New wave music

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New wave is a genre of pop-oriented rock music [2] popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. [21] New wave moved away from traditional blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music (early new wave) or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop. [18]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.

Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds, fifths or sevenths flattened in pitch are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.


New wave differs from other movements with ties to first-wave punk as it displays characteristics common to pop music, rather than the more "artsy" post-punk. [22] Although it incorporates much of the original punk rock sound and ethos, [5] [23] new wave exhibits greater complexity in both music and lyrics. Common characteristics of new wave music include the use of synthesizers and electronic productions, and a distinctive visual style featured in music videos and fashion. [22]

Post-punk is a broad type of rock music that emerged from the punk movement of the 1970s, in which artists departed from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities and diverse influences. Inspired by punk's energy and DIY ethic but determined to break from rock cliches, artists experimented with sources including electronic music and black styles like dub, funk, and disco; novel recording and production techniques; and ideas from art and politics, including critical theory, modernist art, cinema and literature. Communities that produced independent record labels, visual art, multimedia performances and fanzines.

New wave has been called one of the definitive genres of the 1980s, [24] after it was promoted heavily by MTV (the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" music video was broadcast as the first music video to promote the channel's launch). [22] The popularity of several new wave artists is often attributed to their exposure on the channel. In the mid-1980s, differences between new wave and other music genres began to blur. [25] [22] New wave has enjoyed resurgences since the 1990s, after a rising "nostalgia" for several new wave-influenced artists. Subsequently, the genre influenced other genres. [33] During the 2000s, a number of acts, such as the Strokes, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers explored new wave and post-punk influences. These acts were sometimes labeled "new wave of new wave".

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel that serves as the flagship property of owner Viacom Media Networks and is headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.

The Buggles English New Wave band

The Buggles are an English new wave band formed in London, England, in 1977 by singer and bassist Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoffrey Downes. They are best known for 1979 debut single "Video Killed the Radio Star", which topped the UK Singles Chart and reached number one in 15 other countries.

Video Killed the Radio Star 1978 hit song by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley

"Video Killed the Radio Star" is a song written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley in 1978. It was first recorded by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club for their album English Garden, and later by British group the Buggles, consisting of Horn and Downes. The track was recorded and mixed in 1979, released as their debut single on 7 September 1979 by Island Records, and included on their first album The Age of Plastic. The backing track was recorded at Virgin's Town House in West London, and mixing and vocal recording would later take place at Sarm East Studios.

Etymology, usage and history

Blondie, 1976. L-R: Gary Valentine, Clem Burke, Deborah Harry, Chris Stein and Jimmy Destri. Blondie1977.jpg
Blondie, 1976. L–R: Gary Valentine, Clem Burke, Deborah Harry, Chris Stein and Jimmy Destri.

The catch-all nature of new wave music has been a source of much confusion and controversy. The 1985 discography Who's New Wave in Music listed artists in over 130 separate categories. [34] The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock calls the term "virtually meaningless", [34] while AllMusic mentions "stylistic diversity". [35]

Discography is the study and cataloging of published sound recordings, often by specified artists or within identified musical genres. The exact information included varies depending on the type and scope of the discography, but a discography entry for a specific recording will often list such details as the names of the artists involved, the time and place of the recording, the title of the piece performed, release dates, chart positions, and sales figures.

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

New wave first emerged as a rock genre in the early 1970s, used by critics including Nick Kent and Dave Marsh to classify such New York-based groups as the Velvet Underground and New York Dolls. [36] It gained currency beginning in 1976 when it appeared in UK punk fanzines such as Sniffin' Glue and newsagent music weeklies such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express . [37] In November 1976 Caroline Coon used Malcolm McLaren's term "new wave" to designate music by bands not exactly punk, but related to the same musical scene. [38] The term was also used in that sense by music journalist Charles Shaar Murray in his comments about the Boomtown Rats. [39] For a period of time in 1976 and 1977, the terms new wave and punk were somewhat interchangeable. [25] [40] By the end of 1977, "new wave" had replaced "punk" as the definition for new underground music in the UK. [37]

Nick Kent British music journalist

Nick Kent is a British rock critic and musician.

