Stand In Your Way ~ Stray Cats

Square Rooms ~ Al Corley

E=MC2 ~ Big Audio Dynamite

The Bottom Line ~ Big Audio Dynamite

Living On The Ceiling ~ Blancmange

Waves ~ Blancmange

Digging Your Scene ~ Blow Monkeys

Slave To Love ~ Bryan Ferry

More Than This ~ Bryan Ferry

Kiss And Tell ~ Bryan Ferry

Love Me Simple ~ Tuesday Blue

Tunnel Vision ~ Tuesday Blue

Come Out Fighting ~ Easterhouse

Waiting For The Redbird ~ Easterhouse

I Ran ~ A Flock Of Seagulls

Space Age Love Song ~ A Flock Of Seagulls

The More You Live,The More You Love ~ A Flock Of Seagulls

Jennifer She Said ~ Lloyd Cole & The Commotion

Call Me ~ Lloyd Cole & The Commotion

Dance With Me ~ Lords Of The New Church

Total Eclipse ~ The Expression

If You Need Someone ~ The Field Mice

Shine On ~ House Of Love

Christine ~ House Of Love

Remember The Nights ~ The Motels

Suddenly Last Summer ~ The Motels

Between Something And Nothing ~ Ocean Blue

Slide ~ Ocean Blue

Ask Me Jon ~ Ocean Blue

Deep,Wide and Tall ~ Aztec Camera

Somewhere In My Heart ~ Aztec Camera

Mary's Prayer ~ Danny Wilson

Ordinary World ~ Duran Duran

Come Undone ~ Duran Duran

Save A Prayer ~ Duran Duran

Golden Brown ~ The Stranglers

A Little Respect ~ Erasure

Blue Savannah ~ Erasure

Ship Of Fools ~ Erasure

Secret ~ OMD

If You Leave ~ OMD

Dreaming ~ OMD

Then You Turn Away ~ OMD

Forever Live And Die ~ OMD

Don't Dream It's Over ~ Crowded House

Four Seasons In One Day ~ Crowded House

No Promises ~ Icehouse

Crazy ~ Icehouse

Man Of Colors ~ Icehouse

Electric Blue ~ Icehouse

Love Comes Quickly ~ Pet Shop Boys

West End Girls ~ Pet Shop Boys

Rent ~ Pet Shop Boys

It's A Sin ~ Pet Shop Boys

Human ~ Human League

Don't You Want Me ~ Human League

Pure ~ Lightning Seeds

From Across The Kitchen Table ~ The Pale Fountains

Thank You ~ The Pale Fountains

Jeans Not Happening ~ The Pale Fountains

Palm Of My Hand ~ The Pale Fountains

Reach ~ The Pale Fountains

These Are The Things ~ The Pale Fountains

I'll Always Be Grateful ~ A House

Joey ~ Concrete Blonde

Don't Get Me Wrong ~ Concrete Blonde

Chenko(Pow-Wow Press) ~ Red Box

Chinese Black ~ Neon Judgement

Everytime That I See You ~ Vitamin Z

Burning Flame ~ Vitamin Z

Take One Me ~ A-ha

The Sun Always Shines On TV ~ A-ha

Hunting High And Low ~ A-ha

Living A Boy's Adventure Tale ~

Weinz Belardo profile image

Weinz Belardo 5 years ago from Marikina City,Philippines

(Last Part)

Motorcycle Emptiness ~ Manic Street Preachers

Animal Magic ~ Belouis Some

Heaven (Must Be There) ~ Eurogliders

All Together Now ~ The Farm

Duel ~ Propaganda

Abandon Ship ~ April Showers

True ~ Spandau Ballet

Gold ~ Spandau Ballet

Only When You Leave ~ Spandau Ballet

Through The Barricade ~ Spandau Ballet

Something About You ~ Level 42

Well I Wonder ~ The Smiths

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now ~ The Smiths

How Soon Is Now ~ The Smiths

Hairdresser On Fire ~ The Smiths

Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me ~ The Smiths

There's A Light That Never Goes Out ~ The Smiths

What Difference Does It Make? ~ The Smiths

Girlfriend In A Coma ~ The Smiths

Everyday Is Like Sunday ~ Morrissey

Suedhead ~ Morrissey

The More You Ignore Me,The Closer I Get ~ Morrissey

Late Night,Maudlin Street ~ Morrissey

Shatted Dreams ~ Johnny Hates Jazz

Turn Back The Clock ~ Johnny Hates Jazz

Different Seasons ~ Johnny Hates Jazz

Saved By Zero ~ The Fixx

Red Skies ~ The Fixx

Secret Separation ~ The Fixx

Walk In The Woods ~ The Pursuit Of Happiness

Broken Land ~ The Adventures

Two Rivers ~ The Adventures

The Pan Within ~ The Waterboys

The Whole Of The Moon ~ The Waterboys

Sunday Morning ~ The Bolshoi

Away ~ The Bolshoi

T.V. Man ~ The Bolshoi

Kiss Of Like ~ Gene Loves Jezebel

Lean Period ~ Orange Juice

No Myth ~ Michael Penn

Real Gone Kid ~ Deacon Blue

Why Does It Rain ~ Weather Prophets

Modigliani (Lost In Your Eyes) ~ Book Of Love

This Is The Day ~ The The

Take My Breath Away ~ Berlin

Who Knows What Love Is ~ Straberry Switchblade

Out Of Hand ~ Mighty Lemon Drops

You And I ~ I Start Counting

Blushing Girl,Nervous Smile ~ Wallflowers

Time And Space ~ Flesh For Lulu

I Go Crazy ~ Flesh For Lulu

True Blue Falls ~ Died Pretty

Tell Me Why ~ Nick Heyward

How Was It For You ~ James

What For ~ James

Stripmining ~ James

Vox ~ Sarah Mclachlan

Heart Of Gold ~ Blondie

Call Me ~ Blondie

Don't You Forget About Me ~ Simple Minds

It's My Life ~ Talk Talk

Stand ~ REM

The One I Love ~ REM

Shiny Happy People ~ REM

Man On The Moon ~ REM

Everybody Hurts ~ REM

On Paper ~ Three O'Clock

Chamber Of Hellos ~ Wire Train

Smiles and Jokes ~ White China

Worlds Apart ~ Cactus World News

The Bridge ~ Cactus World News

Chance ~ Big Country

Kiss Of Life ~ Anything Box

When We Lie ~ Anything Box

Hypocrite ~ Anything Box

I Love Chopin ~ Gazebo

Loves Moves In Strange Ways ~ Blue Zoo

Patrice 5 years ago

The following songs are amazing 80's sound, but maybe a little bit obscure:

