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"Blue Monday"
Single by New Order
from the album Power, Corruption & Lies
B-side "The Beach"
Released 7 March 1983
Format 12"
Recorded Late 1982
Genre Hi-NRG[1], New Wave
Length 7:29
Label Factory - FAC 73
Writer(s) Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert
Producer New Order
New Order singles chronology
"Temptation"
(1982)
"Blue Monday"
(1983)
"Confusion"
(1983)
"Blue Monday 1988"
Single by New Order
B-side "Beach Buggy"
Released 25 April 1988
Format 7", 10", 12", cassette, CD
Recorded 1982
Genre Electronic music
Length 4:07 (7") / 7:10 (12")
Label Factory - FAC 73R
Writer(s) Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert
Producer New Order
New Order singles chronology
"Touched by the Hand of God"
(1987)
"Blue Monday 1988"
(1988)
"Fine Time"
(1988)
Audio sample
file info · help
"Blue Monday-95"
Single by New Order
from the album The Rest of New Order
Released 24 July 1995
Format 12", cassette, CD
Recorded 1982
Genre Electronic music
Length 8:35
Label London
Writer(s) Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert
Producer New Order
New Order singles chronology
"Nineteen63"
(1995)
"Blue Monday"
(1995)
"Video 5 8 6"
(1997)

"Blue Monday" is a dance song recorded in 1982, released as a single in 1983 by British band New Order, and later remixed in 1988 and 1995. The song has been widely remixed and covered since its original release, and became a popular anthem in the dance club scene.

Contents

Background

At nearly seven-and-a-half minutes, "Blue Monday" is one of the longest tracks ever to chart in the UK. It has been cited as the biggest selling 12" single of all time by the band and in the film 24 Hour Party People, though this has not been corroborated by any independent sales chart. Despite selling well it was not eligible for an official gold disc because Factory Records were not members of the British Phonographic Industry association. However, the Official UK Chart Company (UK Singles Chart) has estimated its total UK sales at over one million. In the all-time UK best-selling singles chart, published in 2002, "Blue Monday" came 76th. The song begins with a distinctive semiquaver kick drum intro, programmed on an Oberheim DMX drum machine.[2] Gillian Gilbert eventually fades in a sequencer melody. According to band interviews in NewOrderStory, she did so at the wrong time, so the melody is out of sync with the beat; however, the band considered it to be a happy accident that contributed to the track's charm. The verse section features the song's signature throbbing synth bass line, played by a Moog Source, overlaid with Peter Hook's bass guitar leads. The synth bass line was sequenced on a Powertran Sequencer home built by Bernard.[3] Bernard Sumner delivers the lyrics in a deadpan manner. "Blue Monday" is an atypical hit song in that it does not feature a standard verse-chorus structure. After a lengthy introduction, the first and second verses are contiguous and are separated from the third verse only by a brief series of sound effects. A short breakdown section follows the third verse, which leads to an extended outro.

"Blue Monday" is often seen as one of the most important crossover tracks of the 1980s pop music scene. Synthpop had been a major force in British popular music for several years, but "Blue Monday" was arguably the first British dance record to exhibit an obvious influence from the New York club scene, particularly the work of producers like Arthur Baker (who collaborated on New Order's follow-up single "Confusion").

According to Bernard Sumner, "Blue Monday" was influenced by four songs: the arrangement came from "Dirty Talk", by Klein + M.B.O.; the signature bassline with octaves came from Sylvester's disco classic, "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)"; the house beat came from "Our Love", by Donna Summer; and the long keyboard pad on the intro was sampled from the Kraftwerk song "Uranium", from the Radio-Activity album.[4] In an interview for Channel 4's countdown of the biggest selling UK singles, the band claimed to have written the song in response to crowd disappointment at the fact that they never played encores. This song, they say, allowed them to return to the stage, press play on a synthesiser and leave the stage again. An example of this happening appears on New Order's concert video Pumped Full of Drugs.

Sleevenotes

A popular misconception about "Blue Monday" holds that the single's die-cut sleeve, created by Factory designer Peter Saville, cost so much to produce that Factory Records actually lost money on each copy sold. It is unlikely that Factory Records could have sustained the losses implied, and the sleeve was soon changed to a similar non-die-cut design that would cost no more than a regular sleeve.[4] It is, however, probably true that New Order saw little profit from the single's success, since an investment in the Haçienda nightclub swallowed much of the money they made from their hit.[5]

Another notable feature of the sleeve is that it does not display either the group name nor song title in plain English anywhere. Instead the legend "FAC 73 BLUE MONDAY AND THE BEACH NEW ORDER" is represented in code by a series of coloured blocks. The key enabling this to be deciphered was printed on the back sleeve of the album, Power, Corruption & Lies. "Blue Monday" is one of three New Order releases from this time period to employ the colour code. The sleeve's spine simply reads "FAC SEVENTY THREE".

