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Blue Monday (New Order song)

"Blue Monday"
Second cheaper version of sleeve, US issue[1]
Single by New Order
from the album Power, Corruption & Lies
B-side "The Beach"
Released 7 March 1983
Format 12"
Recorded 1982
Length 7:29[7]
Label FactoryFAC 73
Writer(s) Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Bernard Sumner[3]
Producer(s) New Order
New Order singles chronology
"Blue Monday"
"Blue Monday"
Single by New Order
B-side "Thieves Like Us"
Released 1985
Format 7"
Recorded 1982
Genre Alternative dance, synthpop
Length 7:23
Label Tonpress
Producer(s) New Order
New Order singles chronology
"Blue Monday"
"Love Will Tear Us Apart"
"Blue Monday 1988"
Single by New Order
B-side "Beach Buggy"
Released 25 April 1988
Format 7", 10", 12", cassette, CD
Recorded 1982
Genre Alternative dance
Length 4:07 (7") / 7:10 (12")
Label Factory
Producer(s) New Order, Quincy Jones
New Order singles chronology
"Touched by the Hand of God"
"Blue Monday 1988"
"Fine Time"
Audio sample
"Blue Monday-95"
Single by New Order
from the album The Rest of New Order
Released 24 July 1995
Format 12", cassette, CD
Recorded 1982
Genre Acid techno, acid trance, hard trance, progressive house
Length 8:35
Label London
850241.1, NUOX 7[8]
Producer(s) New Order
New Order singles chronology
"Blue Monday"
"Video 5 8 6"

"Blue Monday" is a single released in 1983 by British band New Order, later remixed in 1988 and 1995. The song has been widely remixed and covered since its original release, and became a popular anthem in the dance club scene. It is the biggest-selling 12" single of all time.[3][9]


  • Background 1
  • Packaging 2
  • Music videos 3
  • Official releases 4
  • Appearances 5
  • Track listing 6
    • Blue Monday 6.1
    • Blue Monday 1988 6.2
    • Blue Monday-95 6.3
    • Acid House Mixes By 808 State (1988) 6.4
  • Chart positions 7
    • Blue Monday 7.1
    • Blue Monday 1988 7.2
    • Blue Monday-95 7.3
    • Acid House Mixes By 808 State (1988) 7.4
    • 2006 and 2009 reissues 7.5
  • Orgy version 8
    • Background 8.1
    • Success 8.2
    • Reception 8.3
    • Track listing 8.4
    • Chart performance 8.5
    • Appearances 8.6
  • Flunk version 9
    • 2002 EP track listing 9.1
  • 808 State version 10
  • References 11
  • Sources 12
  • External links 13


At nearly seven-and-a-half minutes, "Blue Monday" is one of the longest tracks ever to chart on the UK Singles Chart. Despite selling well it was not eligible for an official gold disc because Factory Records was not a member of the British Phonographic Industry association.[10] According to the Official Charts Company, its total sales stands at 1.16 million in the United Kingdom alone, and "Blue Monday" came 69th in the all-time UK best-selling singles chart published in November 2012.[11]

The song begins with a distinctive semiquaver kick drum intro, programmed on an Oberheim DMX drum machine.[12] 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.[13] 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.

"Blue Monday" was described by the BBC Radio 2 "Sold on Song" feature thus: "The track is widely regarded as a crucial link between Seventies disco and the dance/house boom that took off at the end of the Eighties."[10] Synthpop had been a major force in British popular music for several years, but "Blue Monday", with encouragement by the band's manager Rob Gretton, was a dance record that also exhibited influences from the New York club scene,[10] particularly the work of producers like Arthur Baker (who collaborated on New Order's follow-up single "Confusion").