Visage-Fade to gray

Chameleons- don't fall

Brian 5 years ago

what's the title of the song that has the chorus "sorry amore" and some parts of the lyrics are "comprende" and comensar?

carlitos 5 years ago

who sang the song entitled magic swan i think it was from the eighties.thanks!

Mary 5 years ago

I'm looking for a song that goes bop bop bop dada number nine, bop bop be da baaa da. It's not Love Potion #9. But has those words or word in it. Help!!!!!!!!!

dean 5 years ago

Great List from everyone involved, but I must admit that EVERYONEforgot one of the greatest dancing New Wave songs ever..."reasons to be cheerful.....Part 3", from Ian Dury, was one of the greatest dance songs for its time, never mind the fact that it might have been one of the first "rap" new wave songs ever...just a great song.

sasan zal 5 years ago

hi, i search one of band, but i dont the name. just i know its songing on 1980~1990 and i saw in UK music box.

alsow they have bound name same as commenard or something like that.

pls if any body can hape me to find the name i will be pride

Waver102 5 years ago

New Wave favs from Philippines

aten 5 years ago

There are songs from the 90s on the list and you have missed many great songs from the 80s. Otherwise its a good start.

Forgot 5 years ago

Real life send me an angel

daniel 5 years ago

dramarama.....anything, anything

christine 5 years ago

Wow--- i had part of an 890's song pop in and out of my head this am,,, and went looking for some memory joggers. My song didn't make your list, but dang you have some good songs on there, and i LOVED (most of ) the comments, especially the two that mentioned Blanchmange--as i now remember the song that was briefly in my head was Don't Tell Me. I gotta get that on my ipod!

Jacey Ray 5 years ago

I was told "Turning Japanese" was about the ol' 5 knuckle shuffle too - but its not true!!

I actually happened to hear this on the radio about a year ago, no distractions, and realised it has nothing to do with masturbation, its actually about alienation!!

The lyrics beginning "no sex, no drugs, no wine no women..." actually gives the meaning to the song. Basically people were looking at the Vapors and going "these dudes are weird!" And the Vapors were seeing these weird looks they were getting, and responding in typical Brit fashion "Am I turning Japanese or something?"

So no its not about cranking the yank or whatever eupemism you want to put in - its all about being a weirdo, and people looking at you like you're a freak.

guest 4 years ago

Thanks SO MUCH!!!

BryanE 4 years ago

The list is great reference material, a good starting point, if nothing else. I appreciate every much that additional lists have been posted in the comments, too. Like many, I take exception with some of the choices. I think there are some glaring omissions, as well, and I scrolled through the comments until I saw that somebody else noticed the absence of Never Say Never by Romeo Void, which was the first that came to mind for me as being noticeably absent. But it has been enormously useful to me in building up the library for my "80s at 11:00" radio show I do Monday-Friday mornings (not streaming online, so don't bother asking, as many eventually do). Thanks for all the effort and hard work. Long live New Wave!

JB 4 years ago

It's very interesting to see what an American considers to be 'new wave' let alone their top 250 track listing.

If this list was compiled in the UK it would be very different as would the comments on each track/group.

oldie 4 years ago

Loved your list...thanks dude or dudette

Kelly 4 years ago

I've never met anyone who knew who "An Emotional Fish" is or the song "Celebrate" let alone rank it in the top 50 '80's songs.

Really, nice list.

chad 4 years ago

Nena did a song with Westbam called "oldschool baby".

Piano Mix is my favorite... dope track.

Steve 4 years ago

This was a great list and as many have stated there are many more great tunes of the 80's. Here are some of my favorites that did not make the list or some of the comments I believe;

Cabaret Voltaire song "do right"

you see their poster on the wall of Ferris Buellers room in the movie.

Q Feel song "dancing in heaven"

Just a great song for this time frame.

2 men a drum machine and a trumpet "tired of getting pushed around"

This was when beats were were getting more popular like the band YELLO, harold Faltermeyer or Herbie Hancock. Oh yeah don't forget "the art of noise"

Altered Images "Happy Birthday" and " I could be Happy" great songs.

The B side of Ministry's 12 inch single of Halloween had a song called "All Day" the lyrics were great and it just never got the play time it deserved.

Pete Shelley "Homosapien" this is the 80's new wave if any.

Book Of Love "I touch Roses" and "You make me feel so good"

Camouflage "The great commandment"

This was mentioned in the comments but I am going to repeat it as it is a big one.

Killing Joke "A love like Blood" this one was just one great song

Real Life "Send me an angel"

Squeeze "Cool for cats" had to list this as you have to listen to the lyrics.

Divine "You think your a man"

Man 2 Man "Male Stripper"

Trans X "Living on Video"

B Movie "Nowhere girl"

Romeo Void "Never say never"

The Motels "Suddenly last summer"

Pop will eat itself "Def con one"

Billy Bragg "New England"

Waterboys "The whole of the moon" this was a great song

Stone Roses "I wanna be adored" and "Fools gold"

The Church "Uner the milky way"

The Nails "88 lines about 44 woman"

Jim Carroll Band "People who died"

Shriekback "Nemesis"

Hunters and Collectors "Talking to a stranger"

Sisters of Mercy "More" cause some people get high with a little understanding.

