New Wave was a music genre that was a form of rock music during the later years of the 70s up until the middle of the 80â€™s. Branching off of the punk rock scene as a hit towards the more popular music of the 70s, the new wave genre blended influences from multiple other genres such as rock, reggae, funk, ska, power pop, and a few others. The source of the term â€œNew Waveâ€ came from the head of Sire records, when he was searching for something that he could not only label newly signed bands with, but also market the music. Feeling that new wave music was in a way alike to the French New Wave film movement in the 60â€™s, he coined the term â€œNew Waveâ€.
A lot like the artists of the French film movement, notable artists such as Blondie, The Cars, Devo, Talking Heads, and XTC, among others, were very experimental and anti-corporate, and so the terminology â€œNew Waveâ€ was exchangeable with the word â€œpunkâ€. Though it didn’t take long for fans to begin separating the new wave musicians from what they determined to be â€œtrue punkâ€ artists. It was even written in an article about a band called the Boomtown Rats by a music journalist that in his opinion new wave was simply a catch phrase for those who were different from the punk rock scene, but somehow connected to it. Music labeled as punk was more likely to follow the garage band aspect, while new wave music brought leaned towards an experimental tendency, and more complex lyrics.
The genres name came to also be used for bands in the British pup rock music scene of the mid 70s, including bands like Dr Feelgood and Eddie and the Hot Rods. In 77 a Phonogram album that used the genres name was released featuring US artists such as the Dead Boys, the Ramones and the Runaways. Later on, the term new wave came to be a label for a less noisy sound, relating more to pop music.
In the United States the genre was used as a description for music that came out in the late 70s to the time between 82 and 83. After that, it was used up until 87 to term almost all new pop and rock artists, and this focus especially was garnered to performers that used synthesizers. Artists under this description during the era would include Duran Duran, Adam and the Ants, The Culture Club, Naked Eyes, Eurythmics, and a few others, and still today the term new wave is used to categorise those groups. In the early years of the 90s British magazines decided to label a few bands that resembled the 70s new wave bands as such, including acts like Elastica and These Animal Men.
Later in the 90s, a band called The Faint used heavy new wave genre influence to help create their first album called Media which was released in 98. Other bands have tried to bring back the genre in the 2000s, such as Mute Math, The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, the Epoxies, The Start, and the reunion of the band called Squeeze. New wave fashion was unmistakable, drawing from the hippie styling of the 60s, so short spiky hair and body conscious clothes for men was the main style. Spandex, bright colours and jewelry and ornaments were not uncommon either.
Many trends and fashion styles have pulled from these trends in the past years, such as in the New Romantic movement. Some of the new wave genres acts include ABC, Cactus World News, Baltimora, Camouflage, Marc Almond, Berlin, The Bible, The Fixx, Go-Gos, Divinyls, The Dream Academy, Kajagoogoo, Information Society, along with an entire list of other influential and popular bands and performers.