20 ultra rare Synth Pop and Dark Wave tunes

20 ultra rare Synth Pop and Dark Wave tunes

Discover ultra rare Synth Pop and genre related music videos now

It’s finally that time again. My YouTube playlist with the next ultra rare Synth Pop and Dark Wave music videos is once again full to bursting and I don’t want to keep them from you any longer. Thanks to some submissions from loyal Electrozombies visitors, the list filled up a little faster this time. While it took 3 1/2 years between the article ‘20 lost and forgotten Synth Pop treasures‘ and ‘Discover 20 lost gems of 80’s Synth Pop and Dark Wave‘, only about 1 1/2 years have passed since the last article. So it’s worth taking an active part in the process!

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1. Jennifer Rush – Destiny

Jennifer Rush - DestinyJennifer Rush is without a doubt an 80s icon. Despite her numerous albums and millions of records sold, she has unfortunately never reached the status of Madonna, Kim Wilde or Cyndi Lauper. At least she hardly ever appears in any “80s best of” lists. Unjustly, in my opinion. Because apart from the hit ‘Destiny’, which I think is gorgeous, the New Yorker offers many other fantastic songs like ‘Ring Of Ice’, ‘I Come Undone’ and ‘The Power Of Love’. It’s worth listening to the back catalogue again.

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2. The Human League – Heart Like A Wheel

The Human League - Heart Like A Wheel

For the average synth and electro pop listener, The Human League is also a typical 80s band that disappeared from the scene at the end of that decade. However, the band was still active in the 90s and early 2000s. Although with a shrunken line-up, they still released a few albums. ‘Heart Like A Wheel’ is from their probably most commercially unsuccessful album ‘Romantic?’. In many countries, the album didn’t even make the Top 100. However, this song is the best on said album. But if we are honest, Human League really didn’t cover themselves with glory with this album. They tried too hard to force typical 90s commercial pop, which probably didn’t go down well with most fans.

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3. Camouflage – Heaven (I Want You)

Camouflage - Heaven (I Want You)The very good song ‘Heaven (I Want You)’ is from the 1991 album ‘Meanwhile’. For me, admittedly, one of the band’s most insignificant albums. You can find my opinion about this album in comparison to the whole discography in the article ‘What is the best Camouflage album ever?‘. Due to the only moderate success, also internally in the scene, this music video is probably unknown to most people and therefore it fits wonderfully into the list of the probably ultra rare music videos.

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4. Sandra – In The Heat Of The Night

Sandra - In The Heat Of The Night‘In The Heat Of The Night’ is the opener of Sandra’s debut album ‘The Long Play’ (1985). More well-known and often played, however, is the uber-hit ‘(I’ll Never Be) Maria Magdalena‘. Of course the song landed several number 1 placements. Nevertheless, it is a pity that ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ is a bit of a shadow. The sound is a bit cheesy and the genre tends more towards commercial pop or dance pop in my opinion. Nevertheless, I like this song somehow.

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5. Bronski Beat- Hit That Perfect Beat

Bronski Beat- Hit That Perfect BeatBronski Beat is an English synth pop band who formed in the 1980s. They became famous for their cover of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love‘ featuring Marc Almond. Their most successful song, ‘Smalltown Boy‘, was released in 1984 and later became a hit in the U.S. during 1987.

They were part of the second British invasion into America with other bands like Culture Club, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, and Wham! The group’s second hit, ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’ is often overlooked in my opinion. It’s rare that Bronski Beat is played at all in an 80s playlist, and then only the two songs mentioned at the beginning.

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6. A-ha – Stay On These Roads

A-ha - Stay On These RoadsA-Ha‘s “Stay on These Roads” is a ballad with a slow tempo and a very strong, catchy beat. It always gives me goosebumps because it is so touching and heartwarming. Further, it was the title song for A-Ha‘s 1988 same titled album ‘Stay on These Roads‘. The music video for ‘Stay On These Roads’ is black and white which adds to the emotional tone of this ballad. I think this song has been one of the most underrated songs by ‘A-Ha‘.

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7. Shona Laing – America

Shona Laing - America‘Shona Laing’ is a synth pop singer from New Zealand. She make music from the early 70s. I found this rare official music video ‘America’ by accident. It’s taken from the album ‘Genre’ (1985). I think that musically you can draw parallels to ‘Anne Clark‘. Unfortunately, this flew way under the radar when it was released (at least in Germany), so I’ve never heard of ‘Shona Laing’ before.