Blue Peter "Don't walk on past"

Images in Vogue "Call it Love"

Payolas "Eyes of a stranger"

The Spoons "Nova Heart"

This could go on forever as the 80's was the greatest time for music hands down.

Thanks everyone who added songs to the comments as well as several were great selections that brought back great memories.

from the LA suburbs 4 years ago

Does anyone remember a video wherein a camel is walking through some sand dunes. They used to play it on MV3 (TV new wayve video show). Title of the song? Anybody. I've been looking for years.

DC 4 years ago

Noble effort but the Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way" should be on the top half of this list...

ben 4 years ago

can somebody tell a song name or artist: this is what a verse of the song says: "when you call my name" then drums come in and "la lala la, lala la" please somebody

DC 4 years ago


It's somewhat ironic, but the name of that song you're referring to is "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds...

Dom 4 years ago

Great list mate! I started searching for songs I never heard of before...

I am still looking for one with "My name is zero" in the lyrics..and then ho ho ho ho in the chorus..., it seems to be from around 1985, kind of ska rifts..

Can anyone please help me????

Andys80s 4 years ago

Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me)

swede 4 years ago

What a great list. Kudos to you for the work envolved.

jmezcal 4 years ago

Funny, even 30 years later, people are still debating what is/was "new wave". I hated the term at the time because all genres other than classic rock were being thrown under the new wave banner including punk, power pop, the ska revival, the roots/rockabilly revival, etc. I appreciate this list even though some of the songs on it that I hate the most are the ones that are becoming the 80's "classics" that will be played forever, just when I thought I would never have to hear them again. This is all very subjective. I would have included other great L.A./So.Cal. bands like Suburban Lawns, Penetrators, Plimsouls, Unknowns, the Quick, and more Oingo Boingo and also more Elvis Costello, the Cure and Talking Heads. I think one of the first bands I heard that had a sound that I just couldn't place was the Normal with T.V.O.D. and Warm Leatherette. I would probably add one of those also.

But Great post. And to the poster who said the B-52's were trying to sound like an 80's band has no idea what they are talking about - they are like totally 80's!!!!! P.S. I hate Devo's "Whip It". They had so many great songs prior to that one being released. Please check them out.

jmezcal 4 years ago

Also the Plugz - Electrify my - heck it was good enough for the "New Wave Hookers" soundtrack. And how about Sparks for being inovators I would nominate "Tips for Teens". . .

jOrO 4 years ago

OK - rolling up sleeves....

Motors - Love and Loneliness

Haircut One Hundred - Love Plus One

Simple Minds - Somebody Up There Likes You

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Joan Of Arc

Ministry - Cold Life

Kraftwerk - Showroom Dummies

grace jones - nipple to the bottle

Electric Light Orchestra - Stranger

Clash - This is Radio Clash

Art Of Noise - Close (To The Edit)

Tom Tom Club - Lorelei

Marshall Crenshaw - Whenever You're On My Mind

Wang Chung - Fire In The Twilight

New Order - Ceremony

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Spellbound

China - Red Rockers

The Brains - Dont Give Yourself Away

The Tubes - Talk To Ya Later

Kajagoogoo - Too shy

Greg Kihn Band - Jeopardy

Ultravox - Reap The Wild Wind

Ultravox - Slow Motion

Ultravox - Dancing with tears in my eyes

Heaven 17 - Let Me Go

Young Marble Giants - n.i.t.a.

801 - That Falling Feeling

Blue Rose - Don't You Know (Ambushed)

The Passions - Im in love with a German film star

Split Enz - I Got You

Thomas Dolby - Windpower

Thomas Dolby - One of Our Submarines

And that's just the early eighties...

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 4 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

awesome list of songs !!!!

TommyO 4 years ago

Good list, however many of the "90's" songs were actually released in the 80's. Example: "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)" 1988 release.

HellsKitch 4 years ago

Love the comments. Would love to see em for all the songs!

addendum 4 years ago

Enjoyed the list and comments. College radio stations in early 80's was where I was introduced to "new music" (as they called it in my area at the time). My own personal list would have to include Aztek Camera, Prefab Sprout and Lloyd Cole & the Commotions.

timmyp 4 years ago

Nice list. However, Frente only covered Bizarre Love Triangle. That version was NOT New Wave. The New Wave Version of that song was done by the band that wrote it~New Order.

doug 4 years ago

Good list


WLIR on Facebook

Don 4 years ago

Thanks for The List!! Good Job!

John 4 years ago

Shot in the dark here, but does anyone remember the name of the song and the group that had a video shot in the desert, lead singer and with a semi-truck? Been racking my noggin - if I remember correctly, it had almost a