Music videos

A music video for a shortened version of the original song was created in 1983, featuring military clips with false colour, simple computer-generated graphics such as colour blocks and geometric lines, digitised video of band members at very low resolution and framerate, and a short appearance of the game Zaxxon (reportedly the Apple II port). The colour blocks were created using Peter Saville's colour coded alphabet.[6]

The music video for "Blue Monday '88" (the Quincy Jones re-recording and mix of the song), shortened by several minutes and featuring added vocal effects, appears on the Substance video collection released as a companion to the album of the same name. It features sketches by photographer William Wegman and his Weimaraner dog named Fay Ray doing balancing acts intercut with hand-drawn animation by Robert Breer. The band members are shown standing around doing various tasks, such as walking a wooden plank over a floor that is painted blue, holding wire-mesh constructed art and milk crates over their faces, being hit by tennis balls, and standing still while they flip through various flip books (tying into the hand-drawn animation sequences).[7]

On the Australian show Rage, the video is simply footage taken from their Top of the Pops performance with the studio track dubbed over it.

Official releases

"Blue Monday" has been a hit several times in the UK. In 1983, it charted twice, initially reaching number 12, then re-entering the chart later in the year and climbing to number 9, helped by the fact that neither side of the single (the B-side "The Beach" was an instrumental re-working of "Blue Monday") was featured on the UK version of the group's subsequent album, Power, Corruption & Lies.

New Order appeared on the BBC's Top of the Pops, on 31 March 1983,[8] to promote the song. It had long been the show's policy that artists would mime to a backing track, but New Order insisted on performing Blue Monday live. The performance was dogged by technical problems, and was unrepresentative of the recording. In the words of drummer Stephen Morris, "Blue Monday was never the easiest song to perform, anyway, and everything went wrong. The synthesisers went awry. It sounded awful".[9] In 1988, "Blue Monday" was officially remixed by Quincy Jones and John Potoker under the title "Blue Monday 88" (with the instrumental flip being titled "Beach Buggy"). The single reached number 3 in the British charts, number 4 in the Australian charts, and topped the dance charts in the United States, and in New Zealand. A further official remix/reissue in 1995, with a mix by Hardfloor as the lead track, also made the British Top 20.

Track listings

Blue Monday 1983
  1. "Blue Monday" – 7:29
  2. "The Beach" – 7:19
Blue Monday 1988
  1. "Blue Monday 1988 [12" Version]" – 7:09
  2. "Beach Buggy" – 6:52
  3. "Blue Monday 1988 [7" Version]" – 4:09
Blue Monday 1988 [North American cassette]
  1. "Blue Monday 1988 [12" Mix]" – 7:09
  2. "Touched By The Hand Of God [Single Version]" – 4:10
  3. "Blue Monday 1988 [Single Version]" – 4:10
  4. "Blue Monday 1988 [Dub Version]" – 7:16
Blue Monday-95 [UK CD]
  1. "Blue Monday [1983 12" Version]" – 7:29
  2. "Blue Monday [Hardfloor Mix]" – 8:34
  3. "Blue Monday [Manuela Mix]" – 7:31
  4. "Blue Monday [Andrea Mix]" – 8:26
  5. "Blue Monday [Plutone Mix]" – 6:29
  6. "Blue Monday [Starwash Mix]" – 5:29
  7. "Blue Monday [Hawtin Mix]" – 8:02
Other appearances

In 2008, Collector's Editions of all New Order's 1980s albums were released. The result is that remastered versions of the original 12" "Blue Monday" and its B-side "The Beach" appear on the Collector's Edition of Power, Corruption & Lies. Meanwhile, "Blue Monday '88" and "Beach Buggy" appear on the Collector's Edition of 1986's Brotherhood The song also featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories as part of its soundtrack in the fictional pop radio station, Wave 103.

"Blue Monday" appears on almost every New Order compilation. This is a brief rundown of what versions appear where.

  • 1987: Substance 1987 - Original 12" Version
  • 1994: Best of New Order - 1988 7" version
  • 1995: Rest of New Order - Hardfloor Mix [note: some versions come with a disc of Blue Monday remixes]
  • 2002: International - Original 12" Version
  • 2002: Retro - Original 12" Version & Jam And Spoon Manuela Mix
  • 2005: Singles - Original 12" Version [note: this version omits the opening seconds] & 1988 7" version

Chart positions

Chart (1983) Peak
Position
Australia ARIA Singles Chart 13
German Media Control Singles Chart[10] 2
Irish Singles Chart[11] 4
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 2
U.K. Singles Chart[12] 9
U.K. Independent Singles Chart[13] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 5
Chart (1988, Blue Monday 1988) Peak
Position
Australia ARIA Singles Chart 4
German Media Control Singles Chart[10] 3
Irish Singles Chart[11] 2
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 1
U.K. Singles Chart[12] 3
U.K. Independent Singles Chart[13] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 68
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales 1 9

Notes:

  • 1 - Charted with "Touched by the Hand of God"
Chart (1995, Blue Monday-95) Peak
Position
German Media Control Singles Chart[10] 54
Irish Singles Chart[11] 29
U.K. Singles Chart[12] 17

Unofficial remixes and cover versions

References

External links

Preceded by
"Prove Your Love" by Taylor Dayne
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
("Blue Monday 1988", with "Touched by the Hand of God")

30 April 1988
Succeeded by
"Adventure" by Eleanor







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