Monday, September 26, 2016

"Blue Monday" by Orkestra Obsolete

It's Monday and I thought I'd share this marvelous cover of New Order's "Blue Monday" by Orkestra Obsolete. The idea is to play the song using only instruments available in the 1930s. What starts out as a novelty actually turns into quite an interesting device...

And if you aren't familiar with it, here is the original version released in 1983. Believe it or not, this song was a real game changer in the musical landscape at the time. "Blue Monday" was described by the BBC Radio 2 "Sold on Song" feature thus: "The track is widely regarded as a crucial link between Seventies disco and the dance/house boom that took off at the end of the Eighties." According to New Order bandmember 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. It combined all of these elements with the coldness of what was then being called New Wave, and the darkness found in the music of Joy Division, the previous post-punk incarnation of New Order. This is what gave the song its uniqueness and its "I've-not-heard-anything-like-this-before" quality.

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