According to Bernard Sumner, "Blue Monday" was influenced by four songs: the arrangement came from "Dirty Talk", by Klein + M.B.O.; the signature bassline with octaves came from Sylvester's disco classic, "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)"; the beat came from "Our Love", by Donna Summer; and the long keyboard pad on the intro and outro was sampled from the Kraftwerk song "Uranium", from the Radio-Activity album.[14] The band claimed to have written the song in response to crowd disappointment at the fact that they never played encores.[15] The song was planned to allow them to return to the stage, press play on a synthesiser and leave the stage again, but while writing the song it evolved into a project that the band quite liked, and it was turned from an experiment into a single. However, the band since have become noted for playing Blue Monday as an encore.[16]


The artwork is designed to resemble a 5¼" floppy disk. The sleeve does not display either the group name nor song title in plain English anywhere; the only text on the sleeve is "FAC SEVENTY THREE" on the spine. Instead the legend "FAC 73 BLUE MONDAY AND THE BEACH NEW ORDER" is represented in code by a series of coloured blocks. The key enabling this to be deciphered was printed on the back sleeve of the album, Power, Corruption & Lies.[17] "Blue Monday" and Power, Corruption & Lies are two of four Factory releases from this time period to employ the colour code, the others being "Confusion" by New Order and From the Hip by Section 25.

The single's original sleeve, created by Factory designer Peter Saville and Brett Wickens, was die-cut with a silver inner sleeve.[17] It cost so much to produce that Factory Records actually lost money on each copy sold. Matthew Robertson's Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album[18] notes that "[d]ue to the use of die-cutting and specified colours, the production cost of this sleeve was so high that the single sold at a loss." Tony Wilson noted that it lost 5p per sleeve "due to our strange accounting system"; Saville noted that nobody expected "Blue Monday" to be a commercially successful record at all, so nobody expected the cost to be an issue."[19] In Shadowplayers: The Rise and Fall of Factory Records, Saville states "I am so bored with this story. We didn't even know how many of these expensive covers were ever made anyway."[20]

Robertson also noted that "[l]ater reissues had subtle changes to limit the cost" (the diecut areas being replaced with printed silver ink).[19] Saville commented in 2013 that the printers "banged out a cheaper version. I don't know how many thousands were sold [the original] way, or whether Factory were charged the full price for something they didn't get, which would be very Factory."[21]

The artwork was so late that Saville sent it straight to the printer, unreviewed by either the band or the label.[22]

The 1988 and 1995 versions were packaged in conventional sleeves.

Music videos

A music video for a shortened version of the original song was created in 1983, featuring military clips with false colour, simple computer-generated graphics such as colour blocks and geometric lines, digitised video of band members at very low resolution and framerate, and a short appearance of the game Zaxxon (reportedly the Apple II port). The colour blocks were created using Peter Saville's colour-coded alphabet.[23]

On the Australian show Rage, a video was shown containing footage taken from their BBC Top of the Pops performance with the studio track dubbed over it.

The music video for "Blue Monday '88" appears on the Substance video collection (released as a companion to the album of the same name). The video features sketches by photographer William Wegman and his Weimaraner dog named Fay Ray doing balancing acts intercut with hand-drawn animation by Robert Breer. The band members are shown standing around doing various tasks, such as walking a wooden plank over a floor that is painted blue, holding wire-mesh constructed art and milk crates over their faces, being hit by tennis balls, and standing still while they flip through various flip books (tying into the hand-drawn animation sequences).[24]

In September 2012 New Order headlined a festival at Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir to produce a cover version and accompanying video.[25]

Official releases

"Blue Monday" has been a hit several times in the UK. In 1983, it charted twice, initially reaching number 12, then re-entering the chart later in the year and climbing to number 9, helped by the fact that neither side of the single (the B-side "The Beach" was an instrumental re-working of "Blue Monday") was featured on the UK version of the group's subsequent album, Power, Corruption & Lies.

