Blue Monday (New Order song)

Blue Monday (New Order song)

Infobox Single
Name = Blue Monday

Artist = New Order
from Album =
B-side = "The Beach"
Released = 7 March 1983
Format = 12"
Recorded = 1982
Genre = Synthpop
Length = 7:29
Label = Factory - FAC 73
Producer = New Order
Reviews =
Last single = "Temptation"
This single = "Blue Monday"
Next single = "Confusion"
Infobox Single
Name = Blue Monday 1988

Artist = New Order
from Album =
B-side = "Beach Buggy"
Released = 25 April 1988
Format = 7", 10", 12", cassette, CD
Recorded = 1982
Genre = Techno,Electropop
Length = 4:07 (7") / 7:10 (12")
Label = Factory - FAC 73R
Producer = New Order
Reviews =
Last single = "Touched by the Hand of God"
This single = "Blue Monday 1988"
Next single = "Fine Time"
Misc = Audiosample
Upper caption = Audio sample
Audio file= New_Order_-_Blue_Monday.ogg
Infobox Single
Name = Blue Monday-95

Artist = New Order
from Album = The Rest of New Order
Released = 24 July 1995
Format = 12", cassette, CD
Recorded = 1982
Genre = Techno
Length = 8:35
Label = London
Producer = New Order
Reviews =
Last single = "Nineteen63"
This single = "Blue Monday"
Next single = "Video 5 8 6"

"Blue Monday" is a dance pop song recorded in 1982 and originally released as a single in 1983 by British band New Order, and later remixed for further releases in 1988 and 1995.


At nearly 7 and a half minutes in length, "Blue Monday" is one of the longest tracks ever to chart in the UK. It is recognised as the biggest selling 12" single of all time, but as Factory Records were not members of the British Phonographic Industry association, it was not eligible for an official gold disc. 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. 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 . [ [ Recreating New Order's 'Blue Monday' Live ] ] 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 & MBO; 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. [ New Order:Singles:Blue Monday ] ] 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".

As with many of New Order's songs, the title has no relationship with the lyrics, which in turn have been the subject of much debate. Although Bernard Sumner never publicly discusses his lyrics, many people have surmised that "Blue Monday" concerns the suicide of Joy Division vocalist Ian Curtis and the effect it had on his former bandmates. However, comparisons with the lyrics and the aftereffects of cocaine have also been made, which would fit in with the potentially drug related themes of many other New Order tracks. (Another legend has it that the band was on LSD while recording it, and after they finished the producers took them to a café to finish out their tripping while they went back and cleaned it up.)Fact|date=August 2008 The song's references to a ship in the harbour, a beach (the name of the original releases B-Side) as well as other lyrics that could concern war together with the fact that more overt military imagery is used in a number of other New Order songs (such as the contemporaneous "We All Stand"), has also raised suggestions that the song is a reference to the Falklands War of 1982. Indeed, the video to the original 1983 release of the song used many clips of military vehicles, albeit in a warped manner, such as that of a Harrier Jump Jet, a plane which featured heavily in the conflict.

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, [ [ Top of the Pops Episode dated 31 March 1983] . Retrieved on November 03, 2007.] 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". [Simpson, Dave. " [,,1831497,00.html You woke up on a Thursday and it smelled like a Top of the Pops day] ". "The Guardian", July 29, 2006. Retrieved on November 03, 2007.] 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 and topped the charts 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.

Video clip

A video clip 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. [ [ Peter Saville's Alphabet - AOL Video ] ]

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). []

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.


A popular story 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. [, Matthew Robertson] [, David Nolan] 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. [ [ Cerysmatic Factory > History > FAC229! The Music Week Factorial ] ]

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 several New Order releases from this time period to employ the colour code. The sleeve's spine simply reads "FAC SEVENTY THREE".