Dave Marsh is an American music critic, author, editor and radio talk show host. He was an early editor of Creem magazine, has written for various publications such as Newsday, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone, and has published numerous books about music and musicians, mostly focused on rock music. He is also a committee member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Velvet Underground American rock band

The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in 1964 in New York City by singer/guitarist Lou Reed, multi-instrumentalist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Angus MacLise. The band was initially active between 1965 and 1973, and was briefly managed by the pop artist Andy Warhol, serving as the house band at the Factory and Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable events from 1966 to 1967. Their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, was released in 1967 to critical indifference and poor sales but has become critically acclaimed; in 2003, Rolling Stone called it the "most prophetic rock album ever made."

The New York Dolls arrived and galvanized the entire scene. Real glam trash. Beautiful. They proved it was possible to be trashy and good at the same time. Kicked everyone into action at a desperate moment. They saved us all. At that moment, I was drawing lines into New York and the Velvets, European avant garde and electronic music, previous generation's Brit Psychedelia plus a ragged sort of insulting glam. I guess this was the start of the New Wave. By the way, whoever coined that New Wave byline is my hero. Because a New Wave is precisely what it was – and precisely what was needed at that moment.

John Foxx [41]

In the United States, Sire Records chairman Seymour Stein, believing that the term "punk" would mean poor sales for Sire's acts who had frequently played the club CBGB, launched a "Don't Call It Punk" campaign designed to replace the term with "new wave". [42] As radio consultants in the United States had advised their clients that punk rock was a fad, they settled on the term "new wave". Like the filmmakers of the French new wave movement (after whom the genre was named), its new artists were anti-corporate and experimental (e.g. Ramones and Talking Heads). At first, most U.S. writers exclusively used the term "new wave" for British punk acts. [43] Starting in December 1976, The New York Rocker , which was suspicious of the term "punk", became the first American journal to enthusiastically use the term starting with British acts, later appropriating it to acts associated with the CBGB scene. [37] Part of what attracted Stein and others to new wave was the music's stripped back style and upbeat tempos, which they viewed as a much needed return to the energetic rush of rock and roll and 1960s rock that had dwindled in the 1970s with the ascendance of overblown progressive rock and stadium spectacles. [44]

Seymour Stein American music executive

Seymour Stein is an American entrepreneur and music executive. He co-founded Sire Records and was Vice President of Warner Bros. Records. With Sire, Stein signed bands that became central to the new wave era of the 1970s and 80s, including the Talking Heads, Ramones, and The Pretenders. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

CBGB Former New York City music club

CBGB was a New York City music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal in Manhattan's East Village. The club was previously a biker bar and before that was a dive bar. The letters CBGB were for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, Kristal's original vision, yet CBGB soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and Talking Heads. From the early 1980s onward, CBGB was known for hardcore punk.

New Wave is a French film movement which emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. It is a form of European art cinema, and is often referred to as one of the most influential movements in the history of cinema. New Wave filmmakers were linked by their rejection of the traditional film conventions then dominating France, and by a spirit of iconoclasm. Common features of the New Wave included radical experimentation with editing, visual style, and narrative, as well as engagement with the social and political upheavals of the era.

Talking Heads performing in Toronto in 1978 Talking Heads band1.jpg
Talking Heads performing in Toronto in 1978

Music historian Vernon Joynson claimed that new wave emerged in the UK in late 1976, when many bands began disassociating themselves from punk. [3] Music that followed the anarchic garage band ethos of the Sex Pistols was distinguished as "punk", while music that tended toward experimentation, lyrical complexity or more polished production, came to be categorized as "new wave". In the U.S., the first new wavers were the not-so-punk acts associated with the New York club CBGB (e.g. Talking Heads, Mink DeVille and Blondie). [26]

CBGB owner Hilly Kristal, referring to the first show of the band Television at his club in March 1974, said, "I think of that as the beginning of new wave." [45] Furthermore, many artists who would have originally been classified as punk were also termed new wave. A 1977 Phonogram Records compilation album of the same name (New Wave) features US artists including the Dead Boys, Ramones, Talking Heads and the Runaways. [26] [46]

