Thirty-five years ago today, New Order released their seminal New Wave dance hit, “Blue Monday.” The song — along with its iconic packaging for the 12″ vinyl single as an over-sized floppy disc — represents a key moment in time for the band, the clearest indication that it had moved beyond its more austere roots as Joy Division and towards a populist direction that would later yield hits like “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “True Faith,” among others.
As steely-eyed readers may have figured out, I’m a bit of a Joy Division and New Order fan. So to help celebrate this milestone, I offer “Blue Monday” as interpreted by Orkestra Obsolete on 1930’s gear, some in rather useful disrepair. They preemptively answer the question, “What would ‘Blue Monday’ have sounded like if it were recorded 50 years earlier?” The result manages to capture the moodiness of the original piece in unexpected ways by employing traditional and non-traditional instruments including an old radio, a musical saw, some wine glasses, theremin, and much more. Special thanks to BBC Arts for the presentation.
(By the by, this seems to be the only offering ever from Orkestra Obsolete. Too bad . . . )