New wave music

New wave is a genre of rock music[2] popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock.[21] New wave moved away from 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]

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]

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".

New wave
Stylistic origins
Cultural originsMid-1970s, United Kingdom and United States
Typical instruments
Derivative forms
Fusion genres
Regional scenes
Other topics

Etymology and usage

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]

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]

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]

Talking Heads band1
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

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, "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]

Related styles and subgenres

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 1978
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 positivity 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

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, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, a-ha, Alphaville, New Order, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Japan, Yazoo,[72] Ultravox,[73] Kajagoogoo,[74] 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]

The Motels
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

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 Queens May Ball 2007
Klaxons in concert in 2007

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

Mainstream popularity

Men At Work 1983
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]

ThePolice 2007
The Police performing at Madison Square Garden in 2007

The Police had six top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 during the first half of the 1980s, with one of those top ten hits, "Every Breath You Take" peaking at number 1 on the 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, Atlanta, Ga., Dec. 27, 1978 Agora Ballroom
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 Gos in 2012
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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  7. ^ Cooper, Kim, Smay, David, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth (2001), page 248 "Nobody took the bubblegum ethos to heart like the new wave bands"/
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Further reading

  • Bukszpan, Daniel. The Encyclopedia of New Wave. Sterling Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4027-8472-9
  • Majewski, Lori: Bernstein, Jonathan Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s. Abrams Image, 15 April 2014. ISBN 978-1-4197-1097-1

External links

1980s in music

For music from a year in the 1980s, go to 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89.This article includes an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 1980s.

The 1980s saw the emergence of dance music and new wave. As disco fell out of fashion in the decade's early years, genres such as post-disco, Italo disco, Euro disco and dance-pop became more popular. Rock music continued to enjoy a wide audience. Soft rock, glam metal, thrash metal, shred guitar characterized by heavy distortion, pinch harmonics and whammy bar abuse became very popular. Adult contemporary, quiet storm, and smooth jazz gained popularity. In the late 1980s, glam metal became the largest, most commercially successful brand of music in the United States and worldwide.The 1980s are commonly remembered for an increase in the use of digital recording, associated with the usage of synthesizers, with synth-pop music and other electronic genres featuring non-traditional instruments increasing in popularity. Also during this decade, several major electronic genres were developed, including electro, techno, house, freestyle and Eurodance, rising in prominence during the 1990s and beyond. Throughout the decade, R&B, hip hop and urban genres were becoming commonplace, particularly in the inner-city areas of large, metropolitan cities; rap was especially successful in the latter part of the decade, with the advent of the golden age of hip hop. These urban genres—particularly rap and hip hop—would continue their rise in popularity through the 1990s and 2000s.

A 2010 survey conducted by the digital broadcaster Music Choice, which polled over 11,000 European participants, revealed that the 1980s is the most favored tune decade of the last 50 years.

1st Wave

1st Wave is a commercial-free Internet radio station provided by XM Satellite Radio. Its general content consists of alternative music, new wave music and other forms of "classic alternative" originally released in the late seventies, the eighties, and the early nineties.The internet player can be configured to either play more synthesizer-based music (e.g. synthpop, darkwave), or guitar-based music (e.g. punk rock, post-punk). It can also be configured to play more American artists or more European artists.

Boogie (genre)

Boogie (sometimes called post-disco) is a rhythm and blues genre of electronic dance music with close ties to the post-disco style, that first emerged in the United States during the late 1970s to mid-1980s. The sound of boogie defined by bridging acoustic and electronic musical instruments with emphasis on vocals and miscellaneous effects later evolved into electro and house music.


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.One storefront beside CBGB became the "CBGB Record Canteen", a record shop and café. In the late 1980s, "CBGB Record Canteen" was converted into an art gallery and second performance space, "CB's 313 Gallery". CB's Gallery was played by music artists of milder sounds, such as acoustic rock, folk, jazz, or experimental music, such as Dadadah, Kristeen Young and Toshi Reagon, while CBGB continued to showcase mainly hardcore punk, post punk, metal, and alternative rock. 313 Gallery was also the host location for Alchemy, a weekly Goth night showcasing goth, industrial, dark rock, and darkwave bands. On the other side, CBGB was operating a small cafe and bar in the mid-1990s, which served classic New York pizza, among other items.Around 2000, CBGB entered a protracted dispute over allegedly unpaid rent amounts until the landlord, Bowery Residents' Committee, sued in 2005 and lost the case, but a deal to renew CBGB's lease, expiring in 2006, failed. The club closed upon its final concert, played by Patti Smith, on October 15, 2006. CBGB Radio launched on the iheartradio platform in 2010, and CBGB music festivals began in 2012. In 2013, CBGB's onetime building, 315 Bowery, was added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of The Bowery Historic District (not a New York City Historic District).

