It’s an intriguing premise: Take one of the most toward-thinking pop singles of the past 50 years and recreate it with instruments from 50 years before that.
But that’s just what the Orkestra Obsolete has done with New Order’s “Blue Monday,” the best-selling 12″ single of all time, according to the BBC. Their rearrangement is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the song’s March 7, 1983 release date.
New Order – rising from the ashes of Joy Division after lead singer Ian Curtis’s suicide – created the track using a hand-built Powertron Sequencer rigged to a Moog synthesizer and an Oberheim DMX drum machine (the very same model that would later give the rapper DMX his name). Here’s the original for reference, because it literally never gets old.
At 7:29, “Blue Monday” is one of the longest songs ever to hit the U.K. singles chart, and its original art was so expensive to produce that Factory Records apparently lost money on every sale.
All that is why it’s kind of perverse to have a group recreate the song using instruments from the 1930s, but that’s just what this video does, and it sorta works! All kinds of old-timey instruments make appearances in the clip, from singing glasses to the musical saw to the zither, the plucked string instrument famous for soundtracking The Third Man. Oh, and also a banjo-uke – the combination stringed instrument in this video dates to around 1910.
Now do “Bizarre Love Triangle.”