My Favorite Record Covers 030


A project by David T. Hsia

New Order, "Blue Monday" FAC 73 (1983, Factory) / Design by Peter Saville and Brett Wickens

Not many records have an origin story and mythology as infamous as Blue Monday. New Order's most famous song is also the scene for one hell of a design story. An exercise in indulgence, Saville's elaborate die-cut design was based on the 5.25-inch floppy disc in a nod to the technologically advanced nature of the track itself. All track information was delivered in a cryptic color code which could only be deciphered using a color wheel found on the back of the "Power, Corruption & Lies" album (FACT 75), which ironically was released 2 months later. Legend has it that Saville was so late in delivering the design, he bypassed both band and label approval and sent the art directly to the printer. Due to the tricky production techniques, the sleeve cost so much to make they actually lost money on each copy sold. Adding insult to injury, the song would go on to become the best selling 12-inch single of all time. (Later reissues included subtle changes to limit the cost.)