New Order was formed after Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980, just prior to that group’s second album. The remaining members, Bernard Sumner (vocals, guitars), Peter Hook (bass) and Stephen Morris (drums) formed New Order shortly thereafter. Gillian Gilbert, a friend of the band, joined shortly thereafter (guitars). All members played keyboards in some capacity as the group increasingly included synthesizers and sequencers in their music. Years later, Gilbert and Morris were married.

Blue Monday” was released in 1983 as a single, shortly after the release of New Order’s second album. In the U.K., the song did not appear on any album, though it did in the U.S. and other territories. The song’s 12″ single had an incredible drum machine intro and layers of keyboard sounds, and is likely the best selling 12″ record of all time in the U.K. The throbbing bass line and energetic beat were a contrast with Sumner’s deadpan singing. The song does not have a traditional verse chorus verse format, but is still nonetheless one of the most widely popular and influential synthpop tracks of all time. ”Blue Monday” was re-recorded in 1988, after New Order’s Substance 1987 compilation became a hit. It was also re-recorded in 1995.

New Order achieved wide popularity in the mid-late 1980s and remained popular through the mid-1990s. They recorded the theme song for England’s world cup campaign in 1990 and scored gold or platinum albums as late as 1993. In 1989, Sumner formed Electronic with Ex-Smith’s guitarist Johnny Marr. Electronic recorded two albums in the 1990s, with guest appearances by The Pet Shop Boys and members of Kraftwerk. Hook formed the less-successful Revenge, and Morris and Gilbert formed The Other Two. New Order has reformed on occasion for albums in 2001 and 2005.