New Order appeared on the BBC's Top of the Pops, on 31 March 1983,[26] to promote the song. New Order insisted on performing Blue Monday live. The performance was dogged by technical problems, and was unrepresentative of the recording. In the words of drummer Stephen Morris, "Blue Monday was never the easiest song to perform, anyway, and everything went wrong. The synthesisers went awry. It sounded awful".[27] In 1985, "Blue Monday" and "Thieves Like Us" were officially released in Poland as a 7" single in different sleeve by Tonpress under license from Factory Records and sold over 50,000 copies and reached number 5 on the end-of-year single chart.[28] In 1988, "Blue Monday" was officially remixed by Quincy Jones and John Potoker under the title "Blue Monday 88" (with the instrumental flip being titled "Beach Buggy"). The single reached number 3 in the British charts, number 4 in the Australian charts, and topped the dance charts in the United States. A further official remix/reissue in 1995, with a mix by Hardfloor as the lead track, also made the British Top 20. The song has sold 1.21 million copies in the UK as of October 2015.[29]


In 2008, Collector's Editions of all New Order's 1980s albums were released. The result is that remastered versions of the original 12" "Blue Monday" and its B-side "The Beach" appear on the Collector's Edition of Power, Corruption & Lies. Meanwhile, "Blue Monday '88" and "Beach Buggy" appear on the Collector's Edition of 1986's Brotherhood. "Blue Monday" also appeared on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on its in-game radio Wave 103. Also in FIFA Football 2005 and in-game radio in Forza Horizon. "Blue Monday" appears on almost every New Order compilation. This is a brief rundown of what versions appear where.

  • 1987: Substance 1987 – Original 12" version
  • 1994: Best of New Order – 1988 7" version
  • 1995: Rest of New Order – Hardfloor Mix [note: some versions come with a disc of "Blue Monday" remixes]
  • 2002: International – Original 12" version
  • 2002: Retro – Original 12" version and Jam and Spoon Manuela Mix
  • 2005: Singles – Original 12" version [note: this version omits the opening seconds] and 1988 7" version
  • 2011: Total - Original 12" version

Compilation appearances include

Track listing

Blue Monday

All songs written and composed by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner; except where indicated. 

12": FAC73 (UK) (1983)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday"   7:29
2. "The Beach"   7:19
7": Tonpress S-534 (Poland) (1985)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Blue Monday"     7:29
2. "Thieves Like Us"   Arthur Baker, Gilbert, Hook, Morris, Sumner 6:36

Blue Monday 1988

All songs written and composed by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner

7": FAC73-7 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday 1988"   4:09
2. "Beach Buggy"   4:18
7": Qwest 7-27979 / Cassette: Qwest 4-27979 (US)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday 1988 (Single Mix)"   4:10
2. "Touched by the Hand of God (Single Version)"   3:41
12": FAC73R (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday 1988 (12" Version)"   7:09
2. "Beach Buggy"   6:52
12": Qwest 0-20869 (US)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday 1988 (12" Mix)"   7:09
2. "Blue Monday 1988 (Dub)"   7:16
3. "Touched by the Hand of God (Remix)"   7:02
4. "Touched by the Hand of God (Dub)"   5:30
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday 1988 (12-inch)"   7:09
2. "Beach Buggy (12-inch)"   6:52
3. "Blue Monday 1988 (7-inch)"   4:09
Video CD: FACDV73R (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday 1988 (12-inch)"   7:09
2. "Beach Buggy (12-inch)"   6:52
3. "Blue Monday 1988 (7-inch)"   4:09
4. "Blue Monday 1988" (Video) 4:09
Cassette: Qwest 4-27979 (Canada)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday 1988 (12" Mix)"   7:09
2. "Touched by the Hand of God (Single Version)"   4:10
3. "Blue Monday 1988 (Single Version)"   4:10
4. "Blue Monday 1988 (Dub version)"   7:16

Blue Monday-95

All songs written and composed by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner

7": NUO 7 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday-95 (Hardfloor Radio Edit)"   4:16
2. "Blue Monday (Original Radio Edit)" (Actually "Blue Monday 1988 (7-inch)") 4:09
12": NUOX7 (UK)
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday-95 (Hardfloor Mix)"   8:34
2. "Blue Monday-95 (Andrea Mix)"   8:26
3. "Blue Monday-95 (Manuella Mix)"   7:31
4. "Blue Monday (Original Mix)"   7:26
No. Title Length
1. "Blue Monday-95 (Hardfloor Mix)"   8:37
2. "Blue Monday (Original Mix)"   7:26
3. "Blue Monday-95 (Manuella Mix)"   7:32
4. "Blue Monday-95 (Andrea Mix)"   8:28
5. "Blue Monday-95 (Plutone Mix)"   6:29
CD: 850039.2 (Europe)
No. Title Length
1. "BlueMonday-95 (Manuela Mix)"   7:31
2. "BlueMonday-95 (Andrea Mix)"   8:28
3. "BlueMonday-95 (Hardfloor Mix)"   8:36
4. "BlueMonday-95 (Brain Mix)"   5:24
CD: 850041.2 (Europe)
No. Title Length
1. "BlueMonday-95 (Plutone Mix)"   6:29
2. "BlueMonday-95 (Starwash Mix)"   5:38
3. "Blue Monday (Original Mix)"   7:23
4. "BlueMonday-95 (Hardfloor Dub)"   8:15
  • "Blue Monday (Plutone Dub)" (4:46) was only made available on promo vinyl FAC73PL

Acid House Mixes By 808 State (1988)

12": CAT 806 EP (UK)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Blue Monday (So Hot Mix)"   Gilbert, Hook, Morris, Sumner 7:47
2. "Confusion (Acid House Mix)"   Arthur Baker, Gilbert, Hook, Morris, Sumner 5:54
  • Released in 2004.

Chart positions

Orgy version

"Blue Monday"
from the album Candyass
Released 14 December 1998
Format Single
Genre Industrial rock, electronic rock, industrial metal
Length 31:46
Label Warner Bros./Reprise/Elementree
Producer(s) Orgy
Orgy singles chronology
"Blue Monday"
"Fiction (Dreams in Digital)"
"Blue Monday / Stitches"
Released 9 February 1999
Format Single
Genre Alternative rock, industrial rock
Length 48:04
Label Warner Bros./Reprise/Elementree
Producer(s) Orgy

"Blue Monday" is the second single of American Not Another Teen Movie, among others.[69] Stating that the song "had energy", they eventually selected it for the movie,[70] and it appeared in the soundtrack as well.[71]

"Blue Monday" charted internationally, some of which included CMJ's "Commercial Alternative Cuts"[72] and Billboard's Alternative, Pop, and Dance song charts as well as others. It also appeared in Time Magazine[73] and Newsweek[74] in 2000 as featured song clips.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic (Blue Monday(single)) [75]
Allmusic (Blue Monday / Stitches) [76]

"Blue Monday" has been called the "aggro-fied-for-the-1990s" version of New Order's song,[62] and it is considered to be part of a resurgence of new wave covers in gloomcore, along with one-hit wonder, believing that it would be difficult for the band to follow up with another hit song.[60] Many believed it to be their best song.[78] Porter W. Richards of Sputnik felt that even though many of the songs off of Candyass sounded similar, "Blue Monday" was a great song that should not be overlooked.[59]

In a January 2000 Spin Magazine interview, Buckcherry's vocalist Josh Todd and guitarist Keith Nelson did not speak highly of the song, likening its sound to a Nine Inch Nails rip-off and calling the sound "mechanical".[67] The song is also viewed somewhat negatively by the author of the comic book series Blue Monday, Chynna Clugston, who in an interview also expresses dislike for the misconception that she borrowed the title for her book.[79]

Track listing

Blue Monday (single)
No. Title Mix Length
1. "Blue Monday"   Radio Edit 3:48
2. "Blue Monday"   Album Version 4:26
3. "Blue Monday"   Club 69 8:45
4. "Blue Monday"   Club 69 Dub 8:14
5. "Blue Monday"   Optical Vocal 6:33

Information on Blue Monday (single).[80]

Blue Monday/Stitches
No. Title Mix Length
1. "Blue Monday"   Single 4:29
2. "Blue Monday"   Optical Vocal 6:40
3. "Stitches"   Green Velvet 6:13
4. "Blue Monday"   Club 69 8:43
5. "Blue Monday"   Club 69 Dub 8:13
6. "Blue Monday"   Optical Instrumental 6:41
7. "Blue Monday"   DJ Dan Remix 9:32
Information on Blue Monday/Stitches.[76]

