Today is the 40th anniversary of Blue Monday, the canonical synthpop song: the Platinum-Iridium reference 12" single, stored in a vault in Manchester,* against which all other 12" singles are measured.

    * Under what is now a parking lot and upscale condominiums.

In addition to being just a perfect song, it was also a glorious physical artifact. I still remember the first time I saw it: the three die-cut holes, revealing not the usual white paper inner sleeve, but weirdly-textured flat black plastic that looked exactly like the surface of a floppy disk. The two little notches at the bottom. No text at all. And the mysterious color code down the right edge. Perfect. No notes.

I have been "borrowing" from the designs of Peter Saville, Factory Records and The Haçienda for the last couple of decades, but this is where it all started.

It remains the best-selling 12" single of all time, and the production costs on the die cut sleeve were so high that it was being sold at a loss, which is just the most Peter Saville / Tony Wilson thing ever.

Here's a good article in The Guardian with some well-chosen musical selections: Who inspired it and who it inspired - they spliced Donna Summer with Ennio Morricone to make a futurist dance smash.

I have listened to Blue Monday at least a dozen times while composing this post and you should too. Sadly, the only official music video of the song is from the far inferior 1988 Quincy Jones remix. (It's a great video, but a terrible remix.)

Might I also recommend:

Extremely relevant Previouslies:

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Current Music: As noted

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