Let’s Start the Countdown of My 300 Favorite New Wave Songs

7.10 Duran Duran 1981
I really did have blue parachute pants when I was in college. I am not sure whether I am proud or should I be embarrassed?

Hi there folks! I’m back…and it’s going to be with a fiber optics cable-based blast of 25Mb/s. Modest, I know! But, you can’t stress the homeostasis of this hilljack’s system too much without shards of gray matter traveling the speed of light throughout Central Indiana. Yes, today, I joined what many of you have had since the latter part of the twentieth century. Hell, Elvis Presley and Pat Boone were just battling for the number song in the surrounding areas, that’s how far behind we are here. Okay, it’s NOT really THAT bad, but when it comes to infrastructure of any kind, we Hoosiers are lagging way behind. That is a fact.

So, enough of this bellyaching Keller, what kind of music information do ya have? Well, during this time of intermittent internet service, I have been reading, researching, and mainly sticking to my usual limited interests. On Father’s Day, I got a great autobiography of John Oates, which happened to be a signed copy, from Son #2. The book is a good, fast read. Additionally, I have been getting in touch with my youth by re-reading a compilation of my favorite comic book of the mid-70s, Howard the Duck. Sure, the 1986 movie was horrible, but the comic book was genius. And, yes, I did understand the sarcasm and parody of those books.

So, all of this lead me back to the music world of my high school/college years: New Wave! Baby boomers often look back to the music of the early-60s, the time between “The Day the Music Died” (the deaths of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens & The Big Bopper), Little Richard becoming a preacher and Elvis Presley joining the army and the arrival of The Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion. Often, I read about the genius of the Phil Spector sound, the singles of The Shangri-La’s, the budding brilliance of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, “The Twist”, Gary U.S. Bonds, the fantastic Motown sound, to list but a few. So, those of us on the early wave of Generation X got our brilliant pop hits in the form of New Wave music.

The term of New Wave music was a business term to lump this “new” sound of pop music that was based in punk’s attitude, looked back in reverence to the pop music of the early 60s, an unironic love of bubblegum music of the late 60s/early 70s, and a love of 50s & 60s kitsch art and fashion. This was a time of fun and irony during a mess of society that had been made as the industrial age came to a creaking, Tin Man-like end in the rain of unemployment. And, us teens were left with the notion that the American Dream really might not be what it was all cracked up to be. Of course, many of us went the way of debt to have a life equal to our parents. Yet, as I wrote in my high school senior year Economics paper, supply side economics was simply building a house with cards and it would crash at the turn of the century. Fortunately, due to an undeclared war at the time, the crash was delayed by seven years. But, my generation just decided to boogie to some great tunes in a futile effort to buy in to the good times were right at our finger tips.

That, unfortunately, was the theme of much of the music at the time. Yet, somehow, the words went flying over our heads as we danced into the wee hours, many people unfortunately becoming active participants in the drug culture of the 80s. Regardless, nothing takes away from the great music that came out during that decade of the 80s. And, much like the 70s, for better or worse, has been associated with disco music, then the 80s is associated with New Wave, Hair Metal or College Rock (the original name of Alternative Music). Or, are all three genres really that different from each other? I almost could accept songs by Poison, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi on this list. Still, I left them off.

Starting today, I give you my first 50 songs in My 300 Favorite New Wave Songs. Let the countdown begin!

