Sunday, November 1, 2009

Recycle 16: Blue Monday 1988


[Link removed 20 November 2012] (68 MB)

Blue Monday 1988
Factory Records Fac 73R
Produced by Quincy Jones, remixed by John Potoker
March 1988


1. Blue Monday 1988
2. Beach Buggy
3. Blue Monday 1988 (Dub Version)
4. Blue Monday 1988 (7" Mix)
5. Beach Buggy (7" Mix)
6. Blue Monday 1988 (Alternate 7" Mix)

1 , 2, and 4 from Factory UK CD single FAC 73R
3 from PolyGram Canada CD single 870 354-2
5 from Factory/Nippon Columbia Japan CD single 15CY-5020
6 from Factory UK FACDV 73R

Much thanks to Osamu T. for providing track 5 and Clive W. for track 6!

Notes from the restorer:

Blue Monday 1988 was the first in what would become a long line of remixes of Blue Monday. Produced by Quincy Jones with the actual remix done by John Potoker, it keeps most of the original track intact, and simply adds a few minor parts and loads of utterly ridiculous sound effects on top. I've read that this remix even outsold the original, but others have told me it didn't. I hope not.

As for the mix itself, well… it has its fans, but I'd never choose to hear it over the original. While some of the added synth parts are good and work quite well, the sound effects are a total ADHD attack. To me, it's like listening to the song in the same room as someone channel surfing through the most banal TV programming imaginable. Had it been done today, I would expect to hear "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!" and maybe some Jar-Jar Binks amongst the sonic detritus peppered across the tune.

The flip side, Beach Buggy I suppose is an update of The Beach, and includes brief samples of other New Order tracks. How very meta.

I suppose my indifference to this remix is quite evident. However, as needless as I felt this was, it was nothing compared to the onslaught of needless remixes which would start in the mid-90s, oh no.

The alternate 7" mix appeared on the CDV. It has the structure of the released 7" version, but portions of it are from the 12" mix.
With New Order now signed to Qwest in the US, Quincy Jones saw an opportunity for their groundbreaking track to have a legitimate single release and a shot at radio airplay, where it peaked at #68 (although it reached #1 on the Billboard Dance chart). It also served as a chance to bundle in non-album single Touched By The Hand Of God, and made a nice stop-gap falling almost halfway between Substance and Technique.

I agree that the mix is a little ADHD, but it gave Stephen Morris a chance to use some of the odd samples he'd been collecting. It's saving grace, though, is the wonderful video directed by William Wegman, featuring his dog Fay Ray, and animation sequences by Robert Breer. It's one of the band's best clips.

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