US/UK differences

New wave is much more closely tied to punk, and came and went more quickly in the United Kingdom than in the United States. At the time punk began, it was a major phenomenon in the United Kingdom and a minor one in the United States. Thus when new wave acts started getting noticed in America, punk meant little to the mainstream audience [47] and it was common for rock clubs and discos to play British dance mixes and videos between live sets by American guitar acts. [48]

Post-punk music developments in the UK became mainstream and were considered unique cultural events. [47] By the early 1980s, British journalists largely had abandoned the term "new wave" in favor of subgenre terms such as "synthpop". [49] By 1983, the term of choice for the US music industry had become "new music", while to the majority of US fans it was still a "new wave" reacting to album-based rock. [50]

Synonym of synth-pop

Bit by bit the last traces of Punk were drained from New Wave, as New Wave went from meaning Talking Heads to meaning the Cars to Squeeze to Duran Duran to, finally, Wham!

—Music critic Bill Flanagan writing in 1989 [51]

New wave died out in the mid-1980s, knocked out by guitar-driven rock reacting against new wave. [52]

In the 21st-century United States,[ not in citation given ] "new wave" was used to describe artists such as Morrissey, Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper and Devo. [53] Late 1970s new wave acts such as the Pretenders and the Cars were more likely to be found on classic rock playlists than on new wave playlists there. [10] [54] [55] Reflecting its British origins, the 2004 study Popular Music Genres: An Introduction had one paragraph dedicated to 1970s new wave artists in its punk chapter in contrast to a 20-page chapter on early 1980s synthpop. [49] [56]

New wave represented a break from the blues and rock & roll sounds of late 1960s to mid-1970s rock music. According to Simon Reynolds, the music had a twitchy, agitated feel to it. New wave musicians often played choppy rhythm guitars with fast tempos, and keyboards were common as were stop-start song structures and melodies. Reynolds noted that new wave vocalists sounded high-pitched, geeky and suburban. [23] A nervous, nerdy persona was a common characteristic of new wave fans and acts such as Talking Heads, Devo and Elvis Costello. This took the forms of robotic dancing, jittery high-pitched vocals and clothing fashions such as suits and big glasses that hid the body. [57]

Elvis Costello, in Massey Hall, Toronto, April 1979 Elvis Costello 1978.jpg
Elvis Costello, in Massey Hall, Toronto, April 1979

This seemed radical to audiences accustomed to post-counterculture forms such as disco dancing and macho "cock rock" that emphasized a "hang loose" philosophy, open sexuality and sexual bravado. [58] The majority of American male new wave acts of the late 1970s were from Caucasian middle-class backgrounds, and Theo Cateforis of Syracuse University theorized that these acts intentionally presented these exaggerated nerdy tendencies associated with their "whiteness" to criticize it and/or to reflect their identity. [58]

The British pub rock scene of the mid-1970s was the source of new wave acts such as Ian Dury, Nick Lowe, Eddie and the Hot Rods and Dr. Feelgood. [11]

Singer-songwriters who were "angry" and "intelligent" and who "approached pop music with the sardonic attitude and tense, aggressive energy of punk" such as Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Graham Parker were also part of the new wave music scene. [59]

A British revival of ska music on the 2 Tone label, led by the Specials, Madness, the English Beat, and Selecter were more politically oriented than other new wave genres. [60]

The idea of rock music as a serious art form started in the late 1960s and was the dominant view of the genre at the time of new wave's arrival. New wave looked back or borrowed in various ways from the years just prior to this occurrence. One way this was done was by taking an ironic look at consumer and pop culture of the 1950s and early 1960s. The B-52's became most noted for a kitsch and camp presentation with their bouffant wigs, beach party and sci-fi movie references. Other groups that referenced the pre-progressive rock era were the Go-Go's, Blondie and Devo. [61] [62]

