Song: “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” by Stars on 45
Reached #1: June 20, 1981 (their first, 1 week)
A Dutch record producer liked the idea of a disco medley of pop hits. That’s where the “Stars on 45 Medley” started.
Similar singles were circulating in Holland as bootlegs, but as samples of the original singles. Willem van Kooten had the simple inspiration of doing the same, but with studio singers who sounded somewhat like the originals. He decided to focus on the Beatles singles catalog – which led to the insane song title shown above. Apparently, the copyright requirements on the Beatles tracks required that the title of each single appear in the official medley title.
The Beatles themselves seemed to think this was a good idea – they released “The Beatles Movie Medley” in 1981. Motown did a Supremes medley, the Royal Philharmonic did a pop-themed medley of classical music standards, the Beach Boys put one out… and in 1984, Weird Al Yankovic parodied the medley craze with “Polkas on 45”.
For the most part, the medley concept faded – except for Weird Al. His fans liked the polka medley so much that he generally does one on each of his full-length albums, and does a version of the most recent medley in concert.
As to the group that started it all? Stars on 45 still tours, mostly doing paid private bookings.
Tomorrow, a duo that got their start through their connections with the Beach Boys…
Other songs that reached #1 on June 20:
1987 – “Head To Toe” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam (their first, 1 week)
1992 – “I’ll Be There (Live-Unplugged)” by Mariah Carey (her sixth, 2 weeks)