Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
New Romantic was a New Wave music subgenre and fashion movement that occurred primarily in the United Kingdom during the early 1980s. Its genesis took place largely through clubs such as Billy's in Great Queen Street, London, England, which ran Bowie and Roxy Music nights in the post-punk aftermath, evolving into the highly successful and elitist Blitz Club , which featured Steve Strange as doorman and Boy George as cloakroom attendant. The club spawned a hundred suburban spin-offs in and around London, among which were Croc's in Rayleigh, Essex, and The Regency in Chadwell Heath, where both Depeche Mode and Culture Club had their debut gigs as fledgling bands.
The New Romantic phenomenon was similar to that of glam rock during the early 1970s, in that (male) New Romantics dressed in effeminate clothing, often with frilly "fop" shirts, and wore cosmetics. David Bowie was an obvious influence, and his 1980 single "Fashion" could be considered an anthem for the New Romantics. However as with many art-school based youth movements, by the time this 'anthem' was pronounced, the movement itself had been seized upon by commercial forces, and watered-down versions were being cheaply reproduced for the High Street.
The main difference from glam, however, was that instead of guitar rock, the music was largely synthesizer-based electropop music. There was also discernable difference in emphasis and mood, from the frenzied screeching of Slade roaring "Coz I Luv You" to the more ethereal langour of Visage and their "Fade to Grey".
New Romantic music has recently been revived as part of the EBM and cyber-goth movement, which both plays New Romantic tracks and takes them as influence in new styles. For example, Marilyn Manson includes covers of several New Romantic songs on his 'best of' album.
A list of New Romantic performers
- A Flock Of Seagulls
- Après Demain (Finland)
- Classix Nouveaux
- Culture Club
- Duran Duran
- Human League
- Modern English
- Naked Eyes
- Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
- Simple Minds
- Soft Cell
- Spandau Ballet
- Strange Advance
- Talk Talk
- Tears for Fears
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