Blue Monday (New Order)


August 19, 2022

Blue Monday is a single by the British musical group New Order, released by Factory Records on March 7, 1983, in parallel with the release of the second studio album Power, Corruption & Lies. Composed by members Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner, it was subsequently remixed and redistributed in 1988 (again by the Factory) and in 1995 (by London Records), respectively as Blue Monday '88 and Blue Monday-95. The special 12 "vinyl first edition package, with The Beach (an instrumental re-arrangement of the song) on ​​side B, aroused some curiosity, designed by graphic designers Peter Saville and Brett Wickens in such a way as to resemble a 5¼" floppy disk. , with an encrypted code formed by rows of colored squares on the right side, which hides the tracklist and the names of the group and the record label. selling to many countries around the world and becoming the best-selling twelve-inch single ever; in the United Kingdom alone, considering also the re-releases of 1988 and 1995, there are 1.16 million copies sold (of which 700,000 in 1983). In the wake of this triumph, it was included in some CD and cassette editions of the contemporary Power, Corruption & Lies. It was critically acclaimed and included in many charts of the most beautiful songs of the eighties and of the history of music; moreover, over time it became a veritable disco "classic", as well as a seminal work for all electronic music, inspiring various artists from both the independent and mainstream scene. There were numerous covers, including various styles, that were made over the years: some, such as those of Orgy, Flunk and 808 State, proved to be successful.


New Order claimed to have written Blue Monday out of disappointment that their concert audiences had never asked for an encore. In fact, at first it was conceived as a simple rhythm pattern that would allow them to return to the stage, turn the synthesizers back on and let people dance; however, it soon evolved into a more complex project that convinced them to turn it into a real record single. Curiously, during live performances, despite all the success it achieved, it continued to be performed only as an encore. Some percussive and melodic elements were taken from a previous composition (and referred to as a demo), Video 5 8 6, from 1982, which would later evolve into song 5 8 6, released as a fourth track in Power, Corruption & Lies. Bernard Sumner, four pieces influenced him and the other members in the writing phase: Dirty Talk (1982) by the Italo disco group Klein + M.B.O. for the arrangement; the classic of disco music You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (1978) by the singer Hi-NRG Sylvester for the bass line with octaves (whose riff was "stolen" by Peter Hook from the musical theme of Ennio Morricone of the film by Sergio Leone from 1965 For a few dollars more); Our Love (1979) by Donna Summer for the rhythm and Uranium by Kraftwerk (from the 1975 album Radio-Activity) for the synthesized choir, which was also sampled and included in the introduction and finale. of recording, the group decided to make demos processed by computer with binary codes, in order to become familiar with the new MIDI programs of their instruments. For this reason, the piece was considered a "classic of synth pop" and the definitive transition of the New Order from the post-punk genre to that of alternative dance. It was also cited as one of the examples of hi-NRG style applied to club music.

Musical structure

The song is opened by the well-known marked beat in the sixteenth note of the