Chart performance

Chart (1998-1999) Peak
Australia ([81] 36
Canadian Singles Chart[42] 5
CMJ Commercial Alternative Charts[72] 4
Germany ([82] 83
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[80] 30
US Billboard Hot 100[42] 56
US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales 30
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[42] 2
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[42] 1
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[42] 18
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[42] 4
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[42] 32


Information on appearances.[83]

Flunk version

"Blue Monday"
Single by Flunk
from the album Blue Monday
Released 8 April 2002 (Norway)
3 June 2002 (UK/Worldwide)
Format CD
Genre Electronic music
Label Beatservice
BS053 (CD)

Flunk covered the song and released it as single in 2002. In this version, Flunk slows down "Blue Monday" making it a popular hit for Flunk,[84] based in part on the song's wide recognition. The lyrics become the focus for this version rather than the danceable beat (which was emphasized in the original version). The single received generally positive reviews by electronic music critics,[84] but Mallory O'Donnell of Stylus Magazine commented that Flunk "only showed the paucity of melody" of the original New Order song.[85] The cover was included in the 2004 film Walking Tall, starring Dwayne Johnson. The song was subsequently remixed, with at least 7 remixes along with the original version available. The original release was on the 2002 EP titled Blue Monday.

2002 EP track listing

  1. Blue Monday
  2. Eight Days A Freak
  3. Blue Monday (Howard Maple Mess Up Mix)

808 State version

In 2004, Aphex Twin's Rephlex Records released 808 State's acid house version of Blue Monday which had been recorded in 1988. A favourite at The Haçienda's Hot Night, the recording was believed lost until Autechre's Sean Booth asked Graham Massey to dig through his archive of old 808 State acid house material.[86] Aphex Twin said at the time: "If you're a dance music fan these recordings are almost like a missing link. Bands like New Order helped create house, acid and techno. This is 808 State paying homage to their elders." [87]


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  • Strousse, Jean; et al. (2000).  
  • Udo, Tommy (2002). Brave nu world. Sanctuary. p. 255.  
  • Whitburn, Joel (2003). Joel Whitburn's rock tracks: mainstream rock 1981–2002 : modern rock, 1988–2002 : bonus section! classic rock tracks, 1964–1980. Record Research. p. 335.  

External links

  • New Order discography (includes images of sleeve)
  • Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
  • How we made: New Order's Gillian Gilbert and designer Peter Saville on Blue Monday
Preceded by
"Prove Your Love" by Taylor Dayne
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
("Blue Monday 1988", with "Touched by the Hand of God")

30 April 1988
Succeeded by
"Adventure" by Eleanor
it appeared on MTV's alternative music program [58] and was a hit on MTV;[61] The song appeared on modern rock radio stations,


The music video for "Blue Monday" also appeared on several music television stations, and the song was also released on vinyl.[64]

Their first official single release featured various versions of "Blue Monday" and upon the success of the song the band decided to include their previous single "Stitches" on the second release. With the label's support this release was an enhanced CD that featured the music video for "Blue Monday" on 9 February 1999,[60] which was in QuickTime format. "Blue Monday" has been made into several dance remixes,[62] some which were produced to appeal to the underground dance club scene,[60] and was even advertised under "Club Mix" 2000, a popular dance compilation series.[63]

In an interview with Billboard Magazine guitarist Amir Derakh said that upon working on the song they "wanted to do the original 'Blue Monday' justice" and had expected more criticism. He went on to say that they felt lucky to have covered it and that they felt it could have been something that they had written.[60] The fact that their first major hit was a cover of the 1980s electronica/dance song did not bother the band.[61]


[59] appearing on music charts worldwide. It has been attributed with providing industrial and metal music with a fresh connection.[58] of the New Order song, it was released on 14 December 1998. Internationally, the song was a hit,cover version A [57]

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