Cold wave (music)

Cold wave is a music movement that emerged in France and Belgium in the late 1970s. Characterized by its detached tone and minimal use of electronic instruments, the scene came as a result of punk bands who acquired affordable portable synthesizers such as the Korg MS-20. It is an early synonym for what would later be termed "dark wave" and goth".

Dark wave

Dark wave is a music genre that emerged from the new wave and post-punk movement of the late 1970s. Dark wave compositions are largely based on minor key tonality and introspective lyrics, and have been perceived as being dark, romantic, and bleak, with an undertone of sorrow. Common features include the use of chordophones such as electric and acoustic guitar, violin, and piano, as well as electronic instruments such as synthesizer, sampler, and drum machine. The genre embraces a range of styles including cold wave, ethereal wave, gothic rock, neoclassical dark wave, and neofolk.In the 1980s, a subculture developed primarily in Europe alongside dark wave music, whose followers were called wavers or dark wavers. In some countries such as Germany, the movement also included fans of gothic rock (so-called trad-goths).

Faget (song)

"Faget" is a song by the American nu metal band Korn. It is the sixth track from the band's self-titled debut studio album. The song is about how Korn's lead vocalist, Jonathan Davis, was bullied in high school for being into arts, wearing eyeliner, being into new wave music (for example, Duran Duran), and wearing frilly shirts. According to Jonathan Davis, he was constantly called names such as "faggot". Also, there was a rumor that Davis was gay.

Minimal wave

Minimal wave is a broad classification of music that comprises obscure, atypical examples of genres such as new wave, stripped-down electronic or synthesizer music, synth-pop, post-punk, and coldwave. Most of the music tends to focus on electronic, pre-MIDI instrumentation and themes of sincere, rather than ironic, detachment.The terming of "minimal wave" draws some contention. Although much minimal wave is classified in the late 1970s and early 1980s and subsequently appeared on bootleg and one-off compilations, the genre didn't have a name until a record label of the same name began releasing compilations and reissues in the mid-2000s.

Neo (nightclub)

Neo was a nightclub located at 2350 N. Clark St. in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park. Established on July 25, 1979 Neo was the oldest or one of the oldest running nightclubs in Chicago and was a hangout and venue for a variety of musicians and artists, including David Bowie, Iggy Pop, David Byrne, the Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and U2. The nightclub has been noted for being gay-friendly as well as part of goth subculture.

Neue Deutsche Welle

Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW, pronounced [ˈnɔʏə ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈvɛlə], "New German Wave") is a genre of West German rock music originally derived from post-punk and new wave music with electronic influences. The term "Neue Deutsche Welle" was first coined by a Dutch radio DJ Frits Spits on popular nationwide radiostation Hilversum 3, which was very popular among German listeners. Soon after that it got used in a record shop advertisement by Burkhardt Seiler in the West German magazine Sounds in August 1979, and then coined by journalist Alfred Hilsberg whose article about the movement titled "Neue Deutsche Welle — Aus grauer Städte Mauern" ("New German Wave — From Grey Cities' Walls") was published in Sounds in October 1979.

New Pop

New Pop was a loosely defined British-centric pop music movement consisting of ambitious, DIY-minded artists who achieved commercial success in the early 1980s through sources such as MTV. Rooted in the post-punk movement of the late 1970s, the movement spanned a wide variety of styles and artists, including acts such as Orange Juice, the Human League and ABC. The term "rockist", a pejorative against people who shunned this type of music, coincided and was associated with New Pop."New Music" is a roughly equivalent but slightly more expansive umbrella term for a pop music and cultural phenomenon in the US associated with the Second British Invasion. The term was used by the music industry and by American music journalists during the 1980s to characterize "new" movements like New Pop and New Romanticism.

New wave music in Yugoslavia

New wave in Yugoslavia (Bosnian, Croatian and Slovenian: Novi val; Serbian: Нови талас, Novi talas; Macedonian: Нов бран, transl.: Nov bran; all meaning "New wave") was the new wave music scene of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. As its counterparts, the British and the US new wave, from which the main influences came, the Yugoslav scene was also closely related to punk rock, ska, reggae, 2 Tone, power pop and mod revival. Some of its acts are also counted as belonging to the Yugoslav punk scene which already existed prior to new wave. Such artists were labeled as both punk rock and new wave (the term "new wave" was initially interchangeable with "punk").

New wave of new wave

The New Wave of New Wave (NWONW) was a term coined by music journalists to describe a subgenre of the British alternative rock scene in the early 1990s, in which bands displayed post-punk and new wave influences, particularly from bands such as The Clash, Blondie, Wire, and The Stranglers. The associated bands generally played guitar-based rock music often accompanied by keyboards. The movement was short lived and several of the bands involved were later linked with the more commercially successful Britpop, which it immediately preceded, and the NWONW was described by John Harris of The Guardian (one of the journalists who first coined the term) as "Britpop without the good bits". The NME played a major part in promoting and covering the genre, and promoted the On event, which featured many of the bands they had labelled NWONW.Record label Fierce Panda's first release, Shagging in the Streets, was a tribute to the scene, featuring S*M*A*S*H, Done Lying Down, These Animal Men, and others. Associated bands have included Elastica, S*M*A*S*H, Menswear, Sleeper, Echobelly, Shed Seven, These Animal Men, and Compulsion.Robert Christgau identified the mid-1990s NWONW movement as the peak of a new wave revival that has continued on and off since, stating "1994 was the top of a curve we can't be certain we've reached the bottom of".

