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 Savoy Records
Blue Monday

Lord Horror with the
Savoy Hitler Youth Band


1986

Savoy Entropy Records

SH1T

12"

Blue Monday

 
A 45rpm

Blue Monday/Cadillac Ranch
(Be-Music/Springsteen)

B 45rpm

Blue Monday/Cadillac Ranch
(Be-Music/Springsteen)

Recorded and mixed in the UK at Suite 16, Rochdale, and The Pink Studio, Liverpool.

Blue Monday available on the Savoy Wars CD


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Record sleeve texts:

"Where I steal an idea, I leave my knife."

Michelangelo

"By 1999 the urban war will be a permanent feature of everyday life in every benighted city in this septic isle. There will be guns and death on both sides as the police mutate into Daleks and a host of scrapheap geniuses become the weapon-smiths of the ghettos."

ENTROPY TIME: 118,260 Hours

"Life doesn't give a rat's arse who lives it..."

Heathcote Williams

No.1 IN A SERIES OF LORD HORROR RECORDINGS


 
Blue Monday label
This legendary cut of New Order's original is the single best alternative version of the number—and they were both birthed in Manchester! In fact this mutant (recorded at Peter Hook's studio in Rochdale and incorporating some of the original Blue Monday samples) improves on the rather banal words of the original—'Mercury '49', 'cruisin'', 'James Dean', 'El Dorado fins', 'Heaven here on earth'; the Lord's vision made potent.

Bruce Springsteen's Cadillac Ranch is so cleverly woven into the dance beat that the join is unnoticeable. And doesn't that beat just stride! Writing for Australia's RAM magazine (whilst present at New Order's first transitional recording of Blue Monday in 1984), Michael Butterworth identified the track as a dance record. The band as a whole weren't too sure what they'd got, but to suggest this was dance/disco was a blasphemy some of them felt went too far!

Savoy's 1987 recording was banned everywhere.


 

Reviews

"This is, really, what blasphemy is all about: the transference of symbols, the cheapening of people's lives by putting inverted commas around their experiences. And here, on the sleeve, we have scenes from Dachau and a man with has head exploding yelling 'suckarse nigger Jew'. The music, though, is good, a splice between New Order and Bruce Springsteen which deranges both of them by jamming them together. The Shadows seem to be making a late appearance before the thing grinds to a halt. Musically, extremely tasteful."

WILLIAM LEITH, NME

Paula: It's about time someone took the piss out of New Order and I'm glad they've done it in such a humorous and constructive way. There's quite a lot in that record that deserves raving about.

Gen: Well I think it's brilliant. I didn't expect to although I thought it would be funny and massively sarcastic since the Savoy people (Free Press publishers from Manchester) are the champions of anti-censorship and pompousness. New Order, even though they are very occasionally drinking buddies, are definitely the kings of Mancunian pompousness, lazy and smug, but like me this record is cynical, sarcastic, jaded and vindictive. I'm keeping this one.

PAULA & GENESIS P ORRIDGE (PSYCHIC TV), Cut Magazine

 

"We've seen Blue Monday and the whole thing is a pile of shit."

PETER HOOK, Sounds

 

"As an independent distribution company, we do take a moral stance at some stage, and to some degree we do have a right to an independent political stance. Savoy will just have to accept that musically I found the record (Blue Monday) uninteresting."

GEORGE KIMPTON, Pinnacle Records, profers his
feeble excuse for restricting the record's distribution

 

"This is...weird. It features vocals by Lord Horror, who as far as I know is the lead character in the comic book of the same name, reviewed in the last FF. It's bizarre industrial dance-music, covers of Springsteen's Cadillac Ranch, danceable and terrifying. A strange collector's item—though beware that the record jacket is pretty offensive, featuring as it does pictures from Dachau and a selection of curses."

MIKE GUNDERLOY, Factsheet Five


News reports / articles:

FALSE ACCUSATIONS?

JAMES BROWN, Sounds, 24 Jan 1987

SINCE THE Inside Stories feature on censorship (Porn To Be Wild, Jan 10) Sounds has received and have been investigating the existence of a record called Blue Monday by Lord Horror and The Savoy Hitler Youth Band.

The track itself is a cover of New Order's Blue Monday, heaped together with lyrics from Bruce Springsteen's Cadillac Ranch, and sleeve—a cartoon come video montage—depicting Chief of Greater Manchester Police, James Anderton, with the back of his head blown out and the words, to quote, "F****** Suckarse Nigger Jew" pouring out of his mouth.

