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Underrated & obscure 80s music

Created by saturnine on 26 Nov 2022 | Last edited by saturnine on 26 Jan 2023
Underrated & obscure 80s music

A list of underrated, underground, obscure or forgotten 80s/early 90s bands that didn't really get the recognition they should have gotten.

Genres: post-punk, coldwave, darkwave, gothic rock, synthpop and minimal wave. I grouped them by countries and included a link to their best album (in my opinion) for each. But quite often they only released one album, or sometimes just demos.

Unfortunately I can only add bands for which lyrics are available... For even more obscure bands, I highly recommend these YouTube channels: In Depth Music (full albums/EPs from all over the world) and Dronemf S. (songs and music videos mostly from ex-Yugoslavia).

I have to say that the levels of "obscurity" are quite varied. Sometimes the bands are actually kinda known and you can find their music on streaming services, while sometimes they're so obscure that you can't even find a picture of them... Just tell me if you think that some bands are too "famous" to be on that list, sometimes it's hard for me to tell because I wasn't even born then or I didn't live in these countries.)

Probably the most obscure band ever! This song is what originally got me into obscure 80s music. It was recorded from the radio in the early 80s by a German teen, who unfortunately didn't hear the name of the band. He's been searching for info about it for the past 20 years...

Song language:  English

Translations:  French

2. Asylum Party Artist

Recommended album: Borderline (1989)

(a personal favorite of mine)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave, Rock

Languages:  English, French

Popular songs:  La nuitLa tourmenteJulia

3. Opéra de Nuit Artist

Recommended album: Opéra de Nuit (1988)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave, Rock

Language:  French

Popular songs:  PossessionAmi ! Amant !Annabella

4. Trop Tard Artist

Recommended album: Photodrame (1987)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Languages:  French, Spanish, English, German

5. Excès Nocturne Artist

Recommended album: Excès Nocturne (1988)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Language:  French

6. Message Artist

Recommended album: Full Discography (1984-1990)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave, Rock

Language:  French

Popular songs:  Dernière NuitCendres Et Larmes

7. Guardian Bird Artist

Recommended album: La Poupée (1991)

Country:  France

Genre:  Rock

Language:  French

Popular song:  La Poupée

8. Gestalt Artist

Recommended album: Le Sommeil du Singe (1988)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Languages:  French, English, Latin

9. Bunker Strasse Artist

Recommended album: Bunker (1987)

Country:  France

Genres:  New Wave, Punk, Rock

Language:  French

Popular song:  Folie Démence

10. Guerre Froide Artist

Recommended album: Guerre Froide (1981)

Country:  France

Genres:  New Wave, Punk, Rock

Languages:  French, English, German

Popular songs:  Demain BerlinL'espérancePeine Perdue

11. Opera Multi Steel Artist

Recommended album: Cathédrale (1985)

Country:  France

Genres:  Electronica, Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave

Language:  French

12. End Of Data Artist

Recommended album: Dans Votre Monde (1985)

Country:  France

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  French

Popular song:  Dans Votre Monde

13. Martin Dupont Artist

Recommended album: Hot Paradox (1987)

Country:  France

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave

Languages:  English, French

14. Deux (France) Artist

Recommended album: Decadence (1982-1985)

Country:  France

Genres:  Electronica, Electropop, New Wave

Languages:  French, English, Italian

Popular songs:  FelicitaDecadenceLe Couloir

15. Ruth Artist

Recommended album: Polaroïd/Roman/Photo (1985)

Country:  France

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave, Pop

Languages:  French, English

Popular songs:  Polaroïd / Roman-PhotoMotsMabelle

16. Moderne Artist

Recommended album: Moderne / L'Espionne Aimait La Musique (1980-1981)

Country:  France

Genres:  Electronica, Electropop, New Wave

Language:  French

Popular songs:  IndicatifMercenaire SolitaireDilemma

17. Oto Artist

Recommended song: Anyway (1984)

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  France

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave

Language:  English

Popular song:  Anyway

18. Coldreams Artist

Recommended album: Don't Cry : Complete Recordings (1984-1986)

