Sunday, March 31, 2013

Top New Wave Songs - A Listener List

Much to my surprise, my most popular posts appear to be the ones with original content (i.e. my own lists).  Lists of my own take longer to compile, and I do refer to other lists when I work on them.  Right now I'm working on a list of the most archetypical new wave songs.  This is different from the best songs, but the best certainly have potential as the most archetypical.

I stumbled upon the list below on NPR's music blog.  I've shamelessly cut and paste the content from the comment section of the blog.  The actual blog has a dead link to a radio show on WFDU, and the list was a little hard to find, so I'm saving you the trouble.

Top 50 New Wave Songs Of All Time (as decided on by WFDU listeners):

1. Joy Division - Love Will tear Us Apart
2. Siouxsie & The Banshees - Christine
3. The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
4. Ultravox - Vienna
5. Romeo Void - Never Say Never
6. The Smiths - Bigmouth Strikes Again
7. Echo And The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon
8. Gary Numan - Cars
9. New Order - Blue Monday
10. The B-52's - Rock Lobster
11. Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
12. Peter Godwin - Images Of Heaven
13. New Order - Temptation
14. Icicle Works - Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)
15. Gang Of Four - To Hell With Poverty
16. The Stranglers - Skin Deep
17. John Foxx - Underpass
18. Martha And The Muffins - Echo Beach
19. The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
20. Yaz - Don't Go
21. The Specials - Ghost Town
22. The Psychedelic Furs - Heaven
23. Split Enz - I Got You
24. The Chameleons U.K. - Swamp Thing
25. Tom Tom Club - Wordy Rappinghood
26. Depeche Mode - Shake The Disease
27. Visage - Fade To Grey
28. Berlin - The Metro
29. Alphaville - Forever Young
30. Blondie - Heart Of Glass
31. The English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom
32. Duran Duran - Rio
33. The Flying Lizards - Money
34. XTC - Dear God
35. ABC - The Look Of Love (Part 1)
36. Q Feel - Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Bebop)
37. Altered Images - I Could Be Happy
38. The Boomtown Rats - Rat Trap
39. B-Movie - Nowhere Girl
40. Squeeze - Cool For Cats
41. The Cure - In Between Days
42. Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough
43. Devo - Whip It
44. Public Image Ltd. - Public Image
45. Erasure - Oh Lamour
46. Fruer - Doot Doot
47. Lene Lovich - Lucky Number
48. Bow Wow Wow - Do You Wanna Hold Me?
49. Heaven 17 - Let Me Go
50. China Crisis - Working With Fire And Steel

I think at least half of these songs are strong candidates for the list I'm making.  As a non-WFDU listener, I also count 7 songs on the list that I don't know.  I'll have to listen to those before finalizing my own list.  Two songs I consider strong candidates for the top of my list don't make the WFDU list all.  Both of those songs were bigger hits than the songs on this list, so perhaps the WFDU audience eschewed new wave that successfully crossed over to top 40.  Maybe I need to give more thought to how crossing over does or does not fit the archetype, or maybe it's irrelevant.  Who am I kidding?  No criteria, no matter how absurd is irrelevant in this little world of idiosyncratic ranking.