Here’s a question that may not have an answer: What should be considered the first New Wave song?
First, we have to decide on a concrete definition of “New Wave”, which may be impossible…is it choppy, poppy, angular guitar-based post-punk? Is it mostly synth-based? Is it fashion-based? Is it the generic term Sire Records’ Seymour Stein applied to all of his late-70s CBGBs signings to make them more palatable to radio programmers? The only possible definition of New Wave I can come up with is “I know it when I hear it,” and that’s far from scientific.
That won’t stop me from trying to answer the question, though. And it shouldn’t stop you, either. Let’s tackle it. What do you think should be considered the first New Wave song?
I’m going with Sparks’ “In The Future” from “Indiscreet”, released in 1975. One listen and you might agree – all the elements are there. The keyboards, the forward-looking, off-kilter lyrics, the chopping post-punk beat (funny, considering punk was in its most nascent form at the time).
Let’s hear your suggestions.