This Underrated 80s Band Had The Best 7-Minute Pop Song In Music History

I’m not sure there’s a more captivating seven-minute pop song in music history than New Order’s Blue Monday.

With a searing bassline and electronic drums, not to mention drone guitar licks and otherworldly synthesizer hauntings, the song flies its first two minutes before the lyrics are heard. At 5:30, there’s a sparse epic breakdown of a few beats followed by what sounds like Dark Age monks chanting, and then it’s all but the kitchen sink for the final two minutes. I dare you to find me another track that sounds like Stranger Things on acid that bumps into Ferris Bueller’s song Oh Yeah in a dirty alley and slaps Oh Yeah across the face like, get out of here with that weak a** nonsense. Plus, it’s 7:26 long and plays like it’s three minutes at most.

New Order are one of the most underrated bands of the 80s.

I can’t think of a single other band that’s alternated between furious dance club synth pop and navel-gazing, “oh whoa is me” alternative rock than New Order. What was the mission here? If they were on the marquee at your local cinema, it would be like watching a double feature of Flashdance and Mermaids. Stay alive and terms of affection. Purple Rain and Say Anything.

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to my New Order greatest hits tape (yes, I own it) but I want to say that whoever compiled this album knew exactly what they were doing because, at unless I remember wrong because I’m now 52 the tracks alternate Between let’s get busy on the dance floor like The Terminator is coming for us but we don’t know that yet and I love my person so much but she left me and so i wrote this song. Looking at you, Taylor Swift.

In any event.

In 1988, I arrived on the MSU campus and instantly became friends with the guy across the hall from the dorm, Jim. It had speakers. Serious speakers. And around this time, New Order released an album called Technique which had a song firmly in its synth pop category (very similar to Blue Monday) called Fine Time. It starts with a cymbal tap followed by an electronic bassline followed by…

Jim’s speaker woofers completely curl over the ensuing 808 bass drum kicks that launch the song into supersonic orbit

How we laughed and laughed that he thought he had enough power to get it up to 11. Well, Paul and Drew and I laughed. Jim was not happy. At least that’s how I remember it because Jim is going to read this.

Later, New Order would kind of resurrect in the 2000s with a comeback CD which, in all honesty, was what they had always done. Mix absolute dancefloor jams with How I Met Your Mother Because We Went To A Morrisey Concert Concert-like nonsense that nevertheless goes down like a box of buttery Pellegrino. And that, my friends, is a sentence I never thought I would write.

All kidding aside, that 2005 CD, Waiting For The Sirens’ Call, was as good as anything they’ve ever released. Jetstream, the Sirens title track, and a song called Morning Night and Day are standouts, but the whole album is top-notch New Order.

Before I leave this entry, I must give a special mention to a band that absolutely no one remembers but that was very important to me as an 80s teenager. The Art of Noise. Weird and experimental but in some cases oddly danceable I don’t think I’ve listened to anything else on my walkman except Blues Brothers, Beastie Boys, Run DMC and James Bond soundtracks. And so concludes another sentence that I never thought I would write.

Listen to New Order. You will not regret it.

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