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New Order - Blue Monday (1988)

  • Video Views 9,678,454
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.94
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Blue Monday" is a song performed by English rock band New Order. It was released as a 12-inch single on 7 March 1983 through ...

"Blue Monday" is a song performed by English rock band New Order. It was released as a 12-inch single on 7 March 1983 through Factory Records. It appeared on certain cassette and CD versions of the band's second studio album, Power, Corruption & Lies (1983). The track was written and produced by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, and Bernard Sumner.

"Blue Monday" is a synth-pop and alternative dance song that drew inspirations from many works of other artists. The 12" single was backed with a primarily instrumental version of the song entitled "The Beach" on the B-side. The single's unique packaging was designed by Peter Saville and Brett Wickens. It features a die-cut sleeve designed to resemble a 5+1⁄4-inch floppy disk. The front cover features no words, but instead has code in the form of coloured blocks that reads out the artist, song, and label information, once deciphered.

The original single was a commercial hit, making the top 10 in many countries. In the UK, although the song stalled at number 9, it spent a total of 38 weeks in the top 75. This was mirrored by its run of 186 weeks on the UK Independent Singles Chart, effectively selling for 4 years from release until the Substance 1987 compilation on which it featured. The UK Indie Chart run was second only to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, which clocked 195 weeks (their runs overlapped). In New Zealand, it peaked at number 2 and spent 74 weeks (spread across three calendar years) in the top 50. The 1988 remix reached number 3 on the British chart, number 4 on the Australian chart, and topped the dance chart in the United States.

It is the best-selling 12" single of all time. In the United Kingdom, it has sold 1.16 million copies in all formats, including the 1988 and 1995 re-releases. Sales of the original 1983 12" release account for the bulk of the total, at over 700,000 copies. The song has been widely acclaimed, and is ranked by Acclaimed Music as the 42th most acclaimed song of all time. It was remixed by the band twice, in 1988 and 1995. The 1988 remix reached number 1 in New Zealand and the top 10 in other countries. The song has been covered by bands including Orgy, Flunk, 808 State and Health; its beats are invariably mixed at raves into dance/psytrance sets.

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.

On the Australian show Rage, a video was shown containing footage taken from their BBC Top of the Pops performance with the studio track dubbed over it.

The music video for "Blue Monday '88" appears on the Substance video collection (released as a companion to the album of the same name). The video 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).

In September 2012 New Order headlined a festival at Portmeirion in North Wales and festival organisers recruited the support of the local Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir to produce a cover version and accompanying video.

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