NEW POP was a British-centric pop music movement consisting of
ambitious, DIY -minded artists who achieved commercial success in the
early 1980s through sources such as
MTV . Rooted in the post-punk
movement of the late 1970s, the movement spanned a wide variety of
styles and artists, including acts such as
The Human League
The Human League and ABC .
"NEW MUSIC" is a roughly equivalent but slightly more expansive
umbrella term used by the music industry and by American music
journalists during the 1980s to characterize the "new" movements like
New Pop and
New Romanticism . New Music was a pop music and cultural
phenomenon in the US associated with the
Second British Invasion .
* 1 Characteristics
* 2 Etymology
* 3 History
* 4 Criticism and decline
* 5 References
* 6 Bibliography
* 7 Further reading
New Pop artists created music that sweetened less commercial and
experimental aspects with a pop coating.
Entryism became a popular
concept for groups at the time. New Music acts were danceable, had an
androgynous look, emphasized the synthesizer and drum machines , wrote
about the darker side of romance, and were British . They rediscovered
Motown , ska , reggae and merged it with African rhythms
to produce what was described as a "fertile, stylistic
Simon Reynolds noted that the New Pop
movement "involved a conscious and brave attempt to bridge the
separation between \'progressive\' pop and mass/chart pop – a divide
which has existed since 1967, and is also, broadly, one between boys
and girls, middle-class and working-class."
The term "New Music" or "New Pop" was used loosely to describe
synthpop groups such as the
Human League , soul-disco acts such as ABC
, new wave acts such as
Elvis Costello and the Pretenders , jangle
pop bands such as Orange Juice , and American
MTV stars such as
Michael Jackson .
Stephen Holden of the
New York Times wrote at the
time that New Music was more about its practitioners than their sound.
Teenage girls and males that had grown tired of traditional "phallic"
guitar driven rock embraced New Music. New Music was a singles
oriented (both 7 inch and the then new 12 inch) phenomenon, reverting
the 1970s rock music album orientation .
During the late 1970s, "New Musick" was one of the labels that was
applied to certain post-punk groups. The term "post-punk" was also
deployed interchangeably with "new wave". In the New Rolling Stone
Encyclopedia of Rock (2001), "new wave" is described as a "virtually
meaningless" term. By the early 1980s, British journalists had
largely abandoned "new wave" in favor of other terms such as
"synthpop", and in 1983, the term of choice for the US music industry
had become "new music".
New Musical Express writer
Paul Morley (left), a
pivotal figure in
In the wake of the punk rock explosion of the late 1970s, the new
wave and post-punk genres emerged, informed by a desire for
experimentation, creativity and forward movement. Music journalist
Paul Morley , whose writing in British music magazine the NME
championed the post-punk movement in late 1970s, has been credited as
an influential voice in the development of
New Pop following the
dissipation of post-punk, advocating "overground brightness" over
underground sensibilities. Around this time, the term "rockist "
would gain popularity to disparagingly describe music that privileged
traditionalist rock styles. According to Pitchfork 's Jess Harvel:
"If new pop had an architect, it was
Paul Morley ."
As the 1980s began, a number of musicians desired to broaden these
movements to reach a more mainstream audience. In 1980, the New Music
Seminar made its debut. It was designed to help young new wave artists
gain entrance into the American music industry. The event grew rapidly
in popularity and encouraged the shift away from the use of "new wave"
to "New Music" in the United States. A similar shift occurred in
Great Britain where "new wave" was replaced with "
New Romantic " and
"New Pop". Unlike in Great Britain, attempts prior to 1982 to bring
new wave and the music video to American audiences had brought mixed
results. During 1982, New Music acts began to appear on the charts in
the United States, and clubs there that played them were packed. "I
hated the phrase 'new wave'. It sounded too trendy and could be gone
in a year" —Dennis McNamara, program director who oversaw Long
Island, New York radio station
WLIR 's 1982 change to a New Music
In reaction to New Music, album-oriented rock radio stations doubled
the amount of new acts they played and the format "Hot Hits" emerged.
