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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. Post-Punk Monk

    Post-Punk Monk Seeking divinity in records from '78-'85 or so…

    Location:
    North Carolina
    You hit the nail on the head. The late 70s were a LOT more interesting to my ears than the early 80s. I thought the 70s peaked in 80-81 with the watered down shoulder-pad era 80s appearing soon after that.
     
    1983 and BluesOvertookMe like this.
  2. veloso2

    veloso2 Forum Resident

    uk by a million miles
     
  3. Holerbot6000

    Holerbot6000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    Yup - the bands were a lot more distinct. Once they all (or mostly) started selling out, it got a lot less interesting. Amazing too how fast it happened. The mediocrity virus!
     
  4. The only thing this thread demonstrates is what a useless designation “New Wave” is these days. Apparently it refers to “any form of pop/rock between 1978 and 1987 that isn’t heavy metal, hard rock, punk, or R&B”.
     
  5. low_line

    low_line lukewarm water

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    That article contends that the start of the 'Second British Invasion' was properly signalled by The Human League enjoying a run at the top of the US singles chart in July 1982, and then goes on to suggest that acts as diverse (and essentially 'Americanised', in one way or another) as Bonnie Tyler, Billy Idol, Robert Palmer and John Waite all made ground in the US by dint of being part of the same 'wave'. Including acts as stylistically diverse as that makes the exercise seem a bit futile; those artists have nothing meaningfully in common, they just happen to share the same nationality.
     
  6. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    When you say the words “New Wave” I mainly think of UK bands first. I don’t necessarily like one over the other, but I associate the name of the genre more with the UK artists. That’s probably in part because I think of Devo, for example, as a punk band...
     
  7. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Sometimes it even includes the punk!
     

  8. Interesting, NY Rocker, Punk, Trouser Press, even Creem knew and made the distinctions at the time. Punk bands were not post punk new wave, post punk were not punk, etc., But I also understand not all areas/regions got the same info at the same time. Record companies are notorious for their sloppy genre handling and misreading of scenes. It was true before then, during then and even now.
     
    Dudley Morris likes this.
  9. Absolutely, and particularly if we're talking about the more pop-oriented bands like the Buzzcocks.

    Thinking back to what I thought the term meant as a budding rock geek in the early '80s, I would've defined it along the lines of "energetic and/or assertive guitar-based pop/rock typified by spare production, tight arrangements, brief song durations, and an element of 'quirkiness'." At the time for me this meant stuff like Devo, XTC, Gang of Four, Fingerprintz, Pylon, the B-52s, some Elvis Costello, and even - yep - the Knack. The synth bands that are getting cited here I would've thought of as adjacent but typifying a different scene.
     
  10. Holerbot6000

    Holerbot6000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I think New Wave was just a lazy adumbration - a way to classify the unclassifiable. Then it got co-opted by popular culture and became a thing. If you drilled down, there were all kinds of different things going on. Ska, Rockabilly, etc. The Cars were a pop version of Suicide who were considered a 'No Wave' band, to cite one very silly example. How do you even classify bands like Pere Ubu or Bow Wow Wow or early Talking Heads? I think this means more to critics than anyone else. 'Young bands who bucked the trend of putting out turgid, slick, soulless corporate rock' would be just as good a moniker as any. I don't worry too much about the classification, I am just damn glad it happened. It saved my teen aged soul.
     
    1983, BluesOvertookMe and ralphb like this.
  11. Devin

    Devin Just slightly ahead of my time

    This. It's easy to misread a scene when the scene is new and being created spontaneously as it occurs (and on both sides of the planet at the same time). Things move fast and in several directions at once. Record companies always rush to label the latest sounds in order to maximize their profits from the new "scene." This rush tends to creates some confusion and mislabeling down the line when the picture of the scene has come into much clearer focus.
     
    BluesOvertookMe and ralphb like this.
  12. 7solqs4iago

    7solqs4iago Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    you are joking, right?


    [​IMG]
     
  13. 7solqs4iago

    7solqs4iago Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    easy for one who went through high school and undergrad enmeshed in this music (as well as Beatles/Stones/blahblahblah)

    required collecting 12" UK imports 45s and lots of concerts in Southern Ontario/Western New York where a band was playing to 500 and deserved 25,000
     
  14. blivet

    blivet Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Just to piggyback on your recollections with my own from slightly earlier, in the late 70s, New Wave was used as a sort of catchall to describe artists (including punk bands) that were part of the same non-mainstream music scene.
     
  15. Mist3rCe

    Mist3rCe Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    USA had nice new wave bands e.g Blondie, Berlin, Cock Robin ( Bigger in Europe), The Romantics and many others but in this Poll I voted UK.
     
    skisdlimit likes this.
  16. Roy Crossland

    Roy Crossland Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helsingborg
    I wonder how it all began. Had the old wave become too old in the mid 70’s so bands just had to come up with something new? I have heard people say that 1974-76 were kind of boring for music you find in the singles charts. Albums, I don’t know. If you were young in 1977, was it like a breath of fresh air when punk and new wave came?
     
  17. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon
    Absolutely. And I wasn't even into it at the time. Certainly shook things up though, in a good way. Anything was better than the horror of the mid 70's singles charts.
     
    1983 likes this.
  18. blivet

    blivet Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Absolutely. The mainstream music scene was stultifying, especially compared to what it was like only a few years earlier, largely due to the iron hand of the major labels. Incredibly boring bands were being pushed hard.
     
  19. Holerbot6000

    Holerbot6000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    There was a lot of weird avant garde stuff going on in the early 70's and popular music began to reflect that with the advent of Bolan, Be-Bop Deluxe, Bowie, Roxy Music, Eno and others. A lot of what came after just seemed like a logical extension. I'm oversimplifying though - there were clearly myriad influences. Probably just one of those perfect storm situations. People all over the world were getting sick of the status quo. I certainly was!
     
  20. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    UK, not even close.....
     
  21. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I never knew the Blue Nile and Simple Minds were English........and even better neither do they!
     
  22. BroJB

    BroJB Hey man, is that FREEDOM ROCK?

    Punk magazine regularly featured Blondie. Trouser Press (which I read regularly) only started marking any distinction between "new wave" and "punk" once new wave was fully appropriated by corporate labels and radio.

    Originally, though, the labels meant nothing to us. If you had asked me in 1977 whether Elvis Costello was "punk" or " new wave", I would have answered "Both, I guess. What's the difference?"

    Only in retrospect, using definitions that came later, would there be a distinction.

    (FWIW, I grew up in NY. It might have been different in other places where punk/new wave hit later)
     
    Big Blue and ralphb like this.
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    I'm not sure about The Blue Nile, but Simple Minds were Scottish, so yes they are part of the UK
     
  24. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Read your post again, you said both bands were English....
     
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    Apologies. Not my intent
     

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