It is one of the iconic songs of the 1980s but have you ever wondered what New Order’s track ‘Blue Monday’ would sound like if it was created 50 years earlier? Well, thanks to the great minds at BBC you don’t have to.
‘Blue Monday’ was, and still is, one of the best songs of a decade which produced a whole heap of great songs. Often given the accolade of “starting electro” the song remains one of the most influential and impacting tracks of modern music.
Released in 1983 as a 12″ single, the track harnessed the endless possibilities of synth-pop and gave a whole new generation a brand new sound. The original single had a positive commercial performance, peaking within the top-ten in many countries. It peaked at number 2 for two weeks in New Zealand, and although it never reached number 1, it spent a total of 74 weeks (spread across three calendar years) in the top 50.
The band alleged to have written the song in response to crowd disappointment at the fact that they never played encores. Hilariously, the song was created to allow them to return to the stage, then press play on a synthesiser and leave the stage again. However, while writing the song it evolved into a project that the band quite liked, and it was turned from an experiment into a single.
The song and its components would go on to create a new generation of kids with their eyes firmly on futurist technology. But while the band can take credit for future changes to music now they can hear what it would’ve sounded like if the song had been recorded in the 1930s.
In a special BBC film, using only instruments available in the 1930s – from the theremin and musical saw to the harmonium and prepared piano – the mysterious Orkestra Obsolete present the iconic New Order track as you’ve never heard it before.
Watch Orkestra Obsolete performing New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ like you’ve never seen before