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Suggestions for danceable new wave '80s songs?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by DLM, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. DLM


    May 25, 2004
    My band has been asked to learn some of the more popular '80s New Wave dance songs and while I can think of a dozen while I'm driving in my car, I can't think of even one when I'm at my computer, so I'm hoping you can help.

    We have guitar, drums, bass, keys and one sax player. Given our instrumentation, which songs would you recommend? I'd like to stick with songs that are more conventional instrument-related as opposed to sequenced keys (i.e., Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, etc.), so song suggestions that use a real bass and drum kit would be appreciated!

    Thanks for your help!
  2. You guys play any Police? If not, most of their stuff is very danceable.

    If you guys had a bigger horn section, I would recommend some ska. Half of the ska Experience is dancing to it.
  3. Lived thru the whole scene...still not sure what qualified as "New Wave", except...came from England?

    "When Smokey Sings" ABC (or any ABC song)
    "Love Plus One" Haircut 100
    "Who Can It Be Now" Men At Work
    "Our House" Madness
    "Would I Lie to You?" Eurythmics
  4. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Who Can It Be Now? - Men At Work
    Whip it - Devo
    My Best Friend's Girl, Just What I Needed, Magic, You
    Might Think - The Cars

    Not quite new wave but from same era and can utilize the sax

    I Want A New Drug, The Heart Of Rock & Roll - Huey Lewis & The News
    Freeze Frame, Centerfold - The J. Geils Band
  5. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI

    No Sax, but I LOVE this tune!
  6. "Rio" by Duran Duran has some sax in it

    You say not Soft Cell, but the original 1964 northern soul version of "Tainted Love" by Gloria Jones would easily be doable by a band of your configuration, while being recognizable to fans of the hit 1981 cover version
  7. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Rio (...my daughter's name :)) - Duran Duran

    I'll Stop the World and Melt With You - Modern English

    Anything - Dramarama

    Tempted - Squeeze

    Don't Dream it's Over - Crowded House

    Our House - Madness

    Come on Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners

    I Ran - Flock of Seagulls

    Turning Japanese - The Vapors

    Come Dancing - The Kinks

    Land Down Under - Men at Work

    Tide is High - Blondie

    Ghost Town - The Specials

    Big Country - Big Country

    Let's Go To Bed - The Cure

    Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo

    and on and on and on...

    EDIT for more:

    Safety Dance - Men Without Hats

    Whisper to a Scream - Icicle Works

    Electric Avenue - Eddie Grant

    Understanding Jane - The Smithereens

    How Soon is Now - The Smiths
  8. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    Rip it up - orange juice
  9. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I don't know that I'd call all of these "New Wave", per se, but I doubt if anyone would take you to task over it. Some 80s songs that might work:

    "One Thing Leads To Another" by The Fixx
    "Promises" by Naked Eyes
    "Flesh For Fantasy" by Billy Idol
    "Church Of The Poison Mind" by Culture Club
    "Pale Shelter" by Tears For Fears
    "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals
    "Pull Up To The Bumper" by Grace Jones
    "Need You Tonight" by INXS
    "Steppin' Out" by Joe Jackson
    "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds
    "It's My Life" by Talk Talk
    "Dance Hall Days" by Wang Chung
  10. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    INXS - What You Need has lots of sax in it
  11. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" - Wang Chung
    "Day After Day" - Thomson Twins

    edit: Thought of two more

    "Sledgehammer" - Peter Gabriel
    "Never Say Never" - Romeo Void
  12. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    One Way or Another --Blondie. Even with a male singer, it will usually fill the dance floor.
  13. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Some good numbers in that category to make your sax player earn his/her keep:

    David Bowie - Modern Love
    Roxy Music - Love Is The Drug (okay, this was earlier, but way ahead of its time and always goes down well as a dance number)
    Style Council - My Ever Changing Moods
    Linx - So This Is Romance
    Curiosity Killed The Cat - Down To Earth (great song, this one)
    Teardrop Explodes - Reward (really needs brass, but it can be done with a single sax and it drives most crowds nuts)
  14. Rebmo


    Aug 19, 2006
    Haircut 100, I think the CD is pelican west. Songs - Boy meets Girl, Fantastic Day. + more Really great stuff.
  15. DLM


    May 25, 2004
    All, thanks for the great suggestions. You've provided a good foundation for me to talk to my bandmates.

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