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Calling New Wave Experts

Discussion in 'music' started by Mr Pig, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Good evening,

    My daughter has to write an essay on New Wave, due Friday. This is to include something on three influential New Wave groups/artists.

    At the moment she's thinking Talking Heads, Blondie and Elvis Costello. I'm a bit confused as just about any pop group from that era seems to be considered New Wave. I hadn't really considered Elvis Costello New Wave.

    She also mentioned Depeche Mode but I would've thought Vince Clark himself maybe but more so Joy Division/New Order.

    So who would you say were three of the most influential New Wave acts and why?

    Thank you :0)
  2. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    She needs to find a definition of the main punk and new wave genres - if that is possible ... :confused:

    First let her take a look at the (incomplete yet informative) Wikipedia entry. I think it captures a lot of why "New Wave" bands are difficult to nail down perfectly and distinguish from punk, New Romantics, Synth-based pop and new wave (pub-rock) bands like The Stranglers. Also it may prove fruitful for her to shape her paper as an investigation trying to determine which groups would call themselves New Wave bands, which ones would call themselves pop-bands (like XTC did at one point in time), and which bands would insist on the punk label? What did the reviewers and labels call them?

    Lots of bands to consider: The Cure, The Ramones, The Boomtown Rats, The Dead Kennedys, Gang of Four, The Pretenders, The Jam, The Associates, Orange Juice, OMD, and what would you call the Specials, The Selecter, Madness and Adam and the Ants? What did The Clash call themselves?

    Growing up in Denmark I used New Wave, either for all the bands that lost their punky sound as they "matured", or for bands that came after punk. Post-punk was not the term I myself used then. In retrospect, I just flung all the bands from 1980 and on into the new wave label.

    I don't know if this helps at all.

    Edit: Some people make a distiction between guitar-based and synth-based bands (Sex Pistols and Depeche Mode / Yazoo)
  3. Aethelist

    Aethelist pfm Member

    I'm no expert but my definition is this...

    Patti Smith (Horses)

    The Ramones (Ramones)

    Television (Marquee Moon)

    Talking Heads (77)
    dadgad, Robn and rstloup like this.
  4. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Hawkwind and Fire

    When I think new wave I think American and I think Devo, Blondie and Talking Heads.
    boneman likes this.
  5. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    XTC are a good example of new wave act who developed a slightly more mainstream following.

    It is a very loose label, just like punk really in that there was a big difference between our movement & what happened state side.
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To my mind new-wave was a UK term, it was the stuff that came after punk and was very obviously different to it. The stuff the folk who read the ‘here are three chords, now form a band’ concept of punk did once they progressed beyond that, but without any of the trappings of a formal music education. It was a very DIY form. Tight date-range too, say 1978-81. I’m thinking Gang Of Four, Magazine, PIL, Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Durutti Column, Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, The Fall, Josef K, Wire, XTC, Orange Juice etc etc, and only the albums that fall within that date-range. After that they tended to become something else.

    Things get far more complex when trying to fit US bands in as they were really ahead of the curve and bands like Patti Smith, Television, Talking Heads, Suicide, Devo etc were clearly ‘not punk’, but existed whilst (or before) the UK was still doing punk.

    Synth pop/new romantic is a largely other thing, so even if you were going to include Tubeway Army, the first OMD and Dalek I albums as new-wave, which is fair enough, I’d cut off firmly at 1980. After that they very much became their own genres.

    PS Dr Feelgood, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Graham Parker, Nick Lowe, Deaf School etc are not new-wave!
  7. kensalriser

    kensalriser pfm Member

    Depeche Mode aren't new wave,so I'd rule them out.

    Elvis Costello did sort of come under new wave at the time but in retrospect the connection was tenuous and probably related to his being on Stiff. Not a great choice.

    Talking Heads and Blondie do fit the bill but for the purpose here it's one or the other, given the similarities of their back stories.

    Before going on, is new wave here considered to be a parallel genre to punk, or one that encompasses punk?
    Mr Pig likes this.
  8. Aethelist

    Aethelist pfm Member

    Define Punk. Ripped T-shirt? Safety Pins? Think Richard Hell. Television.

    It was born in New York. CBGB's in the mid 70's. That's one place I would love to go back to if you could travel back in time.
  9. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    New Wave = Punk with a tune

    Pretenders. XTC.
    fegs likes this.
  10. fegs

    fegs pfm Member

    Bit subjective is this one

    New Wave is generally regarded to have started after Punk (hence the name) and it all depends when you consider Punk to have finished, most including myself put this at '78 ish
    There's also Post Punk to think about and to me there's a bit of a crossover between New Wave and Post Punk, I also think New Wave is more of a US term and us Brits tend to use the Post Punk label

    If it were me writing about influential New Wave bands I think I'd choose




    Another great thread though!!!
    Amber Audio likes this.
  11. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

  12. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

  13. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Very subjective - The #1 Album: New Wave

    No way I’d put Skids in this CD
  14. fegs

    fegs pfm Member

    Or The Stranglers, I love this sort of thing though, there's nothing like a subjective music chat
  15. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Yeah late 70’s early 80’s were brilliant growing up music wise, crap in a lot of other ways, I remember getting picked up from school and Radio 1 were interviewing a punk band, Siouxsie I think, the f bomb got dropped and my mum went mad :) Long time ago I don’t think I’m mis remembering.
    fegs likes this.
  16. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    The B 52 is THE ultimate reference for new wave music so she should concentrate mainly on this group. Not only they helped starting this whole journey but they redefined and fine-tuned this type of music. They also made it more easy to listen to for a much wider audience.

    Gary Numan was also a leader in his genre in the same period.

    Joe Jackson with his albums I’m the man and Look sharp has to be mentioned as well.
    boneman likes this.
  17. fegs

    fegs pfm Member

    I remember as a kid if certain records had a swear word on I had to be quick on the volume and turn it down at the right time

    my old man wasn't a big fan of swearing :)
  18. Aethelist

    Aethelist pfm Member

    New Wave started after punk? Hmm. Not as far as I can remember

    I can kind of remember the term being absorbed by the mainstream as a general term later on like the New Romantics (gotta pigeon hole things) but in the mid seventies it was what it was. The New Wave. New York Scene.

    Your Mileage etc.
    dadgad likes this.
  19. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    This post nails it for me, I completely agree with Tony's assessment here. Synthpop/New Romantic stuff is definitely not in the new wave genre as much as I liked and still like a lot of it.
    Woodface likes this.
  20. Aethelist

    Aethelist pfm Member

    Late Seventies stuff I'd call more "Indie" tbh. Independent record labels sprang up after punk in a big way. RoughTrade , Factory , 4AD etc etc.

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