80s New Wave Music

New Wave and SynthPop music in the years 1980-1984

The Artists, Songs, and Videos that defined the 80s New Wave Music Scene

New Wave Music

80s New Wave Music was formed from the remnants of 70s punk rock. 80s New Wave took the aggressive nature of punk, added dance beats to give it a little disco feel, and then through in some keyboards to give it the distinctive 80s New Wave sound. The main years of 80s New Wave were 1980-1984. After 1984, Madonna, Michael, Prince, Bruce and others really took music away from New Wave and more towards a Pop Rock feel. Below we will look at some of the bands that brought 80s New Wave to the top of the charts in the early 80s.


In the US, 70s bands like Blondie, The Cars, Talking Heads, and Devo were some of the early pioneers of 80s New Wave Music. In the UK, Joy Division, Joe Jackson, The Police, and The Boomtown Rats were some early adopters of the New Wave sound. The album that really defined New Wave's signature synth based sound and brought the movement to the forefront had to be Gary Numan's The Pleasure Principle. And the signature song off that album was, of course, Cars. Other top 80s New Wave Songs from 1980 included:


MTV's arrival in 1981 took 80s New Wave Music to new heights. MTV aggressively played 80s New Wave bands and their videos. New Wave was the primary genre played on MTV through the year 1984. The majority of the early New Wave bands played by MTV were from Great Britain. This caused journalists to label this period as the "Second British Invasion".

Top 80s New Wave Songs From 1981 included:


The Thompson Twins were very popular in 1984. Their hits Hold Me Now and Doctor! Doctor! were top twenty hits on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard US Dance charts.

Other Top 80s New Wave Songs From 1984 included:

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