Stars on 45 (song)

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"Stars on 45"
Stars On - Stars on 45 Medley.jpg
The US Radio Records release with its famous 41-word title.
Single by Stars on 45
from the album Long Play Album
Released January 1981
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1980
Genre Disco
Length 7": 4:48 (US: 4:05)
12": 11:30 (US: 10:15)
Label CNR Records (NL)
CBS Records (UK)
Radio Records/Atlantic (US)
Songwriter(s) Robbie van Leeuwen, Jeff Barry, Andy Kim, Lennon-McCartney
Producer(s) Jaap Eggermont
Stars on 45 singles chronology
"Stars on 45"
"More Stars"
"Stars on 45"
"More Stars"
Alternative covers
Original Dutch 7" single sleeve.
Original Dutch 7" single sleeve.
UK, Ireland, New Zealand releases credited to "Starsound."
UK, Ireland, New Zealand releases credited to "Starsound."

"Stars on 45" is a song issued in January 1981 by the studio group Stars on 45. In some countries, including the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, the band was credited as 'Starsound' and the medley itself was named "Stars on 45".

Its official title in the US (as on the record and in Billboard) is "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 / Nowhere Man / You're Going to Lose That Girl / Stars on 45" and was credited to 'Stars on 45'. It is (to date) the longest titled song to ever chart in Billboard (surpassing the previous record set by Ray Stevens' "Jeremiah Peabody's…Green and Purple Pills;" among songs that reached number one, it surpassed "…Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" by B. J. Thomas) and was conveniently shortened to "Stars on 45 Medley", or "'Medley' by Stars on 45". The reason for the long title was copyright requirements for the use of The Beatles' songs.

It reached number 1 in the Netherlands in February 21, 1981; number 2 in the UK in April 1981; and number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 20, 1981. In the US, the single also peaked at number 18 on the dance chart.[1] In the US, the song's one-week stay at the top of the Hot 100 interrupted the Kim Carnes single "Bette Davis Eyes" run as the number 1 single at five weeks. The next week, Carnes' song regained its number 1 status for an additional four weeks.

The origin of the single was the Netherlands where numerous bootleg disco singles were floating around. Willem van Kooten, the owner of one of the copyrights, decided to make a similar, legitimate record of a 12" single titled "Let's Do It in the 80s Great Hits" credited to a Canadian group called Passion (though the snippets of songs were taken from the original recordings).[2] He found singers who sounded similar to John Lennon and Paul McCartney and decided to make the single focus on The Beatles. The Beatles medley was later extended to a full 16-minute album side. It appeared on the Stars on 45's first full-length release, Long Play Album (US title: Stars on Long Play; UK title: Stars on 45 - The Album).

The album version of the song moved "Venus" and "Sugar Sugar" to Side Two into a different medley, and added several more Beatles songs as well as a 32-second instrumental extract from George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" and even a fleeting reference to new wave band Sparks' "Beat the Clock," for a total length of about 15 minutes. The album version was released as Long Play Album in the Netherlands, and retitled Stars on Long Play in the US and Stars on 45 — The Album in the UK. A detailed listing of the source material can be found in the Long Play Album article.

The song became also a huge success in the UK where it kicked off a craze for medleys, with a large number of records in the Stars on 45 mould reaching the UK Top 40 in 1981. For example, The Hollies recorded "Hollidaze", a medley of some of their previous hits, which reached 28 on the UK charts with Graham Nash and Eric Haydock briefly rejoining the group in September 1981 to promote the record. Likewise, in the US the song started a medley craze that lasted for about a year and introduced not only other medleys by Stars on 45, but medleys by the Beatles themselves, The Beach Boys, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Larry Elgart and His Manhattan Swing Orchestra, as well as others.

Track listing[edit]

7" single[edit]

Side one

"Stars on 45" (Medley - 7" Mix) - 4:48 (US: - 4:05)

Side two

"Stars on 45" (Theme - 7" Mix) (Eggermont, Duiser) - 3:30

"Venus" is the 1970 Shocking Blue song, written by the band's Robbie van Leeuwen and later covered by Bananarama. Only the opening guitar riff is used in the medley. "Sugar, Sugar" was originally recorded by The Archies (written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim). The next eight songs are Beatles songs (written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

An extended version of the "Stars on 45" intro and finale was put on the flip side of the single.

