Star Guitar

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"Star Guitar"
Star guitar.jpg
Single by The Chemical Brothers
from the album Come with Us
Released14 January 2002 (2002-01-14)
  • 6:54 (original version)
  • 6:27 (album version)
  • 3:59 (radio edit)
  • Tom Rowlands
  • Ed Simons
Producer(s)The Chemical Brothers
The Chemical Brothers singles chronology
"It Began in Afrika"
"Star Guitar"
"Come with Us" / "The Test"

"Star Guitar" is the second single from The Chemical Brothers 2002 studio album Come with Us. The song reached number eight in the UK Singles Chart, number two on the American dance chart and number one in the UK Dance Chart.[2] The song was greeted with praise from critics.


"Star Guitar" is 127 beats per minute and in the key of F major.

The song contains a four measure-long acoustic guitar sample from the beginning of the David Bowie song, "Starman,"[citation needed] hence the name, "Star Guitar." This sample is repeated throughout the majority of the track, with various musical elements playing off of it as a main theme. The song also contains an electronic sample of "Fly to Venus" by Electronic System.

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Michel Gondry, features a continuous shot filmed from the window of a speeding train passing through towns and the countryside. However, the buildings and objects passing by appear exactly in time with the various musical elements of the song, including the beats. The video is based on DV footage Gondry shot while on vacation in France; the train ride between Nîmes and Valence was shot ten different times during the day to get different light gradients. The Pont du Gobinet as well as Pierrelatte's station can be seen. Gondry had experimented with a different version of the same effect in his video for Daft Punk's "Around the World", where he had represented each element of the music with a dancer.

Gondry actually plotted out the synchronization of the song on graph paper before creating the video, eventually "modelling" the scenery with oranges, forks, tapes, books, glasses and tennis shoes.


Upon the release of Come with Us, Nathan Rooney of Pitchfork Media, referring to its placement on the album, said the song "substitutes for the missing Sumner track-- it's slight, but not nearly as vapid as "Hoops," the song that follows it."[3] Scott Plagenhoef, also of Pitchfork Media, originally said the track "doesn't leave much of an impression, but may as well be Beethoven's 9th next to the Richard Ashcroft collaboration "The Test".[4] However, he later changed his opinion, saying it is "a fantastic track I grossly underrated here at the time" and that it was among the "best of the group's work [in the 2000s]".[5]

After noting the album is "steeped in retro-synth glory", Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine said "Star Guitar" is "a crisp post-disco work-out featuring bristling guitars and a Giorgio Moroder-style synth-bass.[1] Pat Blashall of Rolling Stone referred to the song as "slowly blooming", positively noting that within the track, "a dreamy melody hatches from an array of Ritalin beats, is evidence of a band that is increasingly drawn to disorientingly lush tunes rather than to mere adrenaline anthems."[6]

In 2006, Slant Magazine ranked the song at number 23 in their list of the "100 Greatest Dance Songs",[7] and, in 2010, ranked it at number 32 in their list of "The 250 Best Singles of the 2000s".[8] In 2009, Pitchfork Media ranked the song at number 398 in their list of The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s.[9] Fatboy Slim revealed in 2012 that he had been asked to remix the song upon its release, but turned down the offer owing to his opinion that the song could not be improved.[10]

Track listing[edit]

UK and Europe CD

  1. "Star Guitar" (edit) – 4:00
  2. "Base 6" – 6:34
  3. "Star Guitar" (Pete Heller's expanded mix) – 8:30

US and Japan CD

  1. "Star Guitar" (edit) – 4:00
  2. "Star Guitar" – 6:55
  3. "Star Guitar" (Pete Heller's expanded mix) – 8:30
  4. "Star Guitar" (Pete Heller's 303 dub) – 7:23
  5. "Base 6" – 6:34

UK 12"

  1. "Star Guitar"
  2. "Star Guitar" (Pete Heller's expanded mix)


  1. "Star Guitar" video – 4:00
  2. "Star Guitar" – 6:34
  3. "Star Guitar" (Pete Heller's 303 dub) – 7:23


Chart (2002) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[11] 52
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[12] 8
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[13] 10
Canadian Singles Chart (Nielsen SoundScan)[14] 3
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[15] 15
Germany (Official German Charts)[16] 98
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 10
Italy (FIMI)[18] 22
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[19] 76
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 49
Portugal (AFP)[21] 17
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[22] 8
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[23] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[24] 42
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 73
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 8
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[27] 1
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[28] 2

Release history[edit]

Region Release date Label Format Catalogue
United Kingdom 14 January 2002 Freestyle Dust CD CHEMSD14
12" CHEMST14
United States 15 January 2002 Astralwerks CD ASW 38812-2
Japan 17 January 2002 Virgin Japan VJCP-12153

Cover versions[edit]

"Star Guitar"
Osawa star guitar.jpg
Single by Shinichi Osawa
from the album The One
GenreElectro house
  • Thomas Owen Rowlands
  • Edmund John Simons
Producer(s)Shinichi Osawa
Shinichi Osawa singles chronology
"Our Song"
"Star Guitar"

An electro house style cover of the track, featuring vocals by Au Revoir Simone, was featured in Shinichi Osawa's 2007 album The One and was also released as a single, with remixes by The Brookes Brothers, Streetlife DJs, Jaymo, The Japanese Popstars and Cagedbaby.

"Star Guitar" was featured in the beginning of Steve Angello's 2009 track "Monday".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (27 January 2002). "The Chemical Brothers – Come with Us". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 56.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Fatboy Slim's Big Beats Boutique, MTV Dance special
  11. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  12. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  13. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Canada Top 20 31-01-2002". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  15. ^ "The Chemical Brothers: Star Guitar" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  16. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Star Guitar". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  18. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  19. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  20. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  21. ^ "". Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  23. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  24. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  25. ^ " – The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  27. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  28. ^ "The Chemical Brothers Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 April 2018.

External links[edit]