Unofficial remixes and cover versions

* 1983: Divine re-recorded his single, the Bobby O produced "Love Reaction" in a style very similar to Blue Monday. Legal action was threatened by New Order for plagiarism, but never materialised. The song peaked at #65 on the UK singles chart in October 1983. Sumner once sang "Love Reaction" on "Blue Monday" in 1983 in a live performance.Fact|date=January 2008
*1988: Blue Monday So Hot Mix by 808 State, not realised until 2004 as a 12" Single
*1990: Sample of Blue Monday used in the Front Line Assembly single "Iceolate"
**Electroset covers Blue Monday under the name "How Does It Feel?". This entered the top 30 in the UK.
**"Lundi Bleu" was covered by The Times (Edward Ball's band)
**Blue Monday covered by Orgy, it became the band's biggest hit and probably the biggest hit remake of the original song.
**Blue Monday interpolated with "Walking on Sunshine" in "Blue Sunshine" by Viper.
**The Picard Song samples Blue Monday.Fact|date=January 2008
**Cover of Blue Monday by Hangedup on Hangedup (album).
**Interpolated with Can't Get You Out of My Head by Kylie Minogue, originally a Soulwax mashup, it's official title is "Can't Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head". Also appears on the Layer Cake soundtrack.
**Cover of Blue Monday by Flunk on For Sleepyheads Only
**Covered in Gregorian chant style by Gregorian on Masters of Chant Chapter III.
**Covered in Eurodance style by Eu4ya.
**"Whole" by Benjamin Bates, remixing Blue Monday.
**"Idealistic" sampled Blue Monday, a Digitalism 12-inch single
**Tanghetto covered this song on their album Buenos Aires Remixed, with the bandoneon taking the role of the lead vocals and featuring an erhu (Chinese bowed string instrument) solo in the mid-section. This cover version also appeared in the film La mujer de mi hermano.
**Country Teasers covered the song on "Live Album".
**Covered by Nouvelle Vague
**Sampled by Trentemøller for a mix of "The Sodom and Gemorrah Show" by Pet Shop Boys.
**Mathilde Santing covered the song on her album "Under your Charms".
**Interpolation on Shut Up and Drive by Rihanna.
**Cover by Lostprophets
**Sampled by Digitalism in "Idealistic" realised on "Idealism (album)"
**Sampled by M.I.A. in "20 Dollar" on her album "Kala"Fact|date=January 2008
**Covered by Tripudio on Edge of Never. [ [ Tripudio ] ]
**Covered again by Flunk for the Nancy Drew (2007 film) soundtrack
**Sampled by Imperative Reaction in the song "Judas".Fact|date=May 2008
**Interpolation by The Tenth Stage for a remix of "Elixir" by Angelspit.
** Sampled on 2 Many DJs' As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2.
** Jonathan Davis from Korn covered Blue Monday for the Alone I Play tour.
**Cover by The Cloud Room released as an mp3 download and online video.

Track listing

;Blue Monday 1983

# "Blue Monday" – 7:29
# "The Beach" – 7:19

;Blue Monday 1988
# "Blue Monday 1988 [12" Version] " – 7:09
# "Beach Buggy" – 6:52
# "Blue Monday 1988 [7" Version] " – 4:09

;Blue Monday 1988 [North American cassette]
# "Blue Monday 1988 [12" Mix] " – 7:09
# "Touched By The Hand Of God [Single Version] " – 4:10
# "Blue Monday 1988 [Single Version] " – 4:10
# "Blue Monday 1988 [Dub Version] " – 7:16

;Blue Monday-95 [UK CD]
# "Blue Monday [1983 12" Version] " – 7:29
# "Blue Monday [Hardfloor Mix] " – 8:34
# "Blue Monday [Manuela Mix] " – 7:31
# "Blue Monday [Andrea Mix] " – 8:26
# "Blue Monday [Plutone Mix] " – 6:29
# "Blue Monday [Starwash Mix] " – 5:29
# "Blue Monday [Hawtin Mix] " – 8:02

;Other appearances"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

Blue Monday 1983

External links

* [ New Order Discography] (includes images of sleeve)
* [ Fan site]

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