Right before I got heavy into 80s music, I saw the movie The Wedding Singer. In the background of a club scene, Blue Monday was playing, though at the time I didn’t know the singer or the song title. I just liked the throbbing beat and monotone vocal delivery. It was different from the perky pop music I’d grown up listening to from my parents. I loved the song enough that I bought the soundtrack, hoping to hear it. However, that song wasn’t on there for whatever reason. But it stayed in my head and I continued hearing it on online 80s flashback stations that I listened to while I did my homework in high school. I continued hearing other New Order songs on there and in other movies too, like the song Shellshock (used in Pretty in Pink). Another favorite was the song Love Vigilantes, which I heard a lot on those stations.
Eventually I got a copy of New Order’s first greatest hits album Substance. I found it on a cassette at a thrift store (where I used to do a lot of my music shopping as a teenager because that’s where I could find all the more obscure 80s stuff that FYE didn’t carry) and took the time to digitize it so I could listen to it on my MP3 and mix CDs (hard to believe there was a time before I carried around all my music on an iPod; I didn’t get my first one until 2003, when I graduated high school). Of all the songs on Substance, Blue Monday was my favorite. The layers of synthesizers all coming in and out. The monotone voice. The ambiguous lyrics (I’m still not sure what it’s about but that doesn’t really matter!). That throbbing dun-dun-duhduhduhduh-dun-dun-dun-dun-duhduhduhduh beat. As soon as the bell rang for the end of class, I would put that song on and let it pound in my ears as I navigated the halls of my high school. It kept me going in so many ways. And it’s still one of my favorite songs to play as I drive down a dark highway, getting lost in the night.
When it came time to pick songs for this Girl and Piano portion, I thought of this one. I’ve been playing my own piano/girl arrangement of this song for a few years now, and it’s actually quite a fun song to play. Sure you don’t quite get that throbbing beat, but I think it works really well as an acoustic song. I’ve heard other artists perform this song in such a way (Charlotte Martin immediately comes to mind), so why not let me give it a try?
And the timing on this couldn’t be better. Last year, this song was used in Atomic Blonde. Then most recently, Blue Monday in the background at a club scene of another movie, Ready Player One. Totally unintentional with this timing! But it works!
Click below to listen to my acoustic take on this electronic favorite, and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel!