Released ahead of the Whiplash album, She’s A Star was James’ first single in 3 years. It reached 9 in the UK Singles Chart.
CD JIMED 16 – She’s A Star / Johnny Yen (live) / Stutter (live)
CD JIMCD 16 – She’s A Star / Chunney Chops / Fishknives / Van Gogh’s Dog
CD JIMDD 16- She’s A Star / She’s A Star (Dave Angel’s PAT Mix) / Come Home (Weatherall Mix) / She’s A Star (Andrea’s Biosphere Dub)
|She's A Star
|10th February 1997
|CD JIMED 16; CD JIMCD 16; CD JIMDD 16
Three years after the band’s previous single Jam J / Say Something, She’s A Star was crucial to James hopes of a successful comeback and measuring the fan-base that had remained loyal to the band. Radio 1 A-listed it immediately and the band promoted the single heavily with interviews and live performances on Channel 4’s TFI Friday and The Bob Mills Show in the week before the release.
Controversially, the record company decided to ditch the vinyl and cassette formats and chose to release instead a 3 CD set housed in a slipcase sleeve.
The first CD featured two older James standards Johnny Yen and Stutter recorded live at the band’s 1992 Alton Towers show. The second CD featured three new b-sides Chunney Chops (named in honour of Chunney Lad Mark), Laid sessions out-take Fishknives and Van Gogh’s Dog. The third CD saw two remixes of the title track by Dave Angel and Geir Jenssen (whose remix featured his eight month old daughter on keyboards) and a the Weatherall remix of Come Home that was making its third appearance as a James b-side.
The video featured the band playing at a party in a large house with two female lead characters, one blonde and famous and the other dark-haired living in the shadow of the blonde. Towards the end the dark-haired one pulls a gun and robs all the guests before approaching Tim and kissing him. In a MTV interview, Tim described the video as a homage to the director Fellini.
The music press were generally surprisingly receptive to the single with the exception of a few bemoaning the fact that it was not a great leap forward in style from the previous incarnation of James.
Artwork for the single had been designed by Blue Source, the photography is curiously credited to Davies and Davies.
Priced at £1.99 and preceded by an inspired promotional poster campaign featuring the cover model and exclaiming “She’s Coming : February 10” but without naming the artist in the weeks leading up to the release, the single entered the charts at number 9, James joint second highest chart position at the time and ensured a Top of the Pops appearance.
Best known for their early Nineties hit ‘Sit Down’ (at gigs the audience would sit on the ground when the song was played), James are a British band who made their name with the so-called ‘baggy’ scene. Four years ago, they set off on tour to the States, scored massive commercial success and decided to stay. ‘She’s a star’ is a storming homecoming single, complete with rousing, rock verses, a chorus sung in an incredibly high pitch and a sob story about boy-girl relationships.