Country:  France

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  English

Popular songs:  Morning RainEyes

19. 7ème Discours Artist

Recommended album: 7ème Discours Pour Une Meilleure Existence (1987)

Country:  France

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave

Language:  French

20. Trisomie 21 Artist

Recommended album: Le Repos Des Enfants Heureux (1983)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Language:  English

Recommended album: Un automne à Loroy (1989)

Country:  France

Genre:  Gothic/Darkwave

Languages:  French, English

22. Neutral Project Artist

Recommended album: Temps D'Espérance... (1991)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave, Rock

Language:  French

Popular song:  Révolte De L'Amour

23. Lucie Cries Artist

Recommended album: Res Non Verba (1993)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Language:  French

24. Sombre Septembre Artist

Recommended album: Le Nez Rouge (1989)

Country:  France

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  French

25. Little Nemo Artist

Recommended album: Past and Future (1987)

Country:  France

Genres:  Pop, Rock

Languages:  English, French

26. Mary Goes Round Artist

Recommended album: 70 Suns In The Sky (1989)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

Popular songs:  On the seaMary's Garden

27. Complot Bronswick Artist

Recommended album: Maïakowski (1984)

Country:  France

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Languages:  French, English

28. Berlin 38 Artist

Recommended album: 1978 / 1981

Country:  France

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Languages:  English, French

Popular song:  Just A Day

29. Smirnov Artist

Recommended album: Vingt ans encore (1987)

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  French

Popular songs:  Charlotte GageSuzy

Recommended album: On The Razor Edge (1988)

Country:  France

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Language:  English

31. The Names Artist

Recommended album: Swimming (1982)

Country:  Belgium

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

32. Siglo XX Artist

Recommended album: Siglo XX (1981)

Country:  Belgium

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Punk, Rock

Language:  English

Popular songs:  FutureIndividualityObsession

33. De Brassers Artist

Recommended album: 1979-1982

Country:  Belgium

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  Dutch

Popular song:  Twijfels

34. Phantom Limb Artist

Recommended album: Dance Of The Guility (1982)

Country:  Belgium

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

35. Dole Artist

Recommended album: The Speed Of Hope (1986)

Country:  Belgium

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

Popular songs:  SlumberlandRumroad

36. Red Zebra Artist

Recommended album: The Art of Conservation (1980-2002)

Country:  Belgium

Genres:  Punk, Rock

Language:  English

37. Deafear Artist

Recommended album: The Waiting (1984)

Country:  Italy

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

Popular songs:  The WaitingFear of TearsDeath Bizarre

38. Polansky y el Ardor Artist

Recommended album: Chantaje Emocional (1983)

Country:  Spain

Genres:  New Wave, Punk, Rock

Language:  Spanish

39. Décima Víctima Artist

Recommended album: Décima Víctima + Un Hombre Solo (1982-1984)

Country:  Spain

Genre:  Gothic/Darkwave

Language:  Spanish

41. Funeraria Vergara Artist

Recommended album: Después De Un Día Antes (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  Spain

Genre:  Gothic/Darkwave

Language:  Spanish

Popular song:  El trébol de los mares

42. Derribos Arias Artist

Recommended album: La Centralita De Información (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  Spain

Genres:  Alternative, Psychedelic

Languages:  Spanish, German

Popular songs:  EuropaTupés en crecimientoA flúor

43. The Fynecry Artist

Recommended album: It's Not The Time (1986)

Country:  Germany

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  English

Popular song:  It's Not The Time

44. Naftha's Preview Artist

Recommended album: Money For New Food (1986)

Country:  Netherlands

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  English

45. 3D (A Fish in Sea) Artist

Recommended song: Some Die For Money (1982)

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  English

46. The Sinking Ships Artist

Recommended album: The Cinema Clock and Other Stories (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  New Wave, Punk, Rock

Language:  English

47. Modern Eon Artist

Recommended album: Fiction Tales (1981)

(a personal favorite of mine)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  New Wave, Punk, Rock

Language:  English

Popular song:  Child's Play

48. Scars Artist

Recommended album: Author! Author! (1981)

(also a personal favorite of mine)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  New Wave, Punk, Rock

