Blue Monday (7:30)

Cover of Substance 1987

From Substance 1987 and 162 other releases

“Blue Monday” is a dance pop song recorded 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. 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.

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