Released on: You Love Us (Single #3) Heavenly Records, 7 May 1991
Peak UK Chart Position: #16
Band Ranking: #11
By far the more conventional of the two studio-recorded B-sides attached to Heavenly’s release of You Love Us (which also included a live version of [E5] ‘Strip It Down’], ‘Starlover’ is a straightforward rock effort frequently referred to mistakenly as ‘Starlover (Heavenly Version)’. In fact the Heavenly version of the song is the only one that has been released; the confusion arises from the re-use of the track as a B-side for [A41] ‘From Despair to Where’, on which the packaging incorrectly added the “Heavenly Version” part.
Very much an obscurity among early tracks, ‘Starlover’ has been described by the band as the weakest they recorded for Heavenly. Although it is difficult to see this brisk, simple song as integral to its era in the band’s work, it is a valuable example of the band’s sense of fun, especially in its swaggering chorus. Although the song’s lyrics were written by Edwards, in 2008 Bradfield recalled thinking it was about the band “as people, wanting and struggling to be the visions of the things we’d admired, and live up to the roll-call of our heroes.”
In more cross-cultural referencing, the song samples Public Enemy’s ‘She Watch Channel Zero?!’ (from It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, 1988) and its title may be an allusion to the Rolling Stones song ‘Star Star’, which appeared on their 1973 album Goats Head Soup and was originally called ‘Starfucker’ until that title was vetoed by Atlantic Records. Yet another song with a similar and possibly related title is ‘Starfuckers, Inc.’, which was released as a single from the Nine Inch Nails album The Fragile in 2000.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“Sterile wants spin in my head / I don’t need culture, spit it out”