Language:  English

49. Positive Noise Artist

Recommended album: Heart Of Darkness (1981)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

Popular song:  Ghosts

50. Flowers For Agatha Artist

Recommended album: The Freedom Curse (1985)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

51. Lack Of Knowledge Artist

Recommended album: Sirens Are Back (1984)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  Punk, Rock

Language:  English

52. Second Layer Artist

Recommended album: World Of Rubber (1981)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  Electronica, Rock

Language:  English

Popular song:  Black Flowers

53. Das Kabinette Artist

Recommended album: Spy Thriller (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave

Language:  English

54. Schleimer K Artist

Recommended album: Schleimer K (1981)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  Electronica, Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave

Language:  English

Popular song:  Cold Sounds

55. The Opposition Artist

Recommended album: Breaking the Silence (1981)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

56. Music For Pleasure Artist

Recommended album: Into the Rain (1982)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  English

Popular song:  Light

57. Original Mirrors Artist

Recommended album: Original Mirrors (1980)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  English

Recommended album: New Mexico (1982)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genre:  Electronica

Language:  English

Popular songs:  The Devil's DancersCold WarScience

59. Solid Space Artist

Recommended album: Space Museum (1982)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genre:  Electronica

Language:  English

60. Turquoise Days Artist

Recommended album: Further Strategies (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  United Kingdom

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave, Pop

Language:  English

Popular songs:  Grey SkiesBlurred

61. Screaming for Emily Artist

Recommended album: Scriptures (1987)

Country:  United States

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

Popular songs:  The LoveLast GoodbyeAnother Girl

62. For Against Artist

Recommended album: Echelons (1987)

Country:  United States

Genres:  Alternative, Rock

Language:  English

Popular songs:  EchelonsStranded In Greenland

63. Eleven Pond Artist

Recommended album: Bas Relief (1986)

Country:  United States

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave

Language:  English

Popular songs:  PortugalWatching TreesLand Of Yellow

64. Middle Class Artist

Recommended album: Homeland (1982)

(This band is a bit peculiar, because they started as one of the very first US hardcore punk bands, then later moved on to post-punk. I only include them here because their post-punk album is a real masterpiece)

Country:  United States

Genre:  Punk

Language:  English

65. My Dad is Dead Artist

Recommended album: Peace, Love & Murder (1987)

Country:  United States

Genres:  Indie, Punk

Language:  English

Popular songs:  Nothing specialLike A Vise

66. Your Funeral Artist

Recommended album: I Want To Be You (1982)

Country:  United States

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Language:  English

Popular songs:  I Want To Be YouFinal Abyss

67. Sixtieth Parallel Artist

Recommended album: Into Bliss (1988)

Country:  United States

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

Popular songs:  Like DustOne DayInto Bliss

68. Controlled Bleeding Artist

Recommended album: The Fodder Song (1989)

Country:  United States

Genre:  Industrial

Language:  English

Popular song:  Words of the Dying

69. Dobri Isak Artist

Recommended album: Mi plačemo iza tamnih naočara (1986)

Country:  Serbia

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Languages:  Serbian, English

70. Psihokratija Artist

Recommended album: Album Mentalnih Fotografija (1988)

Country:  Serbia

Genres:  Electronica, Gothic/Darkwave

Languages:  Serbian, English

Popular songs:  Ponoćni HodU toplini tameStormy Day

71. Trivalia Artist

Recommended album: Telo I Duša (1990)

Country:  Serbia

Genre:  Gothic/Darkwave

Languages:  Serbian, Old Church Slavonic, English

72. Morbidi I Mnoći Artist

Recommended album: Remastered In Babylon (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  Serbia

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Language:  Serbian

73. Luna (NS) Artist

Recommended album: Nestvarne Stvari (1984)

Country:  Serbia

Genre:  Alternative

Language:  Serbian

Popular songs:  OkeanAmazonBalader na prozoru

74. Defektno Efektni Artist

Recommended album: Izdrži Udarac (1981)

Country:  Serbia

Genres:  New Wave, Punk

Language:  Serbian

Popular songs:  DA

75. Bukowski Band Artist

Recommended song: Tužan dan & Fotografije (instrumental cover of Depeche Mode's Photographic) (1985)

