117 artists, 3472 songs
The term "new wave" was coined in the late 1970s to describe music that was too pop to be punk but too raw to be pop. Early new wave artists like Elvis Costello, the Pretenders and the Police individually enjoyed greater commercial success than all the punk bands combined at that time and also received considerable critical acclaim. Many new wave bands like Depeche Mode, the Human League and Duran Duran employed the new sounds of the synthesizer to great effect on danceable singles filled with pop hooks. Female bands like the Go-Go's and racially mixed bands like the Specials symbolized a new, hopeful era of tolerance and optimism, and even former punk rocker Billy Idol stopped griping and started dancing (with himself).