Other offensive language lines the side of his head and accompanying the record came a letter from the production company, Savoy, claiming that Blue Monday was apparently too risky for the nation's record distributors to handle.

When we questioned the 'offending' distributors, rather than slamming receivers down or passing 'no comment' at the mere mention of the record, most operators quickly pointed out that they found it boring, unworthy of their time and work, and too politically vague for them to handle.

Which seems fair enough, as company policy goes, but lacking when you consider the amount of other dross the Cartel has at times been responsible for distributing.

Still, whether the personal tastes of those at either end of the product match or not, there still remains Savoy's accusations that the record distributors are being deliberately obstructive. After all, the label had already pressed and printed 5,000 copies of the record, weren't asking for any deals, just a distribution service, and were quite prepared to pay their way.

George Kimpton, of Pinnacle, said: "As an independent distribution company, we do take a moral stance at some stage, and to some degree we do have a right to an independent political stance. Savoy will just have to accept that musically I found the record uninteresting."

Likewise, a spokesperson for Red Rhino, part of the Cartel, took great pains to explain the whole selection process a record goes through at Red Rhino, the gist of which was that they receive between five and 40 tapes and records a week—all wanting distribution—and it is physically impossible for them to take on all of them.

The most interesting thing Savoy had to say on the matter was that besides the name of the band supposedly being a piss take of New Order, the record was an attempt to "test out the climate as regards how far you can go with extremity in this country. I mean, it took us six months to get the cover printed."

As a test of the climate I'd suggest Savoy have found their own answer in the fact that no one wants to distribute it.

However, it would be wrong to assume that moral grounds are the sole reason for no one handling it; for as New Order's Peter Hook told us: "We've seen the record and the whole thing is a pile of shit".

Savoy are naive to assume that even they, hot on their moral crusade, are incapable of releasing an artistically poor record, and they are now hanging this fact on the dubious frame of political censorship.

Let the presses roll.

Savoy note: James Brown, folks, who in 1987 was perfectly ready to take the moral high ground with us yet went on to become founder-editor of Loaded, one of the focal points of the ridiculous, no-brain lad culture that swept Britain in the latter half of the 90s. The success of his lowbrow tits and football formula heralded the mass dumbing-down of UK men's magazines eager to follow its massive sales. The man's a twat.


SAVOY SAGA

PAUL TEMPLE, Melody Maker, 31st Jan 1987

In a week when the Greater Manchester police chief James Anderton claimed that he regularly swaps tittle-tattle over the celestial telephone with God and all his holy angels, a scandal broke out in the shape of a record by a one-off band with heavily questionable name and an axe to grind.

The record in question was Blue Monday by The Savoy Hitler Youth Band on the Savoy label, with the front of the sleeve depicting a grossly distorted Anderton having his brains blown out, with the words "fucking suckarse nigger jew" emanating from his mouth. On the back were grisly scenes from the liberation of Dachau (at a guess, a reference to a remark made by Anderton about what should be done with rioters). The sleeve is intended as a double-barrelled stunt-statement on the moral law-and-order climate in Manchester as Anderton runs into his eleventh year in office.

The record, a motor-driven montage of New Order rhythm and a Springsteen lyric, will never reach the high street or any street for that matter because no major or independent distributor will touch it with a 12-foot truncheon.

According to Savoy, this is not because of the icky sleeve, but because the distributors all decided the record wasn't very good. Patently untrue. The record is a four-minute flash of Hi-NRG electronic splatter-gut rock'n'roll and deserves an airing.

Savoy also run a chain of bookshops in Manchester and the North of England, publishing and selling science-fiction, music books and comics. According to main-men Dave Britton and Mike Butterworth, Savoy have been raided 50 times in five years by the Greater Manchester Police for the heinous crime of selling Conan the Barbarian comics, Fat Freddy's Cat books and drug related literature, one time landing one of their directors in Strangeways prison for 28 days.

They are also awaiting the outcome of a police attempt to prosecute them for selling Fangoria (sold in every newsagents in London) and other horror magazines on the grounds that they could deprave and corrupt minors.

Still, Savoy carry on, releasing PJ Proby's definitive version of Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart and his colossal cut of the Bowie epic, Heroes.

If they can find a distributor, the next two releases will be The Liquidator / Raw Power by The Savoy King Cocaine Band and The Mugwump Dance by PJ Proby.


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