08 October 2012

New Order - Blue Monday... "Really Weird, That Is!"

New Order, of course, formed after Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division, committed suicide in 1980. In 1983, I had never even heard of New Order. I had heard of Joy Division when they'd had some chart success with Love Will Tear Us Apart in 1980, but the follow-on band had slipped underneath my radar. I was dead common, you see. Chart music was everything to me and if a band hadn't charted, I didn't know 'em.

Then, along came Blue Monday in 1983. Now, at that point my favourite kind of music was synth pop, and Blue Monday had synths. It also had a jangling guitar. It also had a staccato beat. And it had a lack of structure I had never encountered before. The song simply didn't conform to the rules I was used to, and I rejected it: "That's really weird, that is!" I squawked.

But within a week this now legendary long player was on my record player non-stop. It was groundbreaking. It was brilliant. It was staggeringly original, it began to move us away from synth pop and towards the dance music era of the late 1980s and early 1990s - that's what I now say.

1987... schizoid year which saw the '80s destroying the yuppie dream it had created with the stock market crash - and a huge gale wreaking death and destruction across the south of England. The dance scene was getting well and truly underway. This track, from New Order's SUBSTANCE 1987 compilation album, is an absolute peach. Just listen to Bernard Summner:

"I stood there beside myself
Thinking hard about the weather
Then came by a friend of mine
Suggested we go out together
Then I knew it from the start
This friend of mine would fall apart
Pretending not to see his guilt
I said 'let's go out and have some fun'..."


Benny said...

This blew my socks off. It was so different from anything that had gone before. Hugely influential - the gateway from early 1980s synth pop to the Dance era which began in 1986/87.

Anonymous said...

LOVE both these tracks. Hookie's guitar on Blue Monday is legendary.