Dennis Teel 4 years ago

to John--was the video "who made who" -the maximum overdrive version,by AC/DC--

this is a good list.i recently ordered a 12 cd set of 80's music videos(31 per dvd)=372 and it's totally awesome.Most all the songs fro this list and more are in the collection.i watched MTV all through the 80's and early 90's(until rap and hip hop were the predominant content) as opposed to listening to the radio/.i feel so fortunate to have been in my 30's in the 80's as i was able ,as an adult to enjoy the music and tv programs and yet still hang out with the 20 somethings of that era.while most younge people were either in school or working ,i had a sleep disability(delayed sleep phase syndrome--google it) and didn't have the obligation of having to go to work wasa glorious decade.the music was happy,people were happy and they smiled so often and it wasa decade of bright colors.billboards,the malls,record covers,etc..even tv commercials were in brilliant happy color.the fashions were bright colors and nobody cared if your hair was short or long,blue,gray or purple or much was acceptable and common back then/.then rap and hip hop became the predominant style on MTV and radio --at this point everything was chenging toward a negative force in society and in people's attitudes.if people remember clearly,it's at that time that music became jungle sounding as opposed to containing any melody/the direction of the music was 1. lewd 2.gansta 3.repetitive 4.everything sucky--i miss the 80's because it was a happy decade,stuck between the sad 70's and the horrible 90's.the 21st century came along and nothing got better,except for the fact that many 80's bands got back together for a while..then disbanded again.the only really good bands being created had female vocalists--nightwish,evanescence,flyleaf,lacuna coil to name a few.other than that..recently blondie releasd a fine cd called panic of sounds like their old stuff and i highly recommend it.the cars have a new cd out."move like this"./the music sounds more like their old stuff than their old stuff did//it's awesome//there's some good stuff out there..just not very much//i miss the 80's.for those of you who weren't there or too young to remember clearly, if you could go back i time,you'd be in awe at how happy and colorful the decade was.of course there was drugs just like today..people still got drunk and partied..but people didn't have the negative unhappy attitude that exists so commonly today .

John 4 years ago

No, it wasn't ACDC...I want to say that it was either The Damned or Ministry, but have not been able to confirm...the song and video are somewhat Spanish influenced, guitars

David 4 years ago

Love the list, hate the order. "Come on Eileen" at # 3 and "Chains of Love" in the 200s?

But lots of great songs that a lot of people who "weren't there" (or just didn't care care) have never heard of. I could spend hours re-ordering the list and probably making a few additions and deletions, but all and all a pretty good compilation.

abby 4 years ago

great list....i am looking for songs to play at my 40th birthday party...i wouldn't have remembered a lot of these if it wasn't for this blog! thank you, it brings back tons of memories!! :)

KimEK 4 years ago

Cool list. Many of my fave '80s hits were in there. Call me crazy, but I think "Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo should have been number one, or at least gotten a higher spot. No other band had that Southwestern flavor to it like WoV did. Plus, the "BBQ'd iguana" lyric never fails to make me smile. They also did a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and added their own sound to it. Some people like it, others think it's "a disgrace to Cash's original," but either way, WoV didn't just copy the song, they made it their own.

Also, have you heard the original German version of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom"? It's great, and even though I don't speak or understand much of that language, I like it a lot more than the English version. You should give it a shot. The title in German is "Voellig Losgeloest."

Lynn 4 years ago

Maybe you'll know...Do you remember a 80's song Luxury/or the chorus had luxury in it or even rhymed with luxury. It was a male artist with phrases in the song such as:"such a waste", "smile on your face" "you can come as you are". It's a long shot but it's driving me mad. Lol. Thanks for your time.

00Spy 4 years ago

I'm sorry, you're #1 song, Rock Lobster, is ineligible since it was released in '79. Thanks for playing. Here are some lovely parting gifts.

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 4 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

lol, what a jackass. when it was 1st released makes no difference whatsoever, the song was a staple of the 80's.

ellen 4 years ago

better if the selections are by genre.

gggggggoooooodddddd selection but much better if the selections are by it........

mowhaks,trench coats & safety pins 4 years ago

This is a wonderful list it covers most of the bases!Others may balk at the order and a few missing favorites but it brings back some great memories!!! Thank you, cheers!

SteveL 4 years ago

I love the list, I love the replies. It is quite scary - I own nearly every one of the top 250 on 7" vinyl! I think Information Society should be much higher (What's on your mind), and their single 'Running' should definitely be in there. Oh and so many others. I think that the best new wave bands overall were The B-52's. And pretty much everything they have done has been fantastic. Keep this blog going - can't wait to read the updates!

Robert Taylor 4 years ago

Love the blurbs. I think I might have read a few of these a few years ago and then just stumbled across it again.

Lee N. 4 years ago

The Internet is a big place.

Without a doubt, this is the greatest New Wave list on there.

It is sad that anyone who has the balls to do a 'Greatest' list is inevitably going to be shot down in flames by haters and generally ignorant people who have not got the skills or the balls to do one themselves.

DJ Funktual, and every other music lover knows that music is intensly personal, and everybody's 'greatest' list would be different, but Hey! this is a fantastic compilation, and the vast majority are in my 'Greatest' list, which incidentally contains 721 songs :-)

Keep up the awesome work.

KevinTO profile image

KevinTO 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Great comprehensive list Funktual. As a Toronto boy gonna rep some local talent from back in the eighties - the Spoons. May not be familiar to those south of the border (although they did get a cult following in the UK). Here is classic new wave track from them, enjoy.

hedgenog 4 years ago

Great list, though some of your selections were released in the 70s not the 80s. But so what - they're great songs.

Love the debate about what is and isn't "new wave" as if there's some great arbiter of the true classification scheme. I always thought of "new wave" as something some record company marketing folks thought up because punk sounded too threatening. As well as a reference to the French "new wave" of cinema many years earlier.

D Anderson 4 years ago

Nice list. A lot of people are suggesting songs to add that I've never heard of. But one song that definitely should be on the list is "Kids In America" by Kim Wilde, 1982.

Z Brock 4 years ago

Thanks a bunch for the list of songs! Not actually a child of the 80's, but my dad set me right, so it's great to be able to recognize a whole swath of these.

Heide 4 years ago

This has actin of info and is wonderful but I still can't find the song I'm looking for and who sings it Im going crazy! I swear it is call miss x or little miss x or something to that effect and it's not little miss can't be wrong and the cover of the cassette tape I had in the early ninetys late eightys had stick figures I think on it if you have any ideas I would appreciate it if u could email me at thank u so much I remembered and saw Aton of groups I had forgotten about

steve 4 years ago

no classix nouveaux the album night people has several tracks what would make it...cabaret voltaire aswell...and killing joke......

rlf 4 years ago

The list was cool. A lot of hits and misses. Nik Kershaw, Level 42,Heaven 17......... But your gonna miss some on a list. I dont consider all the songs on here new wave. I feel new wave ended with Violator.

jamesmichael 4 years ago

Wow !!! Great list that has kept people commenting for years !!! 250 is a decent start and gave me enough to grow from. Plus some of the others here have contributed

so it's the best forum i've found as a reference.

