TV, Video — January 7, 2014 at 8:32 am

‘A machine to make people dance’: Watch 30-minute documentary on New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’

New Order doc

Last summer, the members of New Order — Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, as well as former bassist Peter Hook — and sleeve designer Peter Saville were interviewed by Swedish National Television for a 30-minute documentary on the story behind their iconic 1983 single “Blue Monday.” That program, featuring Swedish narration and English subtitles, is now available online to watch worldwide.

As Sumner quips of the legendary track — long claimed to be the best-selling 12-inch of all time — in the intro, “I don’t really regard it as a song. I kind of regard it as a machine to make people dance.”

WATCH: Hitlåtens historia: New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’






  1. Somehow I can’t get BM predecessor from Gerry and the Holograms 7″ out of my head as I watch this

  2. Yes, but surely you ripped the idea of THE CURE …officially THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BAND of THE 80s. Its time THEY got some credit around here. Hasn’t anyone noticed how similar Blue Monday is to The Walk; or how much Joy Division ripped off Pornography;Or how much The Banshees copied their WHOLE LOOK from the CURE. Come on, lets start a Fakebook page about it.

    • dashboardhula

      The Cure is The Cure. No one can touch them. This however, is about the celebration of New Order. Don’t Hate, appreciate.

      • Salford is a OK guy. He actually don’t hate The Cure. ‘Dashboardhula, his comment on this topic is a bit a sarcasm on previous poll results on this site.

    • ..banshees copies the cure. Hilarious A+ post mate. Honestly NO are an incredible band too…

    • I am not sure if there’s an element of sarcasm or one of ignorance in salford’s post. Here’s hoping for the former.

      I love the Cure but:
      – Blue Monday was released 3 months before The Walk.
      – Joy Division’s output predates most of The Cure’s (unless the suggestion is that Joy Division ripped off “Three Imaginary Boys??!!)
      – “Banshees copied The Cure’s look”. Not even worth bothering to comment.

    • how did joy division rip off pornography when it was released in 1982 and ian curtis died in 1980?

      • THANK YOU! i can’t stand it when people present themselves as knowing a lot about a subject and know NOTHING! especially when they’re so condescending about it. joy division’s music is so original, they are still influencing bands. and not to take away from the cure, who, i think, is one of the most consistently great bands to come out of that era of music. as for the banshees “copying” the cure-all those bands influenced each other. this person has no idea what they’re talking about!

    • Hate to disillusion you. I love the Cure, but read The Banshees autobiography and look at the photos. Siouxsie was doing the make-up and overall look before Mr. Smith. I don’t take Siouxsie’s view that Robert Smith didn’t add anything to the Hayaena album, as he completely changed the sound, but everything needs to be taken in context.

  3. Officially?

    The Cure get recognition. They have been forgotten like other popular bands/artists from the 80s.

  4. From Wiki – 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.

  5. I hope Salford is being funny based on the top of the 80s Cure-fest. But in case, Blue Monday came out in March of 1983. The Walk came out in June of 1983. And JD were done and gone before Pornography came out.

    • Scroll through a few of the very irate comments attached to the 80’s album poll results (e.g. “Why so many Cure albums…why weren’t all my favorites in the top 20 instead?!”) and you’ll get the picture. Apparently a lot of people had a major personal stake in the outcome of that poll.

  6. I really enjoyed this documentary. If any pop song has sufficient notoriety to warrant its own documentary, it’s Blue Monday — thanks to the band, the times, the brilliant (but costly) packaging, and the enduring popularity. And the fact that the song itself is a masterpiece.

  7. karaoke king

    Wow I thought I knew all there was to know about Blue Monday. Had no idea about those early disco tunes that helped shape it. Also the part about the errant bass line they kept in but just mixed down is fascinating. However, Tony Wilson should have stuck with TV journalism. He had to have been the worst manager of all time. Imagine OK’ing the production of the sleeve without even getting a quote?

    • 24 Hour Party People focuses mainly on Wilson and his mis-management on various levels. Its a hoot, even if its mostly “the legend” and the “facts”. Blue Monday is covered in a funny scene or two…

    • And yet, Wilson’s naiveté and “mismanagement” allowed something brilliant and legendary to happen — something we’re still talking about today. If it had been some tight-ass accountant running things at Factory, Peter Saville’s amazing cover would have been scotched, and the “Blue Monday” 12-inch single wouldn’t have become the amazing cultural artifact that it is.

      The song is the song, and would be cool in and of itself. But the fact that N.O. chose to release it as a 12-inch with only “The Beach” instrumental on the B-side, went with the amazing but ludicrously expensive die-cut cover, released it with even the band’s name hidden in a color code … that’s the stuff of legend that transcends the song itself. There’s all sorts of reasons why “Blue Monday” deserves its own mini-documentary, and the excessive but visionary packaging is a big part of it.

      One thing to think about is what we’ve lost with our new era of essentially all-digital music distribution, when nobody much cares about physical media (or by extension, cover art) anymore, or the discrete, tangible cultural artifact that a 12-inch single represented. If “Blue Monday” were just being released today, would a fucking MP3 become the stuff of such legend? Would Peter Saville and his vision even come into play?

  8. Richard Evans

    Enjoyed this video made me once again realize I grew up in excitting time for music that even today is still played in clubs all over the world. Today at work I am just going to play New Order all day.

  9. Wasn’t an edit of Blue Monday relased on 7″ in Japan. I assume without the bands involvement/blessing.

    • Maybe. Wikipedia says (today anyway) that it was released on 7″ in Poland (?) but makes no mention of Japan.

      That slightly edited version apparently was also on a “Best of New Order” compilation in 1988 which I’ve never heard. I have only ever known the song as the original 12-inch mix.

  10. Is this video available anywhere?

  11. Is this video available anymore?

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