Saturday, 18 March 2023

Tell me now, how does it feel?

Happy 40th Birthday! New Order's Blue Monday first arrived in the charts on this weekend in March 1983:

  • It reached #12 on 23rd April.
  • Having not left the Top 100 all year, it re-entered the Top 40 on 17th September.
  • It hit its highest chart position - #9 - on 15th October.
  • However, it was actually a remix by none other than Quincy Jones that gave the song its highest chart place (#3) five years later, in May 1988.

An all-time classic, way back in 2009 I decided to post a "recipe" of the "ingredients" that contributed to its composition, based upon a Sky Arts documentary at the time - and lo and behold, Alex Petridis in The Guardian has done the same. Some of the ingredients he used were the same as mine, but there are some interesting differences...

Both he and I acknowledged that this slice of Italo disco brilliance (which Bernard Sumner has always cited as one of his favourite songs) was a key element:

It's undeniable that Giorgio Moroder's groundbreaking collaboration with Donna Summer was a big influence on the band, but I chose the obvious number...

...whereas Mr Petridis suggested this album track:

It's undeniable that this one had to be in the mix, and our lists coincided again:

Although, inevitably, a soupçon of Kraftwerk had to be there, the "flavours" diverged - as Alex chose this:

Whereas I specified one that was a tad more familiar:

There was one more piece in the Guardian article that came as a bit of a "left-fielder", however. Apparently Peter Hook claimed the sparse riffs of Blue Monday were inspired by the twanging lead guitar in Ennio Morricone's score for For a Few Dollars More!

Whatever the ingredients, the resulting "dish" is delicious, indeed:

New Order official website


The official lyric video...


  1. I love Blue Monday. No time to listen to the build-up of other videos, but I couldn’t resist the final. Wasn’t permitted here in Spain so I found one that was on YouTube. Thanks.

    1. I've replaced the video with the same performance but from their official YT site. Hopefully even the Spanish wouldn't block that!

      There is a lot to wade through in this recipe, I admit, but I do find these kind of things fascinating... Jx

  2. That is amazing. You and the Guardian are both so insightful. I had never considered the "ingredients" that make up one of my favorite songs, but once I listened to what you listed, it was obvious. Amazing. I was just going to listen to each one a bit to see the influence, but I got snagged by Sylvester and wound up listening to whole glorious insanity. I swear you can smell the cocaine.

    1. It's easy to get immersed in the magnificent campery of Sylvester's magnum opus! I always smell poppers when I hear it... Jx

      PS I tried many times to perfect that fan-waving, "fuck you all, I'm in charge" scene as he descends the staircase, but could never manage to emulate his sheer chutzpah!

  3. I wasn't keen on Blue Monday when it first came out and didn't fall in love with it until 1987 when I bought the Substance 1987 album. True Faith will always be my very favourite.

    1. I was - and still am - fanatical about synthesiser music, so I went completely mad for Blue Monday when it was released. True Faith (and most of New Order's music, except that football one) is also brilliant, but this had the most impact. Jx


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