In the early 1980s, new wave acts embraced a crossover of rock music with African and African-American styles. Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow, both acts with ties to former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, used Burundi-style drumming. [63] The Talking Heads album Remain in Light was marketed and positively reviewed as a breakthrough melding of new wave and African styles, although drummer Chris Frantz said that he found out about this supposed African influence after the fact. [64] The 1981 U.S. number 1 single "Rapture" by Blondie was an homage to rap music. The song name-checked rap artists and Fab 5 Freddie appeared in the video for the song. [65] Second British Invasion acts were influenced by funk and disco. [66]

The genre produced numerous one-hit wonders. [35]

Power pop

The Jam in concert in Newcastle during their Trans-global Unity tour in March 1982 Thejam.gif
The Jam in concert in Newcastle during their Trans-global Unity tour in March 1982

Power pop continued the guitar-based, singles-oriented British invasion sound of the mid-1960s into the 1970s and the present day. Although the name "power pop" had been around before punk (it is believed to have been coined by Pete Townshend in 1967) it became widely associated with new wave when Bomp and Trouser Press magazines (respectively in March and April 1978) wrote cover stories touting power pop as a sound that could continue new wave's directness without the negativity associated with punk. Cheap Trick, the Romantics, the Records, Shoes, the Motors, [26] the Only Ones, the Plimsouls, the dB's, the Beat, XTC, the Vapors, 20/20 and Squeeze were groups that found success playing this style. The Jam was the prime example of the mod sensibility of British power pop. By the end of 1979 a backlash had developed against power pop in general, particularly in regards to the Los Angeles scene. The skinny ties worn by LA power pop groups, epitomized by the Knack, became symbolic of the supposed lack of authenticity of the genre. [25] [67] Power pop's association with the genre was later forgotten. [10]

Punk and post-punk

The term "post-punk" was coined to describe groups such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Wire, Magazine, Public Image Ltd, Joy Division, Gang of Four, the Fall, The Cure, the Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen which were initially considered part of new wave but were more ambitious, serious and challenging, as well as darker and less pop-oriented. Some of these groups would later adopt synths. [68] [69] While punk rock wielded a major influence on the popular music scene in the UK, in the US it remained a fixture of the underground. [44]

New Romantic and synth-pop

The New Romantic scene developed in the London nightclubs Billy's and the Blitz in the late 1970s. Club-goers wore flamboyant, eccentric costumes and make-up derived from the historical Romantic era. Beginning at "Bowie and Roxy Music" themed nights at these clubs, the scene was spearheaded by Steve Strange of Visage, with other soon-to-be pop acts also as regular fixtures such as Boy George of Culture Club, and Spandau Ballet. Around the same time, Duran Duran emerged from a similar scene in Birmingham. [70] Many of the acts that arose from the New Romantic club scene adopted synthpop in their own music, though all would credit David Bowie and Roxy Music as primary influences, both musically and visually. [9]

Kraftwerk were acclaimed for their groundbreaking use of synthesizers. Their 1975 pop single "Autobahn" reached number 11 in the United Kingdom. In 1978, Gary Numan saw a synthesizer left by another music act and started playing around with it. In 1979, he released two number one albums and two number one singles (one of each under his band name Tubeway Army). Numan's admitted amateurism and deliberate lack of emotion was a sea change from the masculine and professional image that professional synth players had in an era when elaborate, lengthy solos were the norm. His open desire to be a pop star broke from punk orthodoxy. The decreasing price and ease of use of the instrument led acts to follow in Kraftwerk and Numan's footsteps. While Numan also utilized conventional rock instruments, several acts that followed used only synthesizers. Synthpop (or "technopop" as it was described by the U.S. press) [71] filled a void left by disco, [30] and grew into a broad genre that included groups such as the Human League, Eurythmics, Dead or Alive, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, a-ha, Alphaville, New Order, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Japan, Yazoo, Talk Talk [72] Ultravox, [73] Kajagoogoo, [74] Tears For Fears, China Crisis, Simple Minds, Duran Duran, A Flock of Seagulls and the Thompson Twins. [73] [75] [76] [77]

United States

In the summer of 1977 both Time [78] and Newsweek wrote favorable lead stories on the "punk/new wave" movement. [79] Acts associated with the movement received little or no radio airplay or music industry support. Small scenes developed in major cities. Continuing into the next year, public support remained limited to select elements of the artistic, bohemian and intellectual population, [37] as arena rock and disco dominated the charts. [73]

