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Is there a difference between Punk and New Wave

Discussion in 'Music' started by davidmahler, Aug 8, 2009.
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  1. grawk
    I think, in terms of american punk, it's easy:

    X is punk
    Blondie is New Wave

    Similar in concept, but the devil's in the details.

    Punk is, was, and ever shall be in the attitude...
  2. Andrew Jones

    Originally Posted by bong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I always thought of it this way:

    First came Punk (Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones, Siouxise and the Banshees, The Jam)...

    then came New Wave, which was a result/reaction to punk (Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Blondie, B-52's, Pretenders)...

    then came everything else that was inspired by either or both Punk and New Wave, with so many varying styles that people just lumped them into New Wave. Styles such as:
    Post-Punk (Wire, Magazine, Gang of Four, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, Public Image Ltd., Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Simple Minds, Cocteau Twins)
    Synth-pop (Depeche Mode, The Human League, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Tubeway Army/Gary Numan, Soft Cell)
    New Romantics (Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Adam and the Ants, Visage, Culture Club).

    Contrary to belief, there is a very strict boundary and huge difference between Synth-Pop and New Romantics. Synth-Pop was all about musical aesthetics and artistic exploration, with synths and keyboards obviously taking the forefront.

    New Romantics on the other hand, did not require synths as a prerequisite, some New Romantics just happened to use synths. If you compare the sounds of Duran Duran with Adam and the Ants and Culture Club, all three bands sound entirely different. What held these bands to the term New Romantics was more of a style/visual aesthetic, with elaborate costumes, cosmetics, and avant-garde fashion... to the point where it was about escapism, hence being "Romantic." Of course, it had nothing to do with being "romantic" in a sense of mushy kind of love.

    If you take a look at early Depeche Mode and OMD promo photos, you will notice they had no fashion sense whatsoever (Dave Gahan in plaid shirts! Andy McCluskey in woolen jumpers/sweaters!), hence they were NOT New Romantics. Pre-co-ed Human League and Gary Numan used costumes as an artistic expression, not fashion/escapism. Perhaps co-ed Human League can be described as New Romantics, but their fashion sense was originally branched out from the graphic design of their record sleeves. Depeche Mode later used leather and S&M stuff to coordinate with the music aesthetic of their subject matter, not as a "New Romantic" fashion thing. Same with Gary Numan with his various aesthetic changes.

    OK, I'm done! [​IMG]

    That's how I remember it. With hind-sight a lot of bands hitched themselves to the punk band-wagon, simply to get some coverage in Sounds and NME which were punk / new wave obsessed from about 1976 to 1979. For example, how on earth were The Jam ever thought of as "punk", sharps suits and all? At the time punk rock felt quite innovative and powerful, looking back now, the '70s punk fits into 2 categories: utter garbage (e.g. UK Subs, Sham 69) and timeless pop tunes (e.g. Buzzcocks and the better Sex Pistols songs).
  3. IEM hunter

    No there is not a difference.
    Punk started in NYC in the Lower East Side [soure: Legs Mcneil & Gillian McCain, Please Kill Me, you know, the people who started the magazine Punk was names after].
    When Sire Records started signing bands Seymour Stein, the Chairman of Sire, thought the name Punk would hurt sales. So they started a Don't Call It Punk" campaign, with the goal to rename the genre "New Wave."
    So punk bands like Blondie and Television were packaged as New Wave and posers like the Sex Pistols (a boy band conceived after a show in the UK of the NYC LES Punk bands) took on the title of Punk.
    The only LES band of that era that is not Punk is Talking Heads, because everyone hated David Byrne—justly or not.
    Punk started out much earlier then New Wave music. Iggy Pop, The Stooges, the MC5 and others in Detroit all began in the early 60's playing music that became the Punk rock style.
    New Wave Music began as a love child of Glam rock, Prog rock and Punk rock on the mid 70's. The Cars, Simple Minds, The Buggles, Blondie, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode and many others were all early New Wave bands. Techno is another musical genre that has it's origins in Detroit in the 60's and early 70's.
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