12" single[edit]

Side one

"Stars on 45" 11:30 (US: 10:15)

Side two

"Stars on 45" (Theme - 12" Mix) (Eggermont, Duiser) - 6:18

  • Includes uncredited musical references to Lipps Inc.'s "Funkytown" and The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star"

"Stars on 45 Medley 2"[edit]

The success of the single in North America even resulted in Radio Records rush-releasing a second single for the US market. The last four minutes of the album version of the Beatles medley ("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"/"I Want to Hold Your Hand"/"Stars on 45") was released under the title "Stars on 45 Medley 2" but peaked at No. 67 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second Beatles medley single was not released in the Netherlands or any other parts of the world.

1989 remix[edit]

The Beatles medley was remixed and re-released in a house music version in Europe in 1989 under the title "Stars on '89 Remix", then featuring an alternate selection of Beatles tracks taken from the album version of the medley, coupled with a new "Stars on 45" theme called "Rock the House". The single was remixed and reproduced by Danny van Passel and Rutti Kroese and released on the Red Bullet label as a 7", 12" and CD single, all formats backed with an extended version of the "Rock the House" theme.

Track listings[edit]

Radio version - 4:01

Extended version - 6:17

Other versions[edit]

In 2006, the Global Deejays released an updated version of "Stars on 45", but the medleys were not included.

In 2011, "Stars on 45" was given the house treatment, with the single released as "45". This version also omitted the medleys.



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[31] 2× Platinum 20,000^
Germany (BVMI)[32] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[34] Gold 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 245. 
  2. ^ "Various - Let's Do It In The 80's Great Hits - Echo Beat (Vinyl)". Retrieved 2016-10-25. 
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  4. ^ " – Stars On 45 – Stars On 45" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  5. ^ " – Stars On 45 – Stars On 45" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ "RPM 50 Singles". RPM. Vol. 34 no. 6. June 6, 1981. 
  7. ^ " – Stars On 45 – Stars On 45". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Stars On 45". Irish Singles Chart.
  9. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: S". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Stars On 45" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  11. ^ " – Stars On 45 – Stars On 45" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  12. ^ " – Stars On 45 – Stars On 45". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  14. ^ " – Stars On 45 – Stars On 45". Singles Top 100.
  15. ^ " – Stars On 45 – Stars On 45". Swiss Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Star Sound: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Stars On 45 Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 228. 
  19. ^ Kent (1993). p. 433.
  20. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1981". Hung Medien. 
  21. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1981: Singles". Ultratop & Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2014-01-25. 
  22. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1981". RPM. Vol. 35 no. 22. December 26, 1981. 
  23. ^ "Single-Jahrescharts: 1981". Offizielle Deutsche Charts. 
  24. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1981". Hung Medien. 
  25. ^ "End of Year Charts 1981: Singles". Recorded Music NZ. 
  26. ^ "Schweitzer Jahreshitparade 1981: Singles". Hung Medien. 
  27. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1982). "The Top 200 Singles: January–December 1981". BPI Year Book 1982 (5th ed.). London, England: The British Phonographic Industry Ltd. pp. 46–49. ISBN 0-906154-03-0. 
  28. ^ Jones, Alan; Lazell, Barry; Rees, Dafydd (1982). "The Top 200 Singles (UK)". Chart File 1982. London, England: Virgin Books. pp. 74–77. ISBN 0-907080-49-9. 
  29. ^ "Top 100 Pop Singles". Billboard. December 26, 1981. p. YE-9.  ("Billboard's 1981 Year-End Charts" supplement)
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  31. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Stars On – Stars On 45". Music Canada. 
  32. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Stars On 45; 'Stars On 45')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  33. ^ "British single certifications – Star Sound – Stars On 45". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Stars On 45 in the search field and then press Enter.
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Stars On 45 – Stars On 45". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH


  • Bronson, Fred. The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. New York. Billboard Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6

Sources and external links[edit]

Preceded by
"Angel of the Morning" by Juice Newton
Canadian RPM number-one single
June 6 - August 22, 1981 (12 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Gemini Dream" by Moody Blues
Preceded by
"Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 20, 1981
Succeeded by
"Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes
Preceded by
"Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
July 20, 1981 - August 10, 1981
Succeeded by
DEV-O Live EP by Devo