No wave

No wave was a short-lived avant-garde music and art scene that emerged in the late 1970s in downtown New York City. Reacting against punk rock's use of recycled rock and roll clichés, no wave musicians instead experimented with noise, dissonance and atonality in addition to a variety of non-rock genres, including free jazz and funk, while often reflecting an abrasive, confrontational and nihilistic worldview. In the later years of the scene, it adopted a more playful, danceable aesthetic inspired by disco, early hip hop and world music sources.The term "no wave" was a pun based on the rejection of commercial new wave music. The movement would last a relatively short time but profoundly influenced the development of independent film, fashion and visual art.


Organisms of many species are specialized into male and female varieties, each known as a sex. Sexual reproduction involves the combining and mixing of genetic traits: specialized cells known as gametes combine to form offspring that inherit traits from each parent. The gametes produced by an organism define its sex: males produce small gametes (e.g. spermatozoa, or sperm, in animals; pollen in seed plants) while females produce large gametes (ova, or egg cells). Individual organisms which produce both male and female gametes are termed hermaphroditic. Gametes can be identical in form and function (known as isogamy), but, in many cases, an asymmetry has evolved such that two different types of gametes (heterogametes) exist (known as anisogamy).

Physical differences are often associated with the different sexes of an organism; these sexual dimorphisms can reflect the different reproductive pressures the sexes experience. For instance, mate choice and sexual selection can accelerate the evolution of physical differences between the sexes.

Among humans and other mammals, males typically carry an X and a Y chromosome (XY), whereas females typically carry two X chromosomes (XX), which are a part of the XY sex-determination system. Humans may also be intersex. Other animals have different sex-determination systems, such as the ZW system in birds, the X0 system in insects, and various environmental systems, for example in crustaceans. Fungi may also have more complex allelic mating systems, with sexes not accurately described as male, female, or hermaphroditic.


Synth-pop (short for synthesizer pop; also called techno-pop) is a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic, art rock, disco, and particularly the "Krautrock" of bands like Kraftwerk. It arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.

Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used practically in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, while the mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art musicians. After the breakthrough of Gary Numan in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, large numbers of artists began to enjoy success with a synthesizer-based sound in the early 1980s. In Japan, Yellow Magic Orchestra introduced the TR-808 rhythm machine to popular music, and the band would be a major influence on early British synth-pop acts. The development of inexpensive polyphonic synthesizers, the definition of MIDI and the use of dance beats, led to a more commercial and accessible sound for synth-pop. This, its adoption by the style-conscious acts from the New Romantic movement, together with the rise of MTV, led to success for large numbers of British synth-pop acts in the US.

"Synth-pop" is sometimes used interchangeably with "electropop", but "electropop" may also denote a variant of synth-pop that places more emphasis on a harder, more electronic sound. In the mid to late 1980s, duos such as Erasure and Pet Shop Boys adopted a style that was highly successful on the US dance charts, but by the end of the decade, the 'new wave' synth-pop of bands such as A-ha and Alphaville was giving way to house music and techno. Interest in new wave synth-pop began to revive in the indietronica and electroclash movements in the late 1990s, and in the 2000s synth-pop enjoyed a widespread revival and commercial success.

The genre has received criticism for alleged lack of emotion and musicianship; prominent artists have spoken out against detractors who believed that synthesizers themselves composed and played the songs. Synth-pop music has established a place for the synthesizer as a major element of pop and rock music, directly influencing subsequent genres (including house music and Detroit techno) and has indirectly influenced many other genres, as well as individual recordings.

Two-tone (music genre)

Two-tone (or 2 tone) is a genre of British music that fuses traditional ska with musical elements of punk rock and new wave music. Its name comes from 2 Tone Records, a label founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials, and references a desire to transcend and defuse racial tensions in Thatcher-era Britain; many two-tone groups, such as The Specials, The Selecter, and The Beat featured a mix of black, white, and multiracial people. Originating in the urban centers in England in the late 1970s, it was part of the second wave of ska music, following on from the first ska music that developed in Jamaica in the 1950s and 1960s, and infused it with punk and new wave textures. Although two-tone's mainstream commercial appeal was largely limited to the UK, it influenced the third wave ska and ska punk movements that developed in the US in the late 1980s and 1990s.

We're Dancin'

We're Dancin was an American music television program that aired on MTV for one season, from 1982–1983. It featured performances by various new wave music acts. Townsend Coleman was the show's host.

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