Different Flavors of Blue Monday

Blue Monday is a landmark song by the British rock band New Order. Released as a 12-inch single on March 7, 1983, through Factory Records and later featured on select versions of their second studio album, “Power, Corruption & Lies” (1983), it is the top-selling 12-inch single of all time and is the song that made me a lifelong fan back in middle school. Composed and produced by band members Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, and Bernard Sumner, the track epitomizes the synth-pop and alternative dance genres, drawing inspiration from various artists. Its release was accompanied by a unique, wordless packaging designed by Peter Saville and Brett Wickens, resembling a 5¼-inch floppy disk with colored blocks encoding artist and song information. The single enjoyed substantial success, topping charts in multiple countries and becoming particularly renowned in the UK and New Zealand. Its 1988 remix also achieved significant popularity, further cementing the song’s enduring appeal.

New Order, formed from the remnants of Joy Division after singer Ian Curtis’ death, showcased their innovative use of technology, which was new to music production at the time. “Blue Monday” was crafted in their Cheetham Hill rehearsal room, incorporating a Moog Source for the synth bassline and an Oberheim DMX drum machine for rhythm. The band also used an early sampler, the Emulator 1, to create unique sounds, including sampling from Kraftwerk‘s “Uranium.” Despite the lack of MIDI technology, New Order, with engineer Martin Usher’s help, synchronized their instruments using a custom circuit. Influences for the song ranged from Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder to a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, showcasing a blend of diverse musical elements. The song’s structure deviates from traditional verse-chorus patterns, featuring a distinctive sequenced melody and bassline, and is recognized as a pivotal link between 70s disco and the dance/house movement of the late 80s.

Original version from the 1983 album Power, Corruption & Lies


Blue Monday 88, remixed by Quincy Jones


Industrial cover by Orgy


Analog cover by Orkestra Obsolete


Metal cover by Leo Moracchioli


Trippy acoustic cover by Flunk


Heavy synth cover by Zardonic ft Reebz


Country ballad cover by The Suitcase Dwellers


Reggae cover by The Jolly Boys


Alt-rock cover by Killer Klowns


Everything You Know About “Blue Monday” is Probably Wrong by Trash Theory

If you’re also a fan of this song, you should definitely check out this amazing video by Trash Theory.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (https://rencore.com/), leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.