Starting in late 1978 and continuing into 1979, acts associated with punk and acts that mixed punk with other genres began to make chart appearances and receive airplay on rock stations and rock discos. [80] Blondie, Talking Heads, the Police and the Cars charted during this period. [25] [73] "My Sharona", a single from the Knack, was Billboard magazine's number one single of 1979. The success of "My Sharona" combined with the fact that new wave albums were much cheaper to produce during a time when the music industry was in its worst slump in decades, [80] prompted record companies to sign new wave groups. [25] New wave music scenes developed in Ohio [73] and the college town of Athens, Georgia, with legendary bands like The B-52s and R.E.M.. [81] 1980 saw brief forays into new wave-styled music by non-new wave artists Billy Joel, Donna Summer and Linda Ronstadt. [25]

Early in 1980, influential radio consultant Lee Abrams wrote a memo saying that with a few exceptions, "we're not going to be seeing many of the new wave circuit acts happening very big over here (referring to America). As a movement, we don't expect it to have much influence." Lee Ferguson, a consultant to KWST, said in an interview that Los Angeles radio stations were banning disc jockeys from using the term and noted, "Most of the people who call music new wave are the ones looking for a way not to play it." [82] Despite the success of Devo's socially critical but widely misperceived song "Whip It", [83] second albums by artists who had successful debut albums, along with newly signed artists, failed to sell, and radio pulled most new wave programming. [25]

The arrival of MTV in 1981 would usher in new wave's most successful era in the United States. British artists, unlike many of their American counterparts, had learned how to use the music video early on. [73] [84] Several British acts on independent labels were able to outmarket and outsell American artists on major labels. Journalists labeled this phenomenon a "Second British Invasion". [84] [85] MTV continued its heavy rotation of videos by new wave-oriented acts until 1987, when it changed to a heavy metal and rock dominated format. [86]

Martha Davis of the Motels performs at Hollywood Park The Motels.JPG
Martha Davis of the Motels performs at Hollywood Park

In a December 1982 Gallup poll, 14% of teenagers rated new wave music as their favorite type of music, making it the third most popular. [87] New wave had its greatest popularity on the West Coast. Unlike other genres, race was not a factor in the popularity of new wave music, according to the poll. [87] Urban Contemporary radio stations were the first to play dance-oriented new wave artists such as the B-52's, Culture Club, Duran Duran and ABC. [88]

New wave soundtracks were used in mainstream Brat Pack films such as Valley Girl , Sixteen Candles , Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club . [73] [89] John Hughes, the director of several of these films, was enthralled with British new wave music and placed songs from acts such as the Psychedelic Furs, Simple Minds, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Echo and the Bunnymen in his films, helping to keep new wave in the mainstream. Several of these songs remain standards of the era. [90] Critics described the MTV acts of the period as shallow or vapid. [73] [84] The homophobic slurs "faggot" and "art fag" were openly used to describe new wave musicians. [91] [92] Despite the criticism, the danceable quality of the music and the quirky fashion sense associated with new wave artists appealed to audiences. [73]

In September 1988, Billboard launched their Modern Rock chart. While the acts on the chart reflected a wide variety of stylistic influences, new wave's legacy remained in the large influx of acts from Great Britain and acts that were popular in rock discos, as well as the chart's name, which reflected how new wave had been marketed as "modern". [93] New wave's indie spirit would be crucial to the development of college rock and grunge/alternative rock in the latter half of the 1980s and beyond. [73]

Post-1980s revivals and influence

Franz Ferdinand performing in 2006 Franz-ferdinand-live-2006-tag.jpg
Franz Ferdinand performing in 2006

In the aftermath of grunge, the British music press launched a campaign to promote the New Wave of New Wave. This campaign involved overtly punk and new wave-influenced acts such as Elastica but was eclipsed by Britpop. [26] Other acts of note during the 1990s included No Doubt, Metric, [94] Six Finger Satellite and Brainiac. [27] [95] During that decade, the synthesizer-heavy dance sounds of British and European new wave acts influenced various incarnations of Euro disco and trance. [30] [73] Chris Martin was inspired to start Coldplay by a-ha. [96]

