Blue Monday

I was talking about this with my cousin a while back, and I meant to post it then, but somehow it escaped my mind. The other day, I saw a post that was gushing about New Order and that reminded me, so here I am. So, everyone knows the song, Blue Monday, right? I mean, even if you're a person who only listens to the radio or whatever your friends push your way...you still know this song. Whenever I would listen to some random countdown thingy on the radio, either Blue Monday or (The Smiths') How Soon Is Now? would finish first. If one was number one, the other would be number two. That's the way it always worked.

So I guess my question is; what makes
Blue Monday such a classic? Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great song; I'm not trying to be flippant here. I'm just wondering. The lyrics are okay, I think. Sometimes the music sounds dated when I listen to it; other times it sounds fresh and exciting. And that drumbeat. EVERYBODY knows it. It's like a fucking machine gun; rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat. You're in a club, the song starts up and you hear those beats; you, and everyone else in the room, instantly know what song it is.

I was thinking (and that may be my problem); if you actually met someone who didn't know this song and tried to convince them that it's worthy of its classic status, how would you say it? What words would you choose? When my cousin and I were discussing it, we tried but never really came to any definitive conclusion. Perhaps someone who reads this would be able to. Please comment, I am very interested!

Oh yeah, that pic up there; that was my first New Order experience. At that time, I had heard the name and maybe a few songs here or there, but I wasn't very familiar with them. This guy I worked with was into all three of those bands and organized a bunch of us to go to the show. So yeah, that's how I first became acquainted with New Order.

New Order > Blue Monday


shazrazzamatazz said...

It's really hard to define what makes Blue Monday so classic. It's dated, it's clunky, it's primitive... but maybe that is the charm of the song?!


jennifer said...

I don't know. I don't think it sounds dated, not in the way a lot of Madchester stuff does (or some of the house-lite tracks on the Trainspotting and 24 Hour Party People soundtracks do).

I think it's a classic because it was quite revolutionary at the time. They were becoming a big band and then they decided to chop up their instruments for a song and rely heavily on programmed beats, taking their cues from house music which was just barely beginning to set fire to the underground. I don't think any other bands so successfully had taken underground beats and transferred them to the mainstream. They were really ahead of their time, though I'm sure purists could point to hip-hop/house musicians, but were they as big and well known as New Order? No.

Mainstream radio seemed to take bigger risks in the 80s and they jumped all over this adding to its fame which solidified its classic status to this day.

robot hero said...

I dunno, Jen. Some parts of it sound very dated to me, in the way that Curve sounds dated to you. Like it should be on the Risky Business soundtrack or some shit like that.

I think the song also created a bridge between club/dance music and pop music. That could be part of the appeal as well.