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8. Real Life – Catch Me I’m Falling

Real Life - Catch Me I'm FallingIn 1987, the debut album ‘Heart Land’ from synth pop band ‘Real Life’ released. The music video for “Catch Me I’m Falling” is a typical 80s music video. Unfortunately (it has to be said) the band had such an overhit with ‘Send Me An Angel‘ until today that such pearls unfortunately drop behind.

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9. Righeira – No Tengo Dinero

Righeira - No Tengo DineroThe music video of ‘No Tengo Dinero’ by the Italian band ‘Righeira’ is more 80s than 80s! I already introduced you to the great and often played song ‘Vamos A La Playa’ in the article ‘18 most awkward Synthpop songs (once loved, now ashamed)‘. In this context I also found the song ‘No Tengo Dinero’ and realised that it had been completely forgotten by me. But of course it was still stored somewhere deep in my brain and I thought to myself that this is the perfect example of an ultra rarely played synth pop song.

 

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10. Eighth Wonder – When the Phone Stops Ringing

Eighth Wonder - When the Phone Stops RingingThe song ‘When The Phone Stops Ringing’ is the opener of Eighth Wonder‘s debut album ‘Brilliant Dreams’ (1987). ‘Eighth Wonder‘ was a British synth pop / electro pop band of the 1980s formed in 1983 and enjoyed great success in Japan and Italy between 1985 and 1987 before releasing singles in the UK and across Europe in 1988. The band’s biggest hit ‘I’m Not Scared‘ is a cover version and production by the ‘Pet Shop Boys‘. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe later released the song themselves on their fantastic album ‘Introspective’. You can figure out how great the album is in my article ‘What is the best Pet Shop Boys album ever?‘ in my opinion.

The first seconds of the intro remind me of a completely different song. I immediately have ‘Kim Wilde‘ in my head, but that’s not it. I would be grateful for any clues as to where the intro comes from. Just write it down in the comments below.

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11. French Revolution – Alien Too (Fallin’)

French Revolution - Alien Too (Fallin')The song ‘Alien Too (Fallin’)’ is a synth pop song from the band ‘French Revolution’. The track is taken from the album ‘Fantasia’ (1988). I can’t really actively remember the song. But I definitely have fragments of memory of the music video. Especially the woman in the last shot looks super familiar. I can’t find much about the band online. So definitely ultra rare synth pop.

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12. Opéra De Nuit – Karen Lloyd

Opéra De Nuit - Karen LloydMusically, the song by the French band ‘Opéra De Nuit’ doesn’t fit in here one hundred percent, but the music video for the song ‘Karen Lloyd’ is something ultra rare! It’s a typical 1984 post-punk, new wave number. Worth listening to and watching. And this authentic 80s wave scene fashion, simply wonderful.

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13. Neva – Hallucination

Neva - HallucinationWe stay with the French and it gets a bit more underground now. Because in 1987, the goth band ‘Neva’ unleashed their first single ‘Hallucination’ on mankind. The song is taken from the album ‘Individu’. Lots of synths and the singer obviously wanted to come across even grittier than Robert Smith (The Cure). In any case, this music video completely passed me by. It was probably just too special to be shown on early 80s music television.

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14. Aneka – Japanese Boy

Aneka - Japanese Boy

Back to the synth pop and electro pop section, where I feel more comfortable. I loved the song ‘Japanese Boy’ by UK artist ‘Aneka’ as a child. It still has an extremely strong 70s disco feel to it, but still sounds typically 80s. The track is from the 1981 album ‘Japanese Boy’ of the same name. ‘Aneka’ also had a lot of success with this number.

In Germany, the song reached number 3, and in England and Switzerland it even reached number 1. Today, however, ‘Japanese Boy’ is considered more of a one-hit wonder, since the following singles from the same album did not achieve such high positions and the debut album was to remain the only release of ‘Aneka’.

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15. Thompson Twins – Doctor! Doctor!

Thompson Twins - Doctor! Doctor!Any older synth pop fan will think to themselves: “Why is a classic like ‘Doctor! Doctor!’ by the ‘Thomson Twins’ in this list?”. Sure, you know the song. Even people who can’t relate to the band or the song title now are guaranteed to have heard the chorus before. But this song is almost never played at an 80s party. Just as rarely as in retrospectives of 80s music videos. Therefore, I would like to dedicate this space to this song.