During the 2000s, a number of acts emerged that mined a diversity of new wave and post-punk influences. Among these were the Strokes, the Bravery, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, the Epoxies, VHS or Beta, the Rapture, She Wants Revenge, Bloc Party, Foals, [97] Kaiser Chiefs and the Killers. These acts were sometimes labeled "New New Wave". [28] The new wave revival reached its apex during the mid-2000s with acts such as the Sounds, the Ting Tings, Melody Club, Hot Chip, [98] [99] Passion Pit, [100] the Presets, [101] La Roux, Ladytron, [102] [103] Shiny Toy Guns, [104] Hockey, [105] Gwen Stefani and Ladyhawke. [113] While some journalists and fans regarded this as a revival, others argued that the phenomenon was a continuation of the original movements. [27] [114] [115] [116]

The Drums are an example of the trend in the U.S. indie pop scene that employs both the sounds and attitudes of the British new wave era. [29] [30] [31] [117] A new wave-influenced genre called chillwave also developed in the late 2000s, exemplified by artists like Toro Y Moi, Neon Indian, Twin Shadow and Washed Out. [118] [119] [120]

In electronic music

Klaxons in concert in 2007 Klaxons Queens May Ball 2007.jpg
Klaxons in concert in 2007

New wave had a seminal role in the development and popularity of contemporary electronic music.[ vague ] [121] [122]

During the late 1990s, new wave received a sudden surge of attention when it was fused with electro and techno during the short-lived electroclash movement. [123] [124] [125] [126] It received popular attention from musical acts such as I-F, Peaches, Fischerspooner and Vitalic, [125] [126] but largely faded when it combined with tech house to form the electro house genre. [127]

During the mid 2000s, new rave combined new wave with elements from several other genres, such as indie rock and electro house, [128] and added aesthetic elements archetypal of a rave, such as light shows and glow sticks. [129] [130] [131] Despite the term itself stimulating controversy to the point where many affiliated artists rejected it, [132] [133] new rave as a musical genre was adopted by artists such as the Klaxons, NYPC, Shitdisco and Hadouken! [128] [129]

In the 2010s, Nostalgia for 1980s new wave has seen a resurgence in the form of synthwave, which is primarily characterized by new wave, soundtrack influences and a retrofuturistic, cyberpunk-like visual aesthetic. [134] [135] [136] This term is applied to the music of artists such as Kavinsky, College, Power Glove, [134] Mitch Murder, and Her, as well as soundtracks of films and video games such as Drive , Tron: Legacy , Hotline Miami , Kung Fury , Turbo Kid , and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon . [134] [135] [ dubious ]

Mainstream popularity

Men at Work in 1983 Men At Work 1983.jpg
Men at Work in 1983

New wave music experienced a lot of mainstream success during the late 1970s and also during the 1980s. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Blondie had 4 songs on at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. [137] The Clash's song "Rock the Casbah" went to number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 22 January 1983. [138] The Clash's album Combat Rock was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 10 January 1983 was later certified 2x platinum by the RIAA in 1995. [139] Men at Work's albums Business as Usual and Cargo were certified 4x platinum by the RIAA on 19 October 1984 [140] and 2x platinum by the RIAA on 19 October 1984, [141] respectively. Men at Work's song "Who Can It Be Now?" peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982 and the band's song "Down Under" peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983. In 1983, Men at Work's songs "Overkill" and "It's a Mistake" peaked at number 3 and number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. [142] Men at Work's album Business as Usual peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200 on 13 November 1982 [143] and was at number 1 on the chart from 13 November 1982 – 19 February 1983. [144]

The Police performing at Madison Square Garden in 2007 ThePolice 2007.jpg
The Police performing at Madison Square Garden in 2007