Thanks to all with the positive feedback and I too have to add that the B-52's WERE the 80's, not wanna be's.

baker 4 years ago

I've posted before but no Oingo Boingo? For anyone growing up in the 80's and in So. Cal they were a must. And Divine Thing by Soup Dragons came out in '92. Please remove them and add in some Boingo...

Jarrod 4 years ago

I'm glad it mentioned Gary Numan's Cars but I thnik everyone seems to forget his breakthough hit, Are 'Friends' Electric. It I feel was very influential on many English bands at that time.

TheRealDeal 4 years ago

The Fixx - Stand or Fall

A Flock of Seagulls - Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)

The Cars - Drive

Talking Heads - Wild Wild Life

Ian Madsen 4 years ago

You omitted Japan and Bauhaus. There also should be a lot more Echo and the Bunnymen, and Psychedelic Furs.

Heath 4 years ago

Alannah Currie says "My cold and tired heart" in Hold Me Now, to answer your question.

catinacradle 4 years ago

Was looking for some new songs to listen to in one of my favourite genres and you had some choice pics.

Down here in New Zealand we had Split Enz but also some other great new wave bands if you have the time, or the inclination check out some of these (all found on youtube):

The Swingers: 'Counting the Beat'

Mi-Sex: 'Computer Games'

The Screaming Meemees: 'See Me Go'

Pop Mechanix: 'Jumping Out A Window'

Danse Macabre: 'Between the Lines

Toy Love: 'Bride of Frankenstein'

If you like the more post punk sound I would recommend some of the Flying Nun bands:

The Chills: 'Kaleidoscope World'

The Clean: 'Tally Ho'

The Verlaines: 'Death and the Maiden'

skepticus 4 years ago

Great List. But can anyone help me find song with chorus that goes "searchin' tonight . . . searchin' too-oo-night" (or might even be "switching tonight"). It has a kind of a Split Enz meets the Hooters vibe to it in terms of energy and synthesizer sound. I suspect it came out in '80-81.

skepticus 4 years ago

Just found an answer to my own question. The song is actually called "Switchin' to Glide" by "The Kings." Took me 3 days of searching for the song with alternate titles.

Robert Nix 4 years ago

A genre that continues to this day with Canada's 'Men Without Hats' releasing a new album in 2012 and Toronto's Robert Nix releasing his new album 'Walk Down The Street',the titletrack video on youtube.

Paris 4 years ago

Also to mention Gruppo Sportivo, Patti Smith, The Jam, De Brassers, Siglo XX, The Scabs, Nacht Und Nebel, Jo Lemaire and Flouze, Lavvi Ebel, Red Zebra, Luna Twist, Allez Allez, Marine, The Machines, Toy

emmanuel 4 years ago

you forgot to mention these gems: flaming mussolinis,floy joy,eight seconds,the sun and the moon, the ocean blue,zerra one,plimsouls,the pursuit of happiness icicle works,book of love,house of love,comsat angels...and on and on...a waver from philippines.

nat4j 4 years ago

Incredible! Your list brought back memories! Hard to believe that it's been that long ago! I too listened to WLIR/WDRE and check out their Screamers/Shreek of the week list, WOW! (It covers the 80'-90's so called "New wave period?!) Those haters out there, Please make your own list! Good List!

fudge 4 years ago

There's a mistake there are actually 260 songs on this list coz after no. 220 it goes back to 211, so if u keep counting as normal (221 and so on) it's 260 in total!

Bondmovie 4 years ago

Alternative? Most of this list looks like a pop music who's who from MTV? Redundant, boring. Don't get me wrong, there is some great stuff on here but, Joe Jackson, A-ha, Peter Gabriel ... ? Alternative? Not at all. Dig deeper.

marcelo 4 years ago

hello again the cars

dave 4 years ago

all good except gary Numan. Ever heard the Skin Mechanic? Great live record.

FlamingSquirril 4 years ago

Great List- not much to debate on the order, the fact that the songs are there is cool enough. You sound like you really know your stuff.

Question; been searching for a song, new wave..,could have been classified as raw punk at the time, early 80's almost disintegrated from my memory banks. Do remember that we called it "Go!"; had a long series of 'yea' (nine of them). Any ideas?

DarkWave 4 years ago

Go! by Tones on Tail

Weinz Belardo profile image

Weinz Belardo 4 years ago from Marikina City,Philippines

Heres "some" my favorite hard to find New Wave songs from the 80's . You can share too your rare hard to find favorite New Wave songs. Sharing is pretty good :)