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  Serbia

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave

Language:  Serbian

Popular song:  Tužan dan

76. Max & Intro Artist

Recommended album: We Design the Future (1985)

Country:  Serbia

Genres:  Electropop, New Wave

Language:  Serbian

77. La Card Artist

Recommended album: Zbogom Za Tebe (1984)

Country:  Serbia

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  Serbian

78. Romantične Boje Artist

Recommended album: Demo (1986)

Country:  Serbia

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  Serbian

Popular songs:  SanJesenje MagleOn te voli

79. PPP Artist

Recommended album: Intro (1990)

Country:  Serbia

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave

Language:  Serbian

Popular song:  Oči I

Recommended album: Nezaboravan San O (1989)

(a personal favorite of mine)

Country:  Croatia

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Languages:  Croatian, English

81. Boykot Fur Artist

Recommended song: Kuće (1982)

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  Croatia

Genres:  Punk, Rock

Language:  Croatian

Popular song:  Kuće

82. Nemesis (Croatia) Artist

Recommended song: Stranger (1980)

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  Croatia

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  English

Popular song:  Stranger

83. Tužne Uši Artist

Recommended album: Demo (1982-1987)

Country:  Croatia

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  Croatian

Popular songs:  Nestvarne stvariBijegTrebam te

84. Brazil (Croatia) Artist

Recommended songs: Tvoj Svijet (cover of Tears for Fears' Mad World) & Gdje Nema Te

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  Croatia

Genres:  Electronica, New Wave

Language:  Croatian

Popular song:  Gdje Nema Te

85. Mrtvi Kanal Artist

Recommended album: Prošlost I Budućnost (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  Croatia

Genres:  New Wave, Punk, Rock

Language:  Croatian

Popular songs:  DijagnozaČovjek strojMenza

86. Kaos (Croatia) Artist

Recommended album: Kaos Kuća Na Vrata (1982)

Country:  Croatia

Genres:  Alternative, Punk

Language:  Croatian

Popular song:  Uzbuna

Recommended album: Pingvinovo Potpalublje (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  Croatia

Genres:  Punk, Rock

Language:  Croatian

Popular songs:  StrahMali KraljOna Je Uvijek Bila Tu

88. Pauk Artist

Recommended album: Mumije Lažu (1983)

Country:  Bosnia and Herzegovina

Genres:  New Wave, Rock

Language:  Bosnian

89. Demolition Group Artist

Recommended album: Mizerika (1986)

(this is the tape version of the album, that I prefer compared to the later vinyl version which is actually a different recording)

Country:  Slovenia

Genre:  Electronica

Languages:  Slovenian, Croatian

Popular songs:  DežJapanci rade za nasMesečina

90. Bojler Artist

Recommended album: Demo (1986-1987)

Country:  Slovenia

Genre:  Rock

Language:  Slovenian

Popular song:  Uspavanka

91. Miha & Milan Artist

Recommended song: Moja Sled (1984)

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  Slovenia

Genre:  Electronica

Language:  Slovenian

Popular song:  Moja Sled

92. Padot Na Vizantija Artist

Recommended songs: Sepak Istata Sostojba & Početok I Kraj (1985)

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  Macedonia

Genres:  Gothic/Darkwave, Rock

Language:  Macedonian

93. Naumahija Artist

Recommended songs: Spokoj & Utre (1988)

(No full record available, unfortunately)

Country:  Macedonia

Genres:  Electronica, Gothic/Darkwave

Language:  Macedonian

94. Statues in Motion Artist

Recommended album: Statues in Motion (1983)

Country:  Greece

Genre:  New Wave

Language:  English

95. Bioconstructor Artist

Recommended album: Dancing by video (Compilation of their 80s songs)

Country:  Russia

Genres:  Electropop, Indie, New Wave

Language:  Russian

Comments
saturninesaturnine    Sun, 27/11/2022 - 09:22

Less obscure but definitely underrated bands that deserve all the praise in the world:

saturninesaturnine    Sun, 08/01/2023 - 14:38

Thanks a lot! I added them to the list Regular smile