The Police had four consecutive number one albums in the UK, and six top ten hits on the US Billboard Hot 100, during the first half of the 1980s, with "Every Breath You Take" peaking at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1983. During that time, the band's songs "Spirits in the Material World" and "Synchronicity II" peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. [145] The Police's album Synchronicity , released in June 1983, was certified 4x platinum by the RIAA on 14 November 1984 and was later certified 8x platinum by the RIAA in December 2001. [146] The Police's album Ghost in the Machine , released at the beginning of October 1981, was certified platinum by the RIAA less than 3 months after being released. The album was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA in November 1984 and was certified 3x platinum by the RIAA in December 2001. [147] The Police's album Synchronicity peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200 on 23 July 1983. [148] Synchronicity was at number 1 on the Billboard 200 both from 23 July 1983 – 3 September 1983 and from 17 September 1983 – 19 November 1983. [144]

Devo performing live in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978 Devo, Atlanta, Ga., Dec. 27, 1978 Agora Ballroom.jpg
Devo performing live in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978

The Cars' self-titled debut album was certified 6x platinum by the RIAA. [149] The band's album Candy-O was certified 4x platinum by the RIAA. [150] The Cars' album Heartbeat City , released in March 1984, was certified 2x platinum in October 1984 and was certified 3x platinum in July 1985 by the RIAA. [151] The Cars had four top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 during the 1980s. The Cars' song "Magic" peaked at number 12 in July 1984 and the band's song "Let's Go" peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979. [152] Duran Duran had nine top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 during the 1980s, with two of those top ten hits, "A View to a Kill" and "The Reflex", peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985 and 1984, respectively. [153] Duran Duran's live album Arena , released in November 1984, was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA on 5 February 1985. [154] Duran Duran's album Notorious , released in November 1986, was certified platinum by the RIAA on 20 January 1987. [155] The Fixx's "Reach The Beach" album was certified 2x platinum in 1983, its first year of release. [156] The band also had seven songs reach the top ten throughout the decade, with three of those, "Are We Ourselves?", "Secret Separation" and "Driven Out" reaching number 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. [157] Devo's song "Whip It" went to number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the year 1980. [158] Kim Wilde's song "Kids in America" peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. [159] "Kids in America" was at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart in March 1981. [160]

The Go-Go's performing in 2012 The Go Gos in 2012.jpg
The Go-Go's performing in 2012

Tears for Fears' album Songs from the Big Chair was certified 4x platinum by the RIAA less than a year after being released. [161] Tears for Fears had four top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 during the second half of the 1980s, with two of those hits both peaking at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985. [162] Talking Heads' song "Burning Down the House" peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983. [163] The song "Love Shack" by the band the B-52's peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. [164] The band's album Cosmic Thing , released on 27 June 1989, was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA a little less than nine months after being released. [165] The Human League had three top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 during the 1980s, with two of those hits peaking at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. [166] In 1982, the songs "We Got the Beat" and "Vacation" by the band the Go-Go's peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. The band's song "Head Over Heels" peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. [167] The album Beauty and the Beat by the Go-Go's, released in July 1981, was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA on 14 November 1984. [168] The album Beauty and the Beat peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1982 [169] and was at number 1 on the chart from 6 March 1982 – 10 April 1982. [170]

See also

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  155. "American album certifications – Duran Duran – Notorious". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  156. "American album certifications – The Fixx – Reach The Beach". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  157. "The Fixx Chart History". Billboard.
  158. "Devo Chart History". Billboard.
  159. "Kim Wilde Chart History". Billboard.
  160. "Official Singles Chart Top 75 (22 March 1981 - 28 March 1981)". Official Charts Company.
  161. "American album certifications – Tears for Fears – Songs from the Big Chair". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  162. "Tears for Fears Chart History". Billboard.
  163. "Talking Heads Chart History". Billboard.
  164. "The B-52s Chart History". Billboard.
  165. "American album certifications – B-52's – Cosmic Thing". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  166. "The Human League Chart History". Billboard.
  167. "Go-Go's Chart History". Billboard.
  168. "American album certifications – Go Go's – Beauty and the Beat". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  169. "Go-Go's Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  170. "1982 Archive (Billboard 200)". Billboard.


Further reading