Friday Playlist: New Romancers

You can almost hear the eyeliner.

The term New Romantic refers to music, fashion, and the general lifestyle that was the ’80s-glamour counterpoint to punk that first emerged at the very end of the ’70s and continued throughout the next decade. The music and aesthetic celebrated beauty, drama, dandified excess, and feminine-looking style. You can hear the heavy eyeliner and melodrama almost as loudly in the synthesizers in these tracks, which are all about creating a whole new weirdo-chic culture in a time dominated by heavy leather jackets.

Illustration by Minna


  • lillylsj May 25th, 2012 11:17 PM

    it glitches and i can read it early!

    • Anaheed May 25th, 2012 11:24 PM

      Where’s the glitch?

    • mayaautumn May 28th, 2012 5:15 PM

      that’s what happened to me, too, a couple of weeks ago. the 3 o’clock post came on for me at 2.30. it only happened a couple of times and I’m not sure why!

  • missblack May 25th, 2012 11:33 PM


    I even got my little sister into it, and now we sing “Karma Chameleon” to each other all the time.

    This playlist is the shit.


    • Fortune_Goddess May 25th, 2012 11:58 PM


      My dad and I sing Karma Chameleon together on the way to school everyday. When we aren’t singing “Don’t go honking your horn” “I couldn’t if I tried…” :)

      • Anaheed May 26th, 2012 12:04 AM

        “Karma Chameleon”: bringing families together since 19-dickety-3.

        • Naomi Morris May 26th, 2012 5:01 AM

          “Karma Chameleon”: stuck in Naomi’s head since FOREVER

  • bridgeybear May 26th, 2012 12:58 AM

    thanks for turnin’ my friday night around :)

  • sn0wwhite May 26th, 2012 1:05 AM

    another soundtrack to my life<3

    duran duran 4vr.

  • Caden May 26th, 2012 3:18 AM

    That hairstyle. How is it even possible!!

    Great tunes.

    Caden x

  • Afra May 26th, 2012 5:09 AM

    All of my favourites! Hurray! You HAVE to love Duran Duran ♥ (Try listening also to Erasure with “always”! Amazing!) :)

  • Jessie May 26th, 2012 6:03 AM

    Awesome post!

    But one of Duran Duran’s new romantic songs definitely should of been on here;Planet Earth for example.I think Rio is definitely more pop,as it was released in 1982,really the big start of their success,with yachts and Anthony Price suits.

    Also they used to perform at the Rum Runner in Birmingham,and I guess you could say that they were sort of in competition with Spandau Ballet,who were performing at the Blitz Club in London,and their manager would say that DD would never make it because they were from up North.

    *Ok I’ll stop being a Duranie now,also Enola Gay is an amazing song!!*

    • Hannnah May 26th, 2012 10:52 AM

      omg! My mom and dad always go on about Rum Runner, obviously where it was at back then.

  • Microbyte1 May 26th, 2012 6:05 AM

    Genius Of Love fron the Tom Tom Club is an amazing song !

    I want to ga back in the 80′s so bad !

  • purrr May 26th, 2012 6:57 AM

    Ahhh Human League!! I was surfin’ the web and automatically starting singing along when I heard the first chords :)

  • pinkorangered May 26th, 2012 7:27 AM

    Great playlist! Orchestra Manoeuvres Club? Don’t you mean – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) :)

    • Anaheed May 26th, 2012 8:50 AM

      Yeah, that was a…whatever the handwritten version of a typo is.

  • stoneflamingos May 26th, 2012 8:24 AM

    this mix is great, i love all this new romantic music – the mix is right up there with the ‘hanging out with allison reynolds’ and ‘do wah diddy’ ones :)

    i’ve loved the emphasis on alternative 80s stuff this month, especially when focusing on strawberry switchblade (often i’ve felt like the only person to have heard of them!) and siouxsie sioux

    rookie definitely deserves to become a proper publication sold in newsagents around the world – i’d buy it for sure :) xxxx

  • bellaumbrella May 26th, 2012 8:28 AM

    I love the Brit-representation in this playlist!

  • Lascelles May 26th, 2012 10:29 AM

    …needed more synth :D

    flock of seagulls + i ran
    gary numan + cars
    soft cell + tainted love

  • thedoctorhastwohearts May 26th, 2012 2:02 PM

    Hold. The. Phone. Lascelles, I think you and me might be music soulmates. I ran & tainted love are two of my all time favorite songs. Once, I was in Goodwill trying on a long houndstooth coat and tainted love came on and everything in the world was okay and nothing hurt. <3 Now I just need to check out this gary numan guy. :)

  • Impybat May 26th, 2012 9:02 PM

    My favorite list yet.

  • puny weakling May 27th, 2012 7:26 AM

    oh my god this is glorious

  • Harriet May 28th, 2012 3:14 PM

    Okay, this has to be the best one yet! I hope my entire street is enjoying it as much as I am <3

  • mayaautumn May 28th, 2012 5:18 PM

    lovelovelove this playlist…officially the best one yet!

  • lyndsey May 28th, 2012 6:38 PM

    haha, GREAT tagline for this article.

  • Motherfunker May 29th, 2012 9:40 AM

    showed my mum this and she got all excited because she used to be a new romantic, bless her

  • drdischord May 29th, 2012 1:35 PM

    This is wonderful. Ridicule is nothing to be scared of!

  • nickz May 30th, 2012 3:23 PM

    I only discovered Culture Club a few months ago and the only song I know form them is Do you really want to hurt me? I noticed they had a distinctive style obviously but I did not know it is was actually a street culture.And as with all cool things I soon discovered they were from the 80s.Thanks rookie for telling me about all the cool stuff that I would not have where to find out about if it was not for yous!

  • Jen L. July 16th, 2012 11:12 PM

    I’m currently having a dance party of one to these jams in my room. Don’t judge me.