251. The Belle Stars – “Sign of the Times” (1983)

252. Arcadia – “Election Day” (1985)

253. Translator – “Everywhere That I’m Not” (1981)

254. Yazoo – “Only You” (1982)

255. The Escape Club – “Wild Wild West” (1988)

256. The Jim Carroll Band – “People Who Died” (1980)

257. Erasure – “Victim of Love” (1985)

258. Johnny Hates Jazz – “Shattered Dreams” (1988)

259. Dead or Alive – “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” (1985)

260. Fine Young Cannibals – “She Drives Me Crazy” (1988)

261. Re-Flex – “The Politics of Dancing” (1984)

262. Plastic Bertrand – “Ca Plane Pour Moi” (1978)

263. Peter Schilling – “Major Tom (Coming Home)” (1984)

264. Squeeze – “Black Coffee in Bed” (1982)

265. The Psychedelic Furs – “Pretty in Pink” (1981)

266. Mister – “Broken Wings” (1985)

267. Public Image Ltd. – “Rise” (1986)

268. Scandal – “Goodbye to You” (1983)

269. Total Coelo – “I Eat Cannibals” (1985)

270. The Romantics – “Talking in Your Sleep” (1984)

271. The Flirts – “Jukebox (Don’t Put Another Dime)” (1983)

272. Timbuk 3 – “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” (1986)

273. Heaven 17 – “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thing” (1982)

274. Paul Hardcastle – “19” (1984)

275. The [English] Beat – “I Confess” (1982)

276. Moon Martin – “Rolene” (1979)

277. The Tubes – “White Punks on Dope” (1976)

278. Baltimora – “Tarzan Boy” (1985)

279. The Motors – Dancing the Night Away” (1978)

280. The Tubes – “She’s a Beauty” (1983)

281. Matthew Wilder – “Break My Stride” (1983)

282. Erasure – “Victim of Love” (1986)

283. Wang Chung – “Dance Hall Days” (1984)

284. EBN/OZN – “AEIOU Sometimes Y” (1983)

285. Devo – “Peek-A-Boo” (1982)

286. Dwight Twilley – “Girls” (1984)

287. Echo & the Bunnymen – “Lips like Sugar” (1986)

288. Greg Kihn Band – “Jeopardy” (1983)

289. The Motels – “Only the Lonely” (1982)

290. The Yachts – “Look Back in Love (Precis of a Friend)” (1983)

291. Laid Back – “White Horse” (1983)

292. Oingo Boingo – “Dead Man’s Party” (1985)

293. Cutting Crew – “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” (1987)

294. Bronski Beat – “Smalltown Boy” (1984)

295. Altered Images – “I Could Be Happy” (1981)

296. Yello – “Oh Yeah” (1985)

297. Golden Earring – “Twilight Zone” (1983)

298. Styx – “Mr. Roboto” (1983)

299. a-ha – “Take on Me” (1985)

300. When in Rome – “The Promise” (1988)

Yes, I did have Styx in the countdown, even though I still begrudge that song’s success since it was the death knell for the band. Also, you will find that I left out many of the biggest artists of the decade, even though I could make a case for much of their music being new wave. Hall & Oates? “You Make My Dreams”. Prince? “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”. Michael Jackson? “Dirty Diana”. “Smooth Criminal”. “BEAT IT”!!! I decided to keep the list to those endearing artists with their great forward thinking fashion. So, I thought I would enshrine these well-deserving musical visionaries who found magic in the bottle a couple of times before disappearing.


Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

One thought on “Let’s Start the Countdown of My 300 Favorite New Wave Songs”

  1. (these comments were written the day after you posted this though they are only being shared now that you’ve published all 300 songs)

    First off, congratulations on the upgraded internet connection. I know you were constantly at odds with your old one.

    Second, I wonder how many books our man Oates signed and what the distribution pattern was as I got my book in a Barnes & Noble maybe a month or more before Father’s Day and it was signed as well though it wasn’t labeled as such – I just grabbed the fourth one in a pile on display near entrance of store. For the record, it is now four months later and I’m still slogging through the book.

    Thirdly, this list of yours is a HUGE undertaking. And I mean HUGE in the awe-inspiring way not in the way a certain political figure uses the word.

    You riled me up right off the bat by placing “The Promise” at the very bottom of your list. But I took a deep breath and soldiered on, most curious to see what 299 new wave songs you liked more than the When In Rome song. Let’s just say I agreed with some of your choices and questioned my own definition of new wave based on some of your other choices. As much as we have in common, we are worlds apart on others. Guess I’ll have to get off my butt and make my own list so you can see what I’m talking about.

    Did you notice you repeated a song in this part of the list?
    Look at #282 and #257.

    You got me hooked, though.
    I’ll be tuning in.
    Making a Spotify playlist to listen to offline. You ever consider including YouTube/Spotify/Apple Music/Tidal/Deezer/Amazon Music/Google Music links so weirdoes like myself can listen along as we read rather than having to leave and come back… oh, I see what you’re doing there, boosting pageviews. Genius!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: