New Wave

Although punk rock was a significant social and musical phenomenon, it achieved less in the way of record sales (being distributed by small specialty labels such as Stiff Records), or American radio airplay (as the radio scene continued to be dominated by mainstream formats such as disco and album-oriented rock). Punk rock had attracted devotees from the art and collegiate world and soon bands sporting a more literate, arty approach, such as Talking Heads, and Devo began to infiltrate the punk scene; in some quarters the description "New Wave" began to be used to differentiate these less overtly punk bands. Record executives, who had been mostly mystified by the punk movement, recognized the potential of the more accessible New Wave acts and began aggressively signing and marketing any band that could claim a remote connection to punk or New Wave. Many of these bands, such as The Cars, and The Go-Go's can be seen as pop bands marketed as New Wave; other existing acts, including The Police, The Pretenders and Elvis Costello, used the New Wave movement as the springboard for relatively long and critically successful careers, while "skinny tie" bands exemplified by The Knack, or the photogenic Blondie, began as punk acts and moved into more commercial territory.

Between 1982 and 1985, influenced by Kraftwerk, David Bowie, and Gary Numan, British New Wave went in the direction of such New Romantics as Spandau Ballet, Ultravox, Duran Duran, A Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, Talk Talk and the Eurythmics, sometimes using the synthesizer to replace all other instruments. This period coincided with the rise of MTV and led to a great deal of exposure for this brand of synthpop, creating what has been characterised as a second British Invasion. Some more traditional rock bands adapted to the video age and profited from MTV's airplay, most obviously Dire Straits', whose "Money for Nothing" gently poked fun at the station, despite the fact that it had helped make them international stars, but in general guitar-oriented rock was commercially eclipsed.

From Wikipedia

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