New Order – Blue Monday

1st January 2024 · 1980s, 1983, Dance, Music, Postpunk

New year, New Order. This was a landmark release in so many ways when it came out in March 1983. Firstly because it marked the moment postpunk merged with electronic dance music, and made the link between 70s disco and 80s house music. Secondly because Blue Monday went on to become the biggest-selling 12-inch single of all time.

Which is odd for a record that only reached No.12 in the singles chart at the time, though it stuck around so long in the lower echelons (186 weeks in total) that it popped back and peaked at No.9 in August, five months after its release.

Indeed, Blue Monday only dropped out of the charts after four years, when the song appeared on the compilation album Substance 1987.

Then it came back again, rising even higher when re-re-released in 1988 with a Quincy Jones remix.
What’s odd, with hindsight, is not just the way that the remaining members of Joy Division ended up making music with an electronic pulse, but that that combination was considered controversial at the time.

I remember an old friend feeling betrayed that his postpunk favourites had appropriated dance music (which he thought was uniformly rubbish, and probably still does).

He was of course hopelessly misguided; something he went on to prove by becoming a Sp*rs fan after spending his entire youth with no interest in football.