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Poll: Who did New Wave better in the 80s: USA or UK?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Cryptical17, May 3, 2021.

  1. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    UK new wave bands had the advantage of having videos ready when MTV went live so they were certainly more ubiquitous for a while here in the US.
  2. ddgi

    ddgi Forum Resident

  3. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    new york city
    Back in the day everything was called "New Wave," but IMO the historical perspective granted this era over the last 30 years has resulted in the notion (which I agree with) that there were two somewhat distinct movements, in the late 1970s and very early '80s: US had "postpunk" and UK was the more keyboardy (and more likely to have a New Romantics influence) "New Wave." Talking Heads/Blondie/B-52s/Cars weren't "new wave," IMO. However, the UK's success with the new wave sound turned itself back around to influence some US bands - some of whom were the postpunk bands. Little Creatures is arguably a "new wave" album, IMO, but no way is More Songs About Buildings and Food. The Cars debut is not new wave, IMO, but later albums arguably were.

    Remember, back in the very early 1970s, everything loud was "heavy metal." That quickly changed.
  4. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    malibu ca
    for me UK new wave of the late 70's early eighties as a precursor to "britpop" ( if you will ) was *mostly* terrific. but so was much U.S. based output.

    from the lists others have contributed, many i would suggest were less "new wave" sonically, than in terms of a marketing strategy.

    i mean tom petty and the heartbreakers wore skinny ties in in '77 too. but "new wave"? hardly. elvis costello was lumped into that strategy also for his CBS releases as i recall from the time.

    but was EC really "new wave" either? hardly.
  5. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    both...they played no favorites.
  6. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    I probably listen to more Talking Heads these days than anything else on the lists given so far.
    And over the years I have begrudgingly come to accept and appreciate the B-52s.

    But still gotta' go with the UK overall. Not yet mentioned there is another group I liked, Blanket of Secrecy.
  7. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    ... and as is so often the case, while the UK vs US battle rages, Canada sneaks some great stuff into the mix...
    Frozen Ghost

    mark winstanley likes this.
  8. Devin

    Devin Just slightly ahead of my time

    UK did it better.
  9. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    The UK all the way. The 80s British Invasion for what it’s worth.
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    "You forgot three of the biggest UK new wave bands:
    New Order
    Pet Shop Boys"
    Fair call.
    I would have thought Joy Division more than New Order, were new wave
    Big Country
    The Alarm

    And many others probably qualify as New Wave... but I would need someone to explain the differences between New Wave - Post Punk etc etc.

    Pet Shop Boys breaking out in 1984? ... I would have thought to be too late...
    But again, I would need someone to set guidelines about what period of time actually qualifies for the New Wave period.

    Also, I am certainly not infallible :)
  11. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident

    Tom Petty, I agree with you, doesn't fit, but Elvis Costello? I'd say yes, he and his band fit into the New Wave realm quite well, at least early in his career. :agree:
    mark winstanley and Cryptical17 like this.
  12. drivingtheview

    drivingtheview Not forever just for now

    The (English) Beat, New Order, Squeeze, The Police, Tears For Fears, The Cure, Nik Kershaw, Howard Jones, just from top of mind.

    U.K. - no contest
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  13. Lands End Drums

    Lands End Drums Forum Resident

    I can’t believe there’s even a single vote for US. Nationalism clearly.
    Man at C&A likes this.
  14. Black Cat Surfboards

    Black Cat Surfboards Forum Resident

    Delaware, USA
    UK. For all of the evidence provided above.

    I wouldn't really consider Joy Division, U2 or the Pet Shop Boys to be examples of the New Wave sound. I feel like Joy Division is more of a post-punk band that came into their sound outside of new wave like The Fall. U2 maybe a bit closer to new wave initially, and Pet Shop Boys were a pop band in sound.

    I wouldn't necessarily call Pere Ubu a New Wave band, as someone above did. They forged their unique sound about 3-5 years before new wave existed as a genre and were probably 5 records in before their sound mainstreamed enough to really sound anything like new wave.
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  15. Uk without a doubt.
  16. Rob Hughes

    Rob Hughes Forum Resident

    UK had a greater depth of one-two hit wonders (in addition to some great bands others have named above), but the US had the immortal Talking Heads, so... maybe a toss up.
    2141 likes this.
  17. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    malibu ca
    i can see how you'd think that, and i'm ok with it. EC's "pump it up" era stuff certainly had the energetic if not affected "snarl" that many "new wave" acts attempted to convey.

    so, i'll try again :)

    i.e. the knack were "new wave", while willy ( mink ) deville were not and yet...

    i stand by my assertion that many artists of the time that were "marketed" with the "new wave" imprimatur were really not whatever "new wave" was/is?

    but perhaps this is why zappa was said to have posited that talking about music is like dancing about architecture ;)
  18. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    IF "New Wave" ever existed as a genre at all, it was over by 1979.
    Ted Dinard likes this.
  19. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Great list that solidifies my thought...the US, by a wide margin.
  20. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    malibu ca
    with a #1 U.S.

  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    Aus too.
    Australian Crawl
    Hunters and Collectors
    Midnight Oil
    Hoodoo Gurus
    The Church
    Mental as Anything
    The Models
    The Reels
    The Sports

    It was a pretty healthy time in the Aus music scene
    zphage, Fischman and 2141 like this.
  22. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Salem, MA
    It started in the UK.
  23. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    And the ever popular Men at Work.
    theholygoof and mark winstanley like this.
  24. fallbreaks

    fallbreaks Forum Resident

    One huge influence on the New Wave scene in the UK was Roxy Music. The Roxy-influenced sense of glamour, cosmopolitan style and art-school sophistication is almost a unifying factor among UK New Wave bands. That helped create a scene.

    The US really didn’t have a similar foundational influence, so the scene tended to be a little more diffuse. Many of the US New Wave bands had a retro thing going on - like the B-52s, Blondie, and the Cars - that was unique. A lot of US New Wave bands had a ‘quirky weirdos’ shtick as well - like Devo, Talking Heads, B-52s - and you didn’t see that as often with UK New Wave bands.
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  25. Why?

    It was a vibrant scene.

    Unfortunately, maybe you had to be there, as the US scene seems forgotten.

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