Released on March 7, 1983, New Order's "Blue Monday" was a smash. Designed by Factory Records' Peter Saville, the original 12-inch sleeve packaging cleverly replicated a floppy computer disk and included little information about New Order (neither the name of the group nor the single title appeared). Although rumored that the cost of producing the complex die-cut sleeve represented a loss on each single sold by Factory, the seven-minute-plus track would become among the best-selling 12-inch singles of all time. The original single is part of a special Joy Division/New Order exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
"Blue Monday," which took nearly four months to record, was driven by a host of sequencer and synthesizer effects, including the throbbing synth bass line (overlayed with Peter Hook's lead bass stylings), and drum machine beat. The song contained no chorus, instead revolving around a series of verses. "It does come down to songwriting," said Hook of "Blue Monday" during a 2010 interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio . "Whilst everyone may have the equipment in their little box, not everybody [has] the ability to write a song like 'Blue Monday.' It was quite odd, because we never thought 'Blue Monday' was that great. It was just another song. The vocal was done last – there was no vocal written, everything was on the song, even the bass guitar. It wasn't a huge hit when it came out."
WATCH: Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order shares the story behind "Blue Monday"