By 1983, in a year when half of the new artists came out of New
Music, acts such as
Duran Duran ,
Culture Club and
Men at Work
Men at Work were
dominating the charts and creating an alternate music and cultural
Annie Lennox and
Boy George were the two figures most
associated with New Music.
CRITICISM AND DECLINE
New Pop emerged from both supporters of traditional rock
and newer experimental rock. These critics looked at
New Pop as pro
corporate at expense of rock music's anti-authoritarian tradition.
Critics believed New Pop's embrace of synths and videos were ways of
covering in many cases lack of talent. The heavy metal magazine Hit
Parader regularly used the homophobic slur "faggot " to describe New
Music musicians. The 1985
Dire Straits song "Money for Nothing ",
which hit number 1 in the United States, contained the line "The
little faggot with the earring and the make-up" and used the term
"faggot" several other times. The lyrics were taken verbatim from the
language of a New York appliance store worker whom lead singer Mark
Knopfler had observed watching MTV. Assistant
professor/author/musician Theo Cateforis stated these are examples of
homophobia used in the defense of "real rock" against new music.
Richard Blade , a disc jockey at Los Angeles radio station
speaking of the late 1980s said, "You felt there was a winding-down of
Thomas Dolby 's album had bombed, Duran had gone through a
series of breakups,
The Smiths had broken up,
Spandau Ballet had gone
away, and people were just shaking their heads going, 'What happened
to all this new music?' ". Theo Cateforis contends that the New Music
evolved into modern rock that while different, retained New Music's
uptempo feel and still came from the rock disco/club scene.
* ^ A B C Reynolds 2006 , p. 398.
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J K Harvel, Jess. "Now That\'s What I Call
Pitchfork Media . 12 September 2005.
* ^ Reynolds 2005 , p. 338.
* ^ Cateforis 2011 , pp. 12, 56.
* ^ A B C D E Triumph of the New
Newsweek on Campus reprinted by
Michigan Daily March 2, 1984
* ^ A B C Tarnished gold: the record industry revisited" Von R.
Serge Denisoff, William L. Schurk, p. 441
* ^ A B C D E Reynolds 2005 .
* ^ Cateforis 2011 , pp. 56–57.
* ^ Cateforis 2011 , p. 26.
* ^ Jackson, Josh (8 September 2016). "The 50 Best New Wave
Albums". Paste .
* ^ Cateforis 2011 , p. 11.
* ^ Cateforis 2011 , p. 254.
* ^ Cateforis 2011 , p. 56
* ^ Cateforis pp. 43-44
* ^ The Death of New Wave Theo Canteforis Syracuse University 2009
* ^ WLIR, Denis McNamara ushered a wave of new music,
November 13, 2010
* ^ Cateforis p. 57
* ^ CANADIAN BROADCAST STANDARDS COUNCIL,ad hoc NATIONAL
PANEL,Review of the Atlantic Regional Panel decision in CHOZ-FM re the
song "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits
* ^ Cateforis p. 233 reference number 28
* ^ KROQ: An Oral History
* ^ Cateforis pp. 65-67
* Cateforis, Theo (2011). Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the
Turn of the 1980s. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-03470-7 .
* Reynolds, Simon (2005). Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk
1978-1984. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-303672-2 .
* Reynolds, Simon (2006), "
New Pop and its Aftermath", On Record:
Rock, Pop and the Written Word, Routledge, ISBN 978-1-134-93951-0
* Rimmer, Dave. Like Punk Never Happened:
Culture Club and the New
Pop. Faber and Faber, 2011, ISBN 978-0571280261 .
New wave music
* 2 Tone
New wave of new wave
* New Pop
Synthwave (1980s genre)
* France (Cold wave)
* Germany (Neue Deutsche Welle)
* Spain (La Movida Madrileña)
New Wave Theatre
Second British Invasion
BY STYLE AND SUBGENRE