A reminder that anything you see today about the third Monday in January being the saddest day of the year is nonsense created by an advertising cohmpany to promote travel bookings, and that the joke is absolutely on them this year. Or it would be if the company that solicited the campaign was still in business. But what is real is that the 1983 New Order single is the best-selling 12″ single of all time, and that almost 40 years on, remains an awesome tune.
The story of the song was the subject of the final episode of the Transmissions podcast, which came out last Fall and tracked the story of Joy Division and New Order through new interviews with the band, their associates, and followers. I’m generally too impatient for podcasts but this one was (obviously) a must-listen and extremely well-produced and well-done. I hope the series isn’t done because, well, obviously they still got up to a fair but after 1983.
Follow that up with the then-probably groundbreaking original music video for the radio edit:
Which they replaced in canon with a new, slicker one on the single’s re-release in 1988:
And if you want a little more awkwardness in your visuals, here’s the band “performing” the track on Top Of The Pops in 1983:
Gillian Gilbert and Peter Saville discussed their respective roles in creating the track with The Guardian in 2013:
And Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook did the same for NME in 2015:
And Dig! produced a video featurette with the band talking about how they utilized then-cutting edge technology to craft the track (if you’ve watched some/all of the videos above, expect some deja vu):
Sound On Sound talked to producer Roger Lyons in 2004 about going back to the original multitrack recording of the song to create backing tracks for New Order’s Get Ready tour:
The Produce Like A Pro YouTube channel has a feature on the track as part of their “Songs That Changed Music” series:
And finally, if you’ve got an Oberheim DMX lying around and wanted to try your hand at recreating the drum parts, DMP (Drum Machine Parts) has got you covered: