Star 69 / Weapon of Choice

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"Star 69" / "Weapon of Choice"
Single by Fatboy Slim
from the album Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars
Released 23 April 2001 (2001-04-23)
Recorded 2000
Genre House, big beat
Length 5:55 (Star 69)
5:36 (Weapon of Choice)
Label Skint, Astralwerks
Writer(s) Norman Cook
Producer(s) Norman Cook
Fatboy Slim singles chronology
"Demons"
(2001)
"Star 69" / "Weapon of Choice"
(2001)
"Song for Shelter / Ya Mama"
(2001)
Music video
"Weapon of Choice" from YouTube
Music sample

"Star 69" and "Weapon of Choice" are two songs by English big beat musician Fatboy Slim, released as a double A-side single from his third studio album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars. The single peaked at No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart.[citation needed]

The music video for "Weapon of Choice" directed by Spike Jonze features actor Christopher Walken dancing around a deserted hotel lobby. It won multiple awards at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards and won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Video.

"Weapon of Choice" features guest vocals from American funk musician Bootsy Collins, known for his work with Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy's Rubber Band.

"Star 69"[edit]

The vocals on the song consist almost entirely of the repeating verse, "They know what is what, but they don't know what is what, they just strut. What the fuck?", sampled from "I Get Deep" by Roland Clark, which was also used on Fatboy Slim's song "Song for Shelter".

A radio edit of the track exists with the word "fuck" taken out. "Star 69" is popular with DJs and has often been remixed and used in mashups due to the vocal hook.

"Weapon of Choice"[edit]

"Weapon of Choice" features Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy's Rubber Band bassist Bootsy Collins, who provides the lead vocals on the song. On the album version, Collins' normal vocals are heard through the right audio channel; the same vocals, distorted to a much deeper pitch, are heard through the left. The song features a prominent sample of Sly & the Family Stone's 1968 song "Into My Own Thing", as well as samples from "All Strung Out Over You" by The Chambers Brothers and "Word Play" by The X-Ecutioners, the latter of which was previously sampled on Fatboy Slim's song "Don't Forget Your Teeth", the B-side to his single "Right Here, Right Now", and "Gangster Trippin".

The chorus of the song, "You could go with this, or you could go with that...", is a homage to the Black Sheep song "The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)", which features a similar chorus. The line "Walk without rhythm/and it won't attract the worm..." is a reference to the science fiction novel Dune. The line "halfway between the gutter and the stars" refers to a line in Oscar Wilde's play Lady Windermere's Fan: "We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

The radio edit is referred to as the "Attack Hamster Edit", and is the version featured on Fatboy Slim's greatest hits album The Greatest Hits – Why Try Harder. Collins' vocal tracks, both normal and distorted, remain intact, though the distorted track is now barely audible. It peaked at No. 137 on the UK Singles Chart.[citation needed] The song was briefly featured in the 2001 film Joe Somebody, and was also featured in the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Malcolm vs. Reese".[citation needed] It was used in the E3 Trailer of Skylanders Swap Force.

On the album, the song segues from "Retox" and thus the ending of "Retox" is on this track. At 5:06 on the "single version", the last second (5:05) gets repeated many times until it finishes at 5:36. However, on the album, the last two seconds get repeated until 5:23, and scratching sounds start at 5:14 until the conclusion at 5:45. The single version and album version also have several other differences, including the ordering of vocal snippets towards the five minute mark.

The "Weapon of Choice" video, featuring Christopher Walken, is particularly acclaimed for its choreography.

Music video[edit]

The song is perhaps best known for its accompanying music video, which was filmed in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel (now the LA Hotel) in Los Angeles in December 2000. Directed by Spike Jonze and featuring actor Christopher Walken, who was trained as a dancer in musical theatre before his acting career, it features Walken dancing and flying around in the empty hotel to the music.

The "Weapon of Choice" video won six awards at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.[1] Walken was awarded one of MTV's "Moonmen" for Best Choreography. The clip was also ranked number one in a list of the top 100 videos of all time by VH1 in April 2002 that was compiled from a music industry survey.[2] The Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt has also danced in a version of the music video for a commercial.[3] In 2012, British comedian and presenter Rowland Rivron also won charity TV show Let's Dance for Sport Relief with his reenactment of the video's choreography.[4]

Track listing[edit]

CD
CD1
No. Title Length
1. "Star 69" (full version) 5:57
2. "Star 69" (radio edit) 3:35
3. "Weapon of Choice"   5:38
4. "Weapon of Choice" (video) 3:31
CD2
No. Title Length
1. "Star 69 (Timo Maas remix)"   7:10
2. "Star 69 (X-Press 2 Wine 'Em, Dine 'Em, 69 'Em Mix)"   8:20
3. "Star 69 (DJ Godfather Detroit Getto-Tek Mix 1)"   4:03
12" vinyl
No. Title Length
1. "Star 69"    
2. "Star 69 (Timo Maas remix)"    
3. "Star 69 (DJ Delite)"    

Charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 101
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 332
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 33, 104
Chart (2006)
Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 1375

Notes:

  • 1 - "Star 69/Weapon of Choice" double a-side single.
  • 2 - "Weapon of Choice"
  • 3 - "Star 69"
  • 4 - "Star 69" (censored version)
  • 5 - "Weapon of Choice" (remix)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "VMA Nation". Archived from the original on 13 December 2001. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Jonze dominates video poll". BBC News. 26 April 2002. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Vasakronan copies Fat Boy Slim". Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  4. ^ http://metro.co.uk/2012/03/19/rowland-rivron-reveals-shock-at-lets-dance-win-as-final-seen-by-6million-viewers-356907/

External links[edit]