Writer(s): Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Bernard Sumner (see lyrics here)
Released: March 7, 1983
First Charted: March 19, 1983
Peak: 68 US, 75 CB, 1 CO, 3 UK, 4 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.37 UK
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 115.0 video, 309.17 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris were first in the band Joy Division with Ian Curtis. After his suicide and the immense popularity of the posthumous single “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” the three surviving members regrouped as New Order. In 1981, they released three singles and their debut album Movement, all of which were met with only moderate success. However, the band’s fate changed with the release of “Blue Monday.”
It “helped New Order escape from the shadow of Joy Division and stand on their own.” RH It was “a dance record that also exhibited influences from the New York club scene.” WK It was “arguably the first British dance record to crossover to the New York club scene.” SF BBC Radio 2 once called the song “a crucial link between Seventies disco and the dance/house boom that took off at the end of the Eighties.” RH
The song has been said to be about “drug addiction, child abuse, or a failed relationships.” SF The title, which is never mentioned in the song, was taken from Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions. An illustration in the book refers to the invention of the washing machine as improving housewives’ lives with the caption “Goodbye Blue Monday.” SF
The song first reached #12 in the UK in 1983, but recharted that same year and got to #9. It spent a phenomenal 186 weeks on the UK Independent Singles Chart, second only to Joy Division’s 195 weeks for “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” WK It is the best-selling 12” single of all time in Britain. SF In 1988, a remix went to #3 in the UK and topped the dance chart in the United States. In 1995, yet another remix propelled the song back into the top 20 on the UK charts for a fourth time. In 1998, the band Orgy covered the song and reached #4 on Billboard’s modern rock chart in the U.S.
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First posted 10/7/2021.