Stars On 45 Medley

Album: Stars On LP (1981)
Charted: 2 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • 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 sometimes medleys were recorded as standalone songs, typically cobbled together by producers who had nothing to do with the original songs. "Stars On 45 Medley" is the most successful of the bunch; it was a #1 hit in America in 1981.
  • 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."
  • This was the only #1 hit in the three-year existence of the label Radio Records, whose acts included Badfinger and Orleans.
  • 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 four 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; 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)
    "The Best Disco In Town" by The Ritchie Family (#17, 1976)
    "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)

    There was even another #1 hit medley in the '80s: "Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby)" by Will To Power, which reached the top in 1988.

Comments: 7

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 20th 1981, "More Stars On 45 (Papa Was a Rolling Stone/Dance To the Music/Sugar Baby Love/Let’s Go To San Francisco/A Horse With No Name/Monday Monday/Tears Of a Clown/Stop In the Name Of Love/Cracklin’ Rosie/Do Wah Diddy-Diddy/A Lover’s Concerto/Reach Out I’ll Be There/Sounds Of Silence/Stars On 45) (Medley)" by the Stars On 45 entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #76; and on October 18th, 1981 it peaked at #55 {for 1 week} and spent 7 weeks on the Top 100.
  • Carmelo from Genova, ItalyWe shouldn't forget the 1977 medley called "Unlimited Citations" by French combo Café Crème, a medley of Beatles' songs snippets which was huge in Europe's pop charts at the closing of that year.
  • Dave from Wheaton, IlYou forgot to mention the Elvis Medley, which charted at #72 pop, and, #31 country, in Billboard.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 16th, 1981 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes reached #1 & stayed there for five weeks, then "Stars on 45" became #1 for one week. But "Bette Davis Eyes" reclaimed the #1 position and held it for four more weeks!!!
  • George from Tampa, FlIn the Washington, D.C. area, a local radio station, WPGC, remixed the song and added some of the song snippets from the 12" onto it at the end. This mix was played on that radio station at the time, and I grew accustomed to hearing this particular mix. So when I bought the 7" as a kid, I was a bit disappointed! WPGC added: Cathy's Clown, Only The Lonely, Jimmy Mack, and Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again and took out the "Stars on 45" portion at the beginning and the end (the song started with "Venus Intro"). As an adult (being a DJ myself now), I remixed it the way I remember hearing it as a child, and made my own "WPGC" version of the song!
  • J.p. from Utica, NyThe various medleys released varied in content depending on the country they were released in. For example, "Introductions" in Europe included "Can't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Ma Baker", in the States it did not. Also, the 60s medley song order was rearranged on the European release with several tracks "Tears Of A Clown", "Cracklin' Rose" and a couple of others having their order of appearance changed.
  • Pete from Manchester, EnglandNowhere Man appeared on the UK single version of STARS ON 45 (only one line)It's missing from the songlist in the US of the single quoted above.. has it been omitted by accident or was it missing from the US vesrion, as otherwise they are identical.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees

Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Damn YankeesSongwriter Interviews

Revisit the awesome glory of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees: cheesily-acted videos, catchy guitar licks, long hair, and lyrics that are just plain relatable.

Name the Character in the Song

Name the Character in the SongMusic Quiz

With a few clues (Works at a diner, dreams of running away), can you name the character in the song?

Guy Clark

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.