Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Join The "Blue Monday" Owners Club

'Now I stand here waiting...'

To be a member of an "owners club" you usually have to own something pretty expensive. I've seen a Porsche owners club,  Aston Martin owners club, racehorse owners club... rather spendy hobbies that you can enjoy with your elite confidants. On the other hand I'm in the process of joining an owners club thanks to a 50 cent investment I made back in the late 80's. If you're tired of those snobby owners clubs and their power, corruption, and lies, here's a group that you can join too.

Spencer Graham is collecting photos from around the world of people who own the 1983 Qwest 12" pressing of New Order's classic dancefloor filler "Blue Monday". Let's set aside for a moment that it's the perfect pop song by a gloomy Manchester band that had a few too many turns at the disco. I'm also  ignoring that this version is the best selling 12" remix all time, meaning that the synthi-glory plays out even longer.  I'm not even talking about the colored blocks on the side that are a secret code who's key is on their 1983 LP's sleeve. All that should be cool enough, but what makes this special is that the sleeve is die cut to look like a giant floppy disk.

The inner jacket is a matte black vinyl (other countries had a silver jacket) that pokes through the slots in the sleeve to genuinely resemble a massive floppy (probably holds at least 150K). The record's comparative rarity might be the rumored expense of the packaging, so much so that that Factory Records lost money on every purchase. The record was quickly reissued with a more standard sleeve, so having one of these rare versions is the key to entering the Blue Monday Owners Club.

Spencer found that nearly every owner he knew kept this record in a special spot, and his project is to explore the reasons why. For me the record and its packaging is the perfect emblem of one of the most interesting parts of the 80's. The music still sounds great to me, the overall design plan of Factory records continues to look fresh, and of course it's a classic forever because its on vinyl.  And yes, I'm gushing.

If you want to join the BMOC, just check out the site and send in a picture and your story.

Join the Blue Monday Owners Club
Amazon has a few of the 12" special floppy sleeves available
Ebay seems to have them regularly too


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