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"What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

New Wave/Punk music, culture, genres, memories. '80s revivalism and other relevant topics.

"What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

Postby Chuck50 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:31 am

"What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"
Last edited by Chuck50 on Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the first New Wave song?

Postby wasproxy » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:43 pm

Like many such questions, don’t think there is a line in the sand or “one” that can be pointed to ... was more of an evolution. Regardless, you need to go back to 1970 and before - Velvet Underground (1960s), Tangerine Dream (1967), David Bowie (1967), T.Rex (1967), Kraftwerk (1970) etc.

IMO the sound was emerging well before punk happened and then after punk hit full maturity in the form we now know and love.

Endless discussion with no “right” answer!
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Re: What is the first New Wave song?

Postby Ollie Stench » Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:30 pm

I don't know about specific songs, but Roxy Music and David Bowie would probably count as pioneers of the genre.
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Re: What is the first New Wave song?

Postby bpdp3 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:06 pm

Agree that nailing down an initial song is downright daunting. And can’t argue that the bands mentioned were influential; but I don’t consider any of them “New wave”. To me, as a term and movement you’d see commonly in music mags, etc I’d say that it started in 79.

But then the march ‘77 issue of Trouser Press has an article on English new wave, and cites pistols, clash, vibrators, Eddie and the hot rods, damned, etc. I don’t think of them as ‘new wave’, but I guess that term must’ve been concurrent with ‘punk’?? So who knows....

I think most will agree that new wave has a fairly tight temporal component. Tighter than rap or heavy metal. I usually think of new wave as 79-81 or 82. The bands that broke on mtv like haircut 100 and flock of seagulls? I don’t recall them being called “new wave” when they arrived. Already new wave was a passe’ term. But I won’t argue the fact with you if you insist that new wave stretched into the mid 80s.

Someone on this site once said the LAST hit song for new wave was ‘the promise’ by when in Rome. Maybe?!? But first song? I can’t pinpoint it. Rock Lobster? My Sharona? M’s ‘pop music’? There’s no clear ground zero.... of this I’m certain.
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Re: What is the first New Wave song?

Postby Frank_Chickens » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:49 pm

bpdp3 wrote:Agree that nailing down an initial song is downright daunting. And can’t argue that the bands mentioned were influential; but I don’t consider any of them “New wave”. To me, as a term and movement you’d see commonly in music mags, etc I’d say that it started in 79.

But then the march ‘77 issue of Trouser Press has an article on English new wave, and cites pistols, clash, vibrators, Eddie and the hot rods, damned, etc. I don’t think of them as ‘new wave’, but I guess that term must’ve been concurrent with ‘punk’?? So who knows....

I think most will agree that new wave has a fairly tight temporal component. Tighter than rap or heavy metal. I usually think of new wave as 79-81 or 82. The bands that broke on mtv like haircut 100 and flock of seagulls? I don’t recall them being called “new wave” when they arrived. Already new wave was a passe’ term. But I won’t argue the fact with you if you insist that new wave stretched into the mid 80s.

Someone on this site once said the LAST hit song for new wave was ‘the promise’ by when in Rome. Maybe?!? But first song? I can’t pinpoint it. Rock Lobster? My Sharona? M’s ‘pop music’? There’s no clear ground zero.... of this I’m certain.


For me, the last hit new wave song was 'I Beg Your Pardon' by Kon Kan, but the first? To try and name that would be chasing shadows, there's no definitive start point.
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Re: What is the first New Wave song?

Postby bigarbel » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:12 pm

A better question would be: "What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

I believe it is a personal opinion as it is really with all music genres.

For me it is very clear: New Wave started with Cars by Gary Numan.
When I first heard it is was so different than anything else I heard up to then and all music I liked after that became more electronic
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Re: "What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

Postby Chuck50 » Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:13 pm

"A better question would be: "What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

"I believe it is a personal opinion as it is really with all music genres."

Thank you. This is what I was after. I wanted people's personal opinion of what they thought, not the "academic" answer.
I guess I worded it wrongly.


"What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

My vote goes to Talking Heads - Psycho Killer - 1977
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Re: "What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

Postby schwenko » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:03 am

just randomly came across this from Wikipedia and thought I would post it:

""Hiroshima Mon Amour", featured the saxophone playing of C.C. from the band Gloria Mundi, and includes the Roland TR-77 drum machine working a modified bossa-nova preset by drummer Warren Cann, and foreshadowed the music both John Foxx and Ultravox were to make later, apart. In 2012, in an interview with peek-a-boo magazine, John Foxx agreed to say that it was the first synthpop/new-wave song in rock history: "I think no one else had done a song like that before", he said."

released 1977
Sugoi !!!
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Re: "What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

Postby bpdp3 » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:57 pm

It’s Halloween night and I’m watching ‘rocky horror picture show’. 1975. While I wouldn’t call ‘the time warp’ a new wave song, the people performing the dance in the movie sure look like early new wave to me. And it’s 1975!

And Tim curry singing ‘sweet transvestite’?? That’s just setting the table on so many levels...!
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Re: "What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

Postby NuWavo80s » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:02 pm

I would agree with schwenko about Ultravox
but I would have to say 'My Sex' is the first New Wave song.
It was recorded in 1976 and released in early 1977 before Hiroshima Mon Amour

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUWdqBt ... nnel=stotn

I always considered Ultravox to be the first real New Wave band.
My Sex is on the first release, "Ultravox!"
Which is a mixed bag of Glam Rock, Reggae, and Punk.
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Re: "What do you consider to be the first new wave song?"

Postby Passing_Stranger » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:00 am

Wow, so I'm not the only one who sees Ultravox as the first new wave band? Interesting! :D
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