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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