The best known and indeed best loved of the hit singles of The Chemical Brothers tend to be those that have featured guest vocalists.  Noel Gallacher on Setting Sun and Let Forever Be together with Bernard Sumner on Out of Control and Wayne Coyne on The Golden Path being the most obvious examples.

Even when it hasn’t been a guest singer – such as Hey Boy Hey Girl – it is the sampled vocal that has taken the song to the heights.

But in Star Guitar, a #8 hit from 2002, the boys demonstrated that songs that are near instrumental as imaginable could be a hit and memorable.

mp3 : The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar (edit)

It is like a modern descendant of the great synth pop/disco of Giorgio Moroder but with added guitars. It’s a track that demands to be played very loudly and if you listen through headphones it feels mindblowing.

Here’s yer two additional tracks on the CD single:-

mp3 : The Chemical Brothers – Base 6
mp3 : The Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar (Pete Heller’s Expanded Mix)

These are a lot more clubby in feel and sound and interestingly Pete Heller brings the vocal sample to the forefront when in the original it is very much in the background. What he does is make into a totally different song but one that I’m far less charmed by.

Oh and you should check out the promo video to Star Guitar.

One of the most clever and intriguing promos I’ve ever seen….I’m glad wiki is around to enable director Michel Gondry to explain how it was done.

The music video  features a continuous shot filmed from the window of a speeding train passing through towns and countryside. However, the buildings and objects passing by appear exactly in time with the various beats and musical elements of the track. 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 Robinet 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.



  1. it’s a great track in its own right. Yes, Private Psychedelic Reel is great and so is Sunshine Underground but Star Guitar’s unalloyed sense of fun and abandon and sheer simplicity of approach puts it in a different place.

  2. Any imaginary album for me from the Chems would consist of Exit Planet Dust + PSR, Song To The Siren full sabre mix and Star Guitar. All you need really.

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