Red Flag - Rain

The Sun and the Moon - A Picture of England

James - Stripmining

Depeche Mode - It Doesn't Matter

Howard Jones - Last Supper

Primal Scream - Love You

Grace Pool - Stay

Tanita Tikaram - Twist of Sobriety

A-ha - Living a Boy's Adventure Tale

Tim Finn - Hyacinth

The Railway Children - In The Meantime

The Railway Children - Careful

The Colour Field - Sorry

U2 - Night and Day

Blue Nile - Headlights On The Parade

Til' Tuesday - What About Love

Stray Cats - I Won't Stand In Your Way

The Go- Betweens - Love Goes On

Identity Crisis - Will I Ever Know

Introvoys - Lullabye

Classic Nouveaux - Never Never Comes

Llyod Cole and the Commotion - Call Me

Killing Joke - A Southern Sky

Lulu Kiss Me Dead - Spades

Low Life - Ramified

New Order - Leave Me Alone

Ocean Blue - Slide

The Pale Fountains - Unless

Scarlett and Black - You Don't Know

Telex - Tell Me It's A Dream

The Creatures - Japan

The Glove - Mouth to Mouth

The Essence - The Cat

The Cure - Pictures Of You

The Sound - One Thousand Reasons

The Sound - Total Recall

The Dream Academy - The Love Parade

The Weather Prophets - Why Does The Rain

Voice Of America - I Will Tell

Prefab Sprout - Bonny

The Farmer's Boys - For You

The Field Mice - If You Need Someone

The Call - I Still Believe

Iggy Pop & Kate Pierson - Candy

Fra Lippo Lippi - Thief In Paradise

H2O - Who'll Stop The Rain

Blue Invention - Still in my Heart

Clan Of Xymox- Imagination

Easterhouse - Waiting For The Redbird

Dear Enemy - Bit Of Your Heart

Fiat Lux - Secrets

Black - Everything Is Coming Up Roses

Blancmange - Why Don't They Leave Things Alone

Depeche Mode - Any Second Now

Desert Wolves - Passion In The Afternoon

Bazooka Joe - Smallville

Depeche Mode - If You Want

EBTG - Alfie

Friends Again - State Of Art

Howard Devoto - Rainy Season

Ice House - The Kingdom

James - What For

Low Life - Hollow Gut

March Almond - Say Hello,Wave Goodbye

Play - Red Movies

Private Blue - She's Love

Red Flag - Give me your hand

Rumblefish - Don't Leave Me

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Kiss Them For Me

The Icicle Works - Melanie Still Hurts

Steve Allen - Message of love

Talk Talk - Such A Shame

The Beloved - Please Understand

The Bernhardts - I Hear You Calling

The Mission UK - Severina

The Chameleons - Pleasure and Pain

The Sisters Of Mercy - Under the Gun

The Wake - Plastic Flowers

Treebound Story - Forever Green

Twilight - Just Me Alone

Visage - Fade to Gray

Riverside - Waterfall

The Room - New Dreams For Old

Matthew Wilder - Hey Little Girl

Figures On A Beach - No Stars

Alphaville - Return to Paradise

Chris Issac - Blue Spanish Sky

Electronic - Disappointed

Friends - Far And Away

Robyn Hitchcock - Madonna Of The Wasps

Until December - Heaven

The Passmore Sisters - Every Child In Heaven

Billy Bragg - Greetings To The New Brunette

The Silencers - I Want You

The Silencers - I Can't Cry

Tuesday Blue - Love Me Simple

Stephen Duffy - I Love You

Broken English - Do You Want Me Back

Vitamin Z - Everytime That I See You

And many many more....the list goes on and on :)

Weinz Belardo profile image

Weinz Belardo 4 years ago from Marikina City,Philippines

By the way, anybody (who knows more songs than me :) ) out there who know the particular rare New Wave song I am looking for? I will really appreciate it :)

The New Wave love song is quite melancholic/sad/gloomy kind of tune by a male vocalist. I don’t remember the singer/band and the song’s title.The song were played sometimes by the Power 105 FM station (Manila,Philippines) during the 80′s.

Theres some lines of the lyrics sung by the male vocalist repeatedly “I love you…yes I do…I love you…yes I do/will”

Weinz Belardo profile image

Weinz Belardo 4 years ago from Marikina City,Philippines

Yes !!! amazing, flashes of intuition/recovering information from the Akashic records….I’ve found what I am looking for . It’s the “Translator – I Love You”

Weinz Belardo profile image

Weinz Belardo 4 years ago from Marikina City,Philippines

To all the New Wave fans out there, heres more of hard to find (rarely heard in FM stations nowadays) New Wave songs that were played before in Power 105 and NU 107 FM stations in Manila, Philippines during 80′s and early 90′s :

The Damned – Alone Again Or

The Alarm – Presence Of Love

Smash Palace – Living On The Borderline

Cutting Crew – Sahara

Expression – Total Eclipse

The Chameleons UK – Second Skin

Peter Murphy – Cuts You Up

Peter Murphy – Indigo Eyes

The Fixx – Save By Zero

The Fixx – Secret Separation

The Wildswans – Immaculate

Desireless – Voyage Voyage

Identity Crisis – My Sanctuary

Ocean Blue – Between Something And Nothing

Gene Loves Jezebel – Kiss Of Life

OMD – Then You Turn Away

Erasure – When I Need You

Erasure – Ship Of Fools

Inspiral Carpets – This Is How It Feels

Depeche Mode – Route 66

The Mission – Like A Hurricane

Neon Judgement – Chinese Black

Red Box – Chenko ( Pow-Wow Press)

A-House – I’ll Always Be Grateful

House Of Love – Christine

The Pale Fountains – Jane’s Not Happening

Deacon Blue – Real Gone Kid

Camouflage – Love Is A Shield

Orange Juice – Lean Period

Alison Moyet – Is This Love

Microdisney – Birthday Girl

Frazier Chorus – Dream Kitchen

Colourfield – From Dawn To Distraction

Fra Lippo Lippi – Mother’s Little Soldier

Secession – Touch

Motorcycle Boy – Will You Still Love Me Tommorow

The Church – Reptile

Virgin Dance – Are You Ready For That Feeling

Colourfield – Castle In The Air

Cactus World News – Worlds Apart

The Smiths – Suedhead

Martin Gore – In A Manner Of Speaking

Two Minds Crack – The Hunger And The Greed

The Smiths – Well I Wonder

Coteau Twins – Guinea

Depeche Mode – But Not Tonight

Fra Lippo Lippi – Coming Home

The Velvet Underground – Femme Fatale

Lover’s Speak – Never To Forget You

Weinz Belardo profile image

Weinz Belardo 4 years ago from Marikina City,Philippines

For All the New Wave fans out there. Theres an open Facebook group dedicated to the 80′s music. It’s “80s New-Wave, Post Punk, Synthpop, Goth Rock” .The group is presently have 16,132 members and still growing.

