Friday, June 6, 2014

UK Indie Hits: 1980-89 (No. 4)

I'm counting down my top 50 singles from the golden age of the UK Independent Charts.

4. New Order - "Blue Monday"

Other Contenders: Here is the entire run of '80s singles... in order. Another nearly impossible task as several of these songs are worthy of a slot. Feel free to put in your two cents. As you may know, "Blue Monday" is the best selling 12" single of all time. It spent a record 13 weeks at No. 1 on the indie chart. The single hung around the chart for 186 weeks, second only to "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

"Procession"/"Everything's Gone Green"
"Everything's Gone Green"
"Thieves Like Us"
"Murder"/"Thieves Like Us" (instrumental)
"The Perfect Kiss"
"The Perfect Kiss"(remix)
"State of the Nation"
"Bizarre Love Triangle"
"True Faith"
"Touched by the Hand of God"
"Blue Monday 1988" (remix reissue)
"Fine Time"
"Round and Round"
"Run 2"

Chart Entry: March 19, 1983

Peak Position: No. 1

Comment: Sure, the albums are good, but I think New Order is the best singles band on this countdown. My modus operandi has always seemed to be to love a band's earlier work until the world catches up. Then, more times than not, I abandon them as I perceive the quality of the music as going into the crapper. Sometimes that's a fact, but many times it's just me not wanting to share. Pitiful. Anyway, New Order is an exception... at least throughout the '80s. I think the American hit "True Faith" is as good as "Temptation." In fact, those are the two songs that battled with "Blue Monday" for this spot.

The following is going to sound like an inferior version of 'Footloose'... if that's possible. I grew up surrounded by Illinois cornfields. If you used the word "culture," it was most likely referring to the fermentation process at a local dairy farm. When I got my driver's license in 1986, the first thing I did was pick up my pals in the family station wagon for a trip to the nearest "city," and I use that term loosely. There was a dance club that had an underage night on Fridays. It was a place where you could actually meet girls that didn't go to your high school, and that seemed mysterious and exciting.

Anyway, we walk in, and "I Can't Wait" by Nu Shooz is playing. I'm thinking, "uh-oh," we're in trouble here, as we give our best impressions of wallflowers. Then, a few minutes later, that thud, thud, thud, starts fading in, and the entire place collectively shrieks as we dart to the dance floor. This is a full three years after the release of "Blue Monday," but it might as well have been No. 1 on the Billboard chart that week. Then again, maybe it just took three years to get to some of my peers in the sticks. Seven-and-a-half minutes later, my pals and I don't feel so much like outsiders. The same scenario played out the following few times we trekked to Thrills (yep, that was really the name), and that's why "Blue Monday" still captures my heart, as well as No. 4 on this list.

Buy "Blue Monday" on the reissue of 'Power, Corruption & Lies, the double-disc quasi-compilation 'Substance' or 'Singles.'


Uncle E said...

When you put all of these down in one place, man-oh-man, it makes for a good argument for best band of the decade, doesn't it? In my opinion, it's probably a race between NO and The Smiths. Anyhow, even though it may be trendy to pick a more obscure song than Blue Monday, I cannot fault you with your choice. How can you beat that?

Brian said...

It's in my nature to go off the beaten path. This is a rare case. Gotta say, there are so many gems here. I really loved just about everything through Technique.

Echorich said...

Blue Monday is certainly the best choice among a group of songs that rival each other for the best moment in the band's history. If I'm honest about my top pics of NO songs they are these five, in this order:
1. Temptation, 2. Blue Monday, 3. Sub-Culture, 4. Confusion, 5. Thieves Like Us. I can interchange these depending on mood or even the time of year. Confusion and Thieves Like Us are certainly Summer songs. Sub-Culture and Temptation are Winter songs to me. Blue Monday is a nighttime track that works all year round.

Brian said...

Temptation was so close to being my New Order pick, but the one on your list that has me nodding in agreement is Thieves Like Us. That's going to get a few listens today, I can tell you that. Thanks for the much needed nudge.

Echorich said...

Brian, Thieves Like Us is one of my favorite highway driving songs. Driving south on I-75 on the West Coast of Florida, with no traffic, I feel like I'm gliding! Of course I have to keep one eye out for Troopers hiding behind bushes and trees, but it's exhilarating.

Dirk said...

Oddly enough I never cared all too much for Thieves. But it's B-Side is the best thing New Order ever did. Fact. But as it doesn't count, I would have gone for 'Ceremony'.