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16. Cabaret Voltaire – Just Fascination

Cabaret Voltaire - Just FascinationIt’s strange sometimes. I always work on each article for several weeks. So I always have several articles that I work on in parallel. Depending on how it suits me at the time. The industrial song ‘Just Fascination’ by the British cult group ‘Cabaret Voltaire’ has been on my list for this article for almost a year. A few days after I wrote this part, unfortunately the singer of the band Richard Harold Kirk died (* March 21st, 1956; † September 21st, 2021).

So I decided to include this sad note here and rewrote this paragraph. The band had been making music since 1973 (the year the band was founded) and have released countless albums and even more singles. A great respect and recognition from our side for this work. By the way, the song ‘Just Fascination’ is from the album ‘The Crackdown’ (1983).

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17. Rockets – Galactica

Rockets - GalacticaI have had the music video ‘Galactica’ (1980) by the French band ‘Rockets’ in one of my private YouTube playlists for ages. Found by chance and fascinated, I couldn’t look away like in a bad accident. I have watched the music video dozens of times now and I really can’t tell if I think the song ‘Galactica’ is great or really crap. Please help me! I’m really in a conflict with this track. Please write your opinion about the song and the music video in the comments.

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18. Company B – Fascinated

Company B - FascinatedThe intro is admittedly an 80s synth pop cliché. Just like the hairstyles of the members of ‘Company B’. But the music video and the song ‘Fascinated’ are definitely ultra rare. The lyrics, by the way, are also rather on a shallow pop level. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. After all, we are here on a voyage of discovery to rediscover forgotten ultra rare Synth Pop and Dark Wave tunes. Doesn’t that sound epic? And this includes the song ‘Fascinated’ by ‘Company B’ from the self-titled album ‘Company B’ (1987).

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19. Sparks – The Number One Song In Heaven

Sparks - The Number One Song In HeavenReally cool synthesizer and space age sounds can be heard in the 1979 song ‘The Number One Song In Heaven’ by the US band ‘Sparks’. The song comes from the EP of the self-titled ‘No. 1 In Heaven’. The mixture of 70s disco, but already the leap to 80s synth pop is clearly audible. For fans of analogue synthesizers, the music video might be a bit like hardware porn (wink smiley).

The only thing that really gets me done is that nasty Hitler moustache of the keyboard player. WTF? Was that a pure provocation in 1979 or was it not as unpopular in America as it is in Germany. Someone please enlighten me. I was only 5 years old the year the song was released. I have no clue.

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20. T’Pau – China In Your Hands

T'Pau - China In Your HandsAt the end of our list you will find the song ‘China In Your Hand’ by the British band “T’Pau”. The song is from the debut album ‘Bridge Of Spies’ (1987).

To be honest, this song does not fit into this list at all. It is basically simple 80s rock/pop. The music video also came across me by accident and I had forgotten about the song for a long time. But then I couldn’t get it out of my head and thought: “At least it’s an ultra rarely played song that I actually used to like”. The music video is full of bad vocuhilas, clichéd 80s settings and shots and of course a typical saxophone bridge including a silhouette shot.

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Bonus – Ultra rare Synth Pop cover versions

Dollar – O L’Amour (Erasure Cover)

Dollar - O L'Amour (Erasure Cover)As always, when I compile lists like this, I find songs I don’t even know, because they’ve somehow slipped past me. You know, the time without the internet! Researching specific music was much harder then, or almost impossible as a child.

Anyway, I found this great Erasure cover version of “O L’Amour” (1987) performed by the British duo ‘Dollar’. The band was quite successful in England from 1978 to 1982. I have to admit that until I found this cover version I had never heard of the band. The single “O L’Amour” was produced shortly after the reunion, as both were probably less successful as solo artists. However, there was no further album production.

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Blancmange – The Day Before You Came (ABBA Cover)

Blancmange - The Day Before You Came (ABBA Cover)“The Day Before You Came” (1982), originally by the Swedish band ‘Abba‘, is a fantastic song with a lot of emotions and melancholy. The synth pop band ‘Blancmange’ probably thought so too and released a cover version, including a music video, of this classic in 1984. The song was also released on the Blancmange long player ‘Mange Tout’.

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Did you like the list?

I thank you for participating in this journey into the past. Furthermore, I hope that you, like me (as long as you are old enough), have relived some wonderful memories of the past. If you are too young to have memories of these songs, I hope you have enjoyed some of them and share the article diligently.

Help us to make the next list

If you were inspired by this article and remembered some rare, lost and/or forgotten songs, let us know and use comment section below or get in touch with us via E-Mail!

The journey continues

Do you want to continue the discovery? Then checkout the following articles with a similar topic.

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