Everyone can join. Feel free to share and post at least two music videos/pics/announcements/events to it’s page for every 24 hours. The limit is to avoid the clutter on the page for active members to enjoy sharing, listening and watching 80′s best and memorable songs.Long live Wavers :)

Enzo 4 years ago

If your list has this, which is does:

102. ---I Melt With You ~~ Modern English

103. ---Blue Monday ~~ New Order

104. ---Everyday Is Halloween ~~ Ministry

Then you are clueless. Move those up 80 notches for sure.

KB 4 years ago

Just to let you know..."Pop Goes The World" by Men Without Hats wasn't in the 90's. It was released in 1987.

Janzig 3 years ago

Thanks for the great list. I'm a child-to-teen of the 80s, and found a few more songs on this list, that I had forgotten for some reason. I had no idea that Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi" existed--I had only known it as Elton Motello's "Jetboy Jetgirl." Also thanks to the posts by "bowloftoast." In the 80s I LIVED for CFNY--I knew it was good, but I had no idea that it was considered "one of the 5 definitive alt. radio stations" in the world. Also, grew up in Niagara--so I had the opportunity to go to Gord's. Thanks for reminding me of some great music!

anthony vario 3 years ago

Where is Laurie Anderson? Anything that woman touches is gold.

Paul Berweiler 3 years ago

This is an outstanding list. As a former disc jockey, I got my start in the mid-80s at a college station and remember playing a lot of the songs on this list. I hadn't thought of Ministry's "Everyday is Halloween" in a long time...great tune! If you don't's a few of my favorites that I didn't see on your list but could have missed. Check 'em'd probably enjoy them as much as I do.

Altered Images - Happy Birthday

The Boomtown Rats - Diamond Smiles

Bow Wow Wow - C30,C60,C90, Go

Martin Briley - The Salt In My Tears

The Burning Sensations - The Belly Of A Whale

China Crisis - King In A Catholic Style (Wake Up)

The Church - Metropolis

Combo Audio - Romanticide

Depeche Mode - Somebody (The live version is great!)

Duran Duran - Come Undone

Face To Face - 10-9-8

Haysi Fantayzee - Shiny, Shiny

Grayson Hugh - Talk It Over (In Bed)

Billy Idol - The Dead Next Door

Intaferon - Get Out Of London

The Motels - Shock

The Nails - 88 Lines About 44 Women

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Enola Gay

Our Daughter's Wedding - Lawn Chairs

The Plimsouls - A Million Miles Away

The Polecats - Make A Circuit With Me

Real Life - Send Me An Angel (The 1989 re-release is better)

Romeo Void - A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)

Rubber Rodeo - Souvenir

Scarlett & Black - You Don't Know

Sigue Sigue Sputnik - Love Missile F-111

The Stranglers - (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)

Strawberry Switchblade - Since Yesterday

Talk Talk - Talk Talk

Ali Thomson - Take A Little Rhythm

Tones On Tail - Go!

Violent Femmes - Add It Up

Yazoo - Nobody's Diary

10,000 Maniacs - Like The Weather

Again, not a strike against your list at's great. These are just some of my favorites that I would add. Thanks for the time you spent putting this together and for a trip down memory lane for this 47-year old. Have a great day!

DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 3 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove Author

Wow great additions Paul. I hope some of these are on the list or they are just oversights. :)

Curling8 3 years ago

great list; couple of other suggestions (heavily influenced by CFNY)

Parachute Club -- Rise Up

Pukka Orchestra -- Listen to the Radio, Cherry Beach Express

Rough Trade -- High School Confidential

btw, a contributor to has posted 60 separate files, each containing 20-30 songs, all of the lesser known new wave variety.

On the website, do a search for "rare hits of the 80's" or "rare hits of the 80s".

Sucks 3 years ago

Sorry dude your list definitely sucks. Heart of glass, the pioneer song of the New Wave songs, should've been here.

Not bad. 3 years ago

My top 20 would be like this (regardless of including rock sound, reggae song etc. If a song is new wave, it is):

1. Heart of Glass - Blondie (1978)

2. Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran (1982)

3. I Ran (So Far Away) - A Flock of Seagulls (1982)

4. Down Under - Men at Work (1981)

5. Karma Chameleon - Culture Club (1983)

6. Shout - Tears for Fears (1984)

7. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Eurhythmics (1983)

8. Just Like Heaven - The Cure (1987)

9. Call Me - Blondie (1980)

10. Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper (1983)

11. Take on Me - a-ha (1985)

12. Don't You Want Me - Human League (1981)

13. Come on Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners (1982)

14. Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood (1983)

15. Tainted Love - Soft Cell (1981)

16. Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Go's (1981)

17. Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears for Fears (1985)

18. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) - Dead or Alive (1984)

19. Burning Down the House - Talking Heads (1983)

20. One Way or Another - Blondie (1978)

21. I Melt With You - Modern English (1982)

22. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me - Culture Club (1982)

23. Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club (1981)

24. Whip It - Devo (1980)

25. Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles (1979)

Danny 3 years ago

The Hardest Part - Blondie

Sometimes a Fantasy - Billy Joel

These 2 songs I remember well they are as fresh today as they were back then

N-W-Land 3 years ago

It's a bad list! How can you forget Visage, OMD, Blancmange, Heaven 17, Ultravox, Alphaville, Talk Talk, Sparks, Fun Boy Three, China Crisis, B-Movie, Boytronic, Icehouse, Kajagoogoo, Siouxsie & the Banshees and many others?

80s rock... 3 years ago

Great list. Surprised to see some songs I really like that I never hear anymore. Pop Goes the World and Groovy Train to name 2.

Ally 3 years ago

Love that you remembered Scritti Politti.

