A medley is a bunch of snippets from different songs put together to make one. In concerts, many artists sing medleys of their hits so they can get them all in and please their fans, but this was the first recorded medley to be a big hit.
The title on the US single was the names of the songs that make up the medley: "Intro Venus/Sugar Sugar/No Reply/I'll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want to Know a Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/You're Going to Lose That Girl/Stars on 45." At 41 words, it was the longest title of any single to make the Hot 100. The long title was the result of song publishers insisting upon the inclusion of the songs' titles on the label of the record.
In the US, "Stars on 45" referred to both a song in the medley and the group of studio musicians that put together the initial 12" single. The name of their album was "Stars On LP," the group's "American name" on all other releases was "Stars On." In the UK, the medley itself was called "Stars on 45" and the group was called "Starsound."
The only #1 hit in the three-year existence of the label Radio Records, not to be confused with the current entity with the same name.
This was originally a 16-minute medley intended for release only as a 12" single. When radio stations started to play their own edited versions, Radio Records took the first three and a half minutes of the Beatles medley, added the "Venus" intro and the first verse of "Sugar Sugar," and released the 7" single that started a medley craze.
The last 4 minutes of the original 12" single was subsequently released as "Medley 2" in the US: "Stars On 45/Good Day Sunshine/My Sweet Lord/Here Comes The Sun/While My Guitar Gently Weeps/Taxman/ A Hard Day's Night/Things We Said Today/If I Fell/You Can't Do That/Please Please Me/From Me To You/I Want To Hold Your Hand/Stars On 45." "Medley 2" peaked at #67 on the Hot 100.
Each song in the medley was recorded separately and edited together later.
The voice of John Lennon was Bas Muys, Paul McCartney was Okkie Huysdens, and George Harrison was Hans Vermeulen. They were from Holland.
This was inspired by a crudely-edited bootleg single sold in Holland. The bulk of the single was Beatles songs, but the recording began with with the Shocking Blue song "Venus." The managing director of Red Bullet Productions (owner of the copyright of "Venus") heard it being played in a store and asked Jaap Eggermont (former drummer of Golden Earring of "Radar Love" fame) if he could produce a similar record. At the time, he was finishing up a similar work with the group Long Tall Ernie and the Shakers called "Golden Years of Rock and Roll" (backed with another medley, "Do You Remember?"), that charted in Europe. Eggermont included both of these medleys on the first "Stars on LP" album.
Once the original "Medley" interrupted Kim Carnes' US reign at #1 ("Bette Davis Eyes"), the flood gates of medleys opened. In addition to "Medley 2" (in the US), Stars On medleys were being released every other month in 1981 and 1982. After a medley of song introductions called "Intros" failed to chart, a single from their second LP, "More Stars on 45," peaked at #55 in the US.
In the UK and Europe, the medley craze was even more overwhelming. An "ABBA Medley" hit #2 in the UK, and "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World" (US title: "Rollin' Stones") likewise hit the Top 10 in Britain and Europe.
In 1982, Stars On fed off the craze it started and hit the Top 30 again with a medley of Stevie Wonder hits called "Stars on 45 III": "Uptight (Everything's All Right)/My Cherie Amour/Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday/Master Blaster/You Are the Sunshine of My Life/Isn't She Lovely/Stars on Jingle/Sir Duke/I Wish/I Was Made to Love Her/Fingertips"
Later in 1981, The Beach Boys came out with a medley of their hits, and the next year, the "Beatles Movie Medley," containing hits from Beatles movies, was released. The medley craze eventually cooled off, but the end of Radio Records in 1983 effectively put an end to the US career of Stars On, who in Europe evolved into the Star Sisters as they toured to promote a medley of Andrews Sisters hits. In 1985, 21 Records released a Stars On single, "Soul Revue," a medley featuring Sam & Dave tunes (the B-side was a medley of James Brown songs). It sank without a trace.
Precursors to Stars On 45 include: "The Crazy Otto" by Johnny Maddox and the Rhythmasters (#2, 1955), "The Class" by Chubby Checker (#38, 1959), "More Money for You and Me" by The Four Preps (#17, 1961), "Good Old Rock 'n' Roll" by Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys (#21, 1969), "Whispering/Cherchez la Femme/C'est Si Bon" by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band (#27, 1976), "Uptown Festival" by Shalamar (#25, 1977), "Golden Years of Rock 'n' Roll" by Long Tall Ernie and the Shakers (Dutch hit, 1981). Descendants of Stars On 45 include: "Beach Boys Gold" by Gidea Park featuring Adrian Baker (UK hit, 1981), "Holliedaize" by The Hollies (UK hit, 1981), "Hooked on Classics" by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (#10, 1981) "Medley of Hits - Diana Ross and the Supremes" (US Dance Chart, 1981), "Medley USA - Creedence Clearwater Revival " (1981 - first of three medleys of CCR recordings), "Seasons of Gold" by Gideon Park featuring Adrian Baker (UK hit, 1981), "Hooked on Big Bands" by Frank Barber Orchestra (#61, 1982), "Hooked on Swing" by Larry Elgart and His Manhattan Swing Orchestra (#31, 1982), "Pop Goes the Movies" by Meco (#35, 1982), "Swing the Mood" by Jive Bunny and the Mixmasters (#11, 1989), "The Anniversary Waltz (Parts I and II)" by The Status Quo (both sides UK hits, 1990), "Grease Megamix" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (UK hit, 1990).