Community Post: 10 Things You Never Knew About New Order’s “Blue Monday”

1. Hit “play” to hear to the classic hit as you read below.

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3. 1. The band built their own instruments to record the track!

New synthesizer technology in the ’80s both pricey and complicated. Bernard Sumner really wanted a sequencer to make synths and drums communicate. The technology didn’t exist – so he built it himself!

4. Sumner hired a scientist to program the new sequencer using binary code!

Science + New Synth Technology = Pure Dance Gold!

5. 2. The title for “Blue Monday” came from a drawing in Kurt Vonnegut’s book, Breakfast of Champions.

6. 3. “Blue Monday” was inspired by Donna Summers’ album track, “Our Love”, of the Bad Girls album.

7. You can hear the same iconic *bump, bump…buda buda buda buda…bump, bump* beat on both tracks.

8. 4. The song also draws inspiration from…

9. …the harmonies in Kraftwerk’s “Uranium.”

11. …the bass-line from Sylvester’s fantastic club jam “You Make Me Feel Mighty Real.”

12. …and Klein & M.B.O.’s electrifying dance cues.

13. 5. Blue Monday is still the best-selling 12” of all-time.

The single has sold over three million copies since it hit the shelves back in 1983!

14. 6. New Order caused a riot at a show when they refused to do an encore.

In the height of Blue Monday’s success, New Order performed a concert for a frenzied crowd. After a 40 minute set, the fans demanded more, but the band never liked the encore tradition. Angry fans began to trash the venue. Peter Hook made sure this would never happen again by suggesting the band automatically program their synths to play encores for them.

15. Phew…that was close.

16. 7. “Blue Monday” was a club hit before it became a single on the radio.

Originally recorded as a maxi and running at 7:34 seconds, the single was too long for radio play. Nevertheless, it flew off the shelves as DJs and fans around the world couldn’t get enough of the beat!

17. 8. As flawless as “Blue Monday” may sound, the track isn’t perfect.

The band made a slight error when something slipped on the sequencer, and they recorded a top-line out-of-time. The error, Peter Hook says, made the track sound like it was “floating.”

18. 9. The band lost money every time a “Blue Monday” single was purchased.

The record sleeve, designed by the talented Peter Saville (known for creating the iconic album art for Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures), was modeled after a floppy disc. The sleeve required a 3-step die-cut process that costs £1.10 to make; it sold for £1 in stores.

19. 10. New Order decided to use the money from Blue Monday’s success to open up their own nightclub, The Haçienda.

In 1982, the band opened the doors of The Haçienda nightclub in their hometown of Manchester. All the money they earned over the next 9 years would go into keeping the nightclub running. With people hungry for dance, a club culture soon formed, and “Madchester” was put on the map as one of the hippest places in the ’80s!

20. All for the love of the dancefloor!

21. *Bonus!!* Watch the official music video here:

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