David Linsley 2 years ago

who does "The Story Of Love" ? What a cool 80's tune ????? Please help

David Linsley 2 years ago

The Book Of Love did "I Touch Roses" but what band did "The Story Of Love" ???

Chris 2 years ago

Hold Me Now ~~ Thompson Twins ******* "Lyric question? Does xylophonist / backup singer Alannah Currie say 'Oh my cold Italian heart' toward the outro?"

She says "Warm my cold and tired heart" (the answer for the line "Oh, warm my heart").

miccon35 2 years ago

I'm looking for a song that has the lyrics Hay yeah and it's not the dang outcast song it's a lady singing it

SanDiegoDriver 2 years ago

Anyone know one that goes something like: "I wanna, I wanna be the one/alone/etc."? It's sung by a guy and has the music reminiscent of The Mighty Lemon Drops/The Church/Flesh for Lulu. During what was deemed "Alternative" in the mid-80s or so. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks folks. :)

Reagankmc 2 years ago

Can't believe The Smithereens didn't make the cut. Blood and Roses and Behind the Wall of Sleep are such great songs!!! Don't count them out. They are so good.

JOMAR 2 years ago

stop arguing guys, you cant compile or rank new wave, punk wave, rock wave or punk rock, synth rock and even rock n roll coz' they merge in the 70s 80s and up to d 90s. even Elvis Presley and Beatles sound can be considered new wave, take the case of "suspicious mind" and "money", the vocals of OMD, Depeche, Sisters of mercy etc, they imitate the voice modulation of Elvis and the beat of Beatles, so I'm so lucky or we r lucky that we r teens during the 80s, kids of d 70s and young adult during d 90s'. my wife and i love the song "i melt wih u" by d Modern english. my favorite band is the Cure and my favorite song is "wonderlife" by Black, even i don't know which is my no.1 coz i love them all. somes dislikes like tarzan boy and modern talking songs. and I currently have more than 3000 song to compile if i were to rank them it would be a major headache.

Tom 2 years ago

Anyone remember "Don't throw stones" by the sports. I loved that band.

BinauralBeatsNow profile image

BinauralBeatsNow 2 years ago

Wow, what an amazing list. I'll be bookmarking this for later reference. I'm a big fan of 80's music, and there were even a few entries on here that I didn't recognize.

Alex 22 months ago

Sweet dreams are made of THESE, who am I to disagree.

I travel the world and the seven SEAS. Everybody's looking for something.

djmon 22 months ago

you miss something man...... a song called "ASIA"

Rick Hamster 21 months ago

How do you compose this list and miss SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES and GANG OF FOUR??????????????????????

were you even there?

xavier 19 months ago

Yas- The Situation

Berlin-(any song)

Kajagoogoo-Too Shy

Kraftwork-(any song)

Mark Scotti 18 months ago


I would add:

Be Bop Deluxe - Panic In My World

The Sinceros - Take Me To Your leader

The Jags - Back Of My Hand

The Motors - Airport

Adam Ant (another great one) - Don't Be There, Be square

Flock Of Seagulls - Telecomunicaton

Julian Cope - Trampoline and Beautiful Love

Generation X - Ready, Steady, Go

The Plimsouls - Million Miles Away

The headboys -Shape Of Things To Come

The Motels - Mission Of Mercy (Their MOST Rocking song)

The Hoodoo Gurus - What's My Scene?

Camper Van Beethoven - Pictures Of Matchstick Men

Flesh For Lulu - Postcards From Paradise

Fischer Z - So Long

The Shirts - I'm Not One Of Those

Just sooo many great songs out there from what I consider of of the Greatest music periods EVER!!!!

chuck 18 months ago

Scanning the authors list then through the comments and most of the list are just freakin great there seems to be one strangely absent

She Sells Sanctuary ~ The Cult

Mike 18 months ago

I need help figuring out the name of an artist and song.

It must be extremely obscure.

It came out 79-80.

It's extremely new wave and the singer has a quirky voice, like David Byrne's.

It's midtempo and the singer says something like "having a party" many times.

You can hear party noises in the background.

It's not Southside Johnny or someone like that. It's totally new wave.

I heard a number of times on WWWW in Detroit in 79-80.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ofuzz 16 months ago

FYI on the base line of "Every Breath You Take" It's simply doubling up the notes of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me". Not an outright steal of music, just a subtle lift from another song. But I agree, it's a great track.

BlurbFancier 9 months ago

So no more blurbs ever got added? :(

5 months ago

Robert Hazard...Escalator of Life and Chain Reaction..

Oingo Boingo....Just Another Day

5 months ago

@Tom...YES....and Don't Throw Stones

Plus..The motors...Love and Loneliness

5 months ago

danny wilson...marys prayer

AudioArchon 4 months ago

I remember a song that had the following lyrics, "Time is a word that no one can see." I was thinking it was Robert Palmer (early 80's stuff like, "Looking for Clues"), but after many searches nothing seems to match.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

Herbaljay 3 months ago

I love this list and I love the fact that this thread is still.going 8 years later

Bambleweeny57 6 weeks ago

Wonderful List but,...

What's this I see,... No Love for Hazel O'Connor!

Hazel O'Connor - Eight Day

Hazel O'Connor - Will You


The Associates - Party Fears Two

Visage - The Damned Don't Cry

John Foxx - Underpass

david loos 5 weeks ago

decent list, but not very accurate. just at a glance: "sunday girl" by blondie came out in in 1978, while the ned's atomic dustbin song came out in 1990 (plus, it sucks)

Mike 5 weeks ago

Good tunes but a few were out of date.. I was very surprised by seeing that you had The English Beat in there a couple of times, but you didn't have Save it For Later on that list!? Talk about the best song EVER to sum up dealing with changing from a teenager to a young adult! All the same enjoyed the song list.

Voodoo,religion,witchcraft and war. 2 weeks ago

Nice list...No XTC? Or Adrian Borlands band The Sound... Or did I miss em.

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