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Stars On 45 - Stars On 45 (1981)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.31
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"Stars on 45" is a song medley issued in January 1981 by Dutch studio group Stars on 45. In some countries, including the UK, ...

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

Its official title in the US and Canada (as on the record and in Billboard and RPM) 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 and was conveniently shortened to "Stars on 45 Medley", or "'Medley' by Stars on 45". The length of the name surpassed the previous record set by Ray Stevens' "Jeremiah Peabody's Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills;" and (among songs that reached number one) "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" by B. J. Thomas. The reason for the long title was copyright requirements for the use of The Beatles' songs.

It reached number 1 in the Netherlands on 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. 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). 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 also became 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 "Holliedaze", 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.

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