Dollar – Star Control

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Note: These lyrics are not guaranteed to be accurate as I had a very difficult time understanding the words.  If you can provide a more accurate interpretation, please post a comment.

Floating here so long
Civilizations are all gone
Drifting aimlessly in outer space

All the multi-colored stars
Shining brightly near and far
They head past and fade without a trace

With our telescoping eyes
Looking upward to the skies
You can’t see the things that we can see
Are you reading me?

This mission’s far too long
Our coordinates are wrong
And we can’t remember why we’re here
Abandoned here alone
We don’t know which way is home
And communication is unclear

We’re suspended up in space
Disappeared without a trace
And we don’t know if it’s night or day
But you know we’re lightyears away

Star Control
We’re 10 million miles from home
Where do we go from here
The lines in confusion
We’ve run out of options
Tell us where do we go from here
We need to be told
Star Control

Our creation was your dream
We were more than just machines
When you programmed us to think like men
Your ambitions ruled your mind
And your perfectly designed
Communications have all reached the end

Were suspended up in space
Disappeared without a trace
And we don’t know if it’s night or day
But you know we’re lightyears away

Star Control
We’re 10 million miles from home
Where do we go from here
The lines in confusion
We’re at your command
So tell us where do we go from here?
We need to be told
Star Control

Star Control
We’re 10 million miles from home
Where do we go from here
The lines in confusion
We’re at your command
So tell us where do we go from here?
Nowhere to go

Star Control

We’d love to be told

Star Control

Star Control

10 million miles from home

Waiting here all alone

Star Control

I subscribed to Google Alerts for “Star Control” a few years ago.  From these alerts, I can find new articles related to Star Control.  In addition, there can be spam and even eBay auctions selling a Star Control game.  Throughout the years, I have noticed that I occasionally see an eBay auction of an album from a band called Dollar, containing a song called “Star Control”, which caught my attention.

When I first discovered this, I naturally became curious and tried to find the song.  It wasn’t on YouTube, MySpace or any of those sites. It was quite hard to find. I just never thought much of it. Anyways, I finally found the track and it was something completely unexpected.

I admit I’m not a music expert and that I know very little about the 70s and 80s.

Dollar's first album was Shooting Stars released in 1979

Dollar’s first album, Shooting Stars (1979) From right to left: David Van Day, Thereza Bazar

From what I’ve read, this song appeared in Dollar’s first album, Shooting Stars, released September of 1979. This is 11 years before Star Control 1 was released and 4 years before Archon. It was 4 years after Queen released Bohemian Rhapsody.  It was before I was even born!  So this song has nothing to do with the Star Control we all know and love.  Dollar also covered The Beatles song “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.

This album actually was a cash-in for WEA records.  It contains the same songs as their first album, with "I wanna hold your hand" added.

The Very Best of Dollar (1982) – A quick cash-in for WEA records. It contained the same songs as the first album including Star Control, with “I wanna hold your hand” added.  Star Control is on 7 of Dollar’s albums, most of them compilations.

The vocals in this song are heavily distorted to sound more robotic. I’m a fan of electronic artists such as Daft Punk and MSTRKRFT who have used robotic voices in their music.  However, I had a very difficult time understanding the words to this song because of the heavy distortion.  Based on the other songs I have heard from Dollar, this is the only they have which uses this type of distortion.  It does not seem to be a very popular song because it’s hard to find and the lyrics are not listed on Dollar’s website despite their other songs.  I was lucky enough to find a forum thread where people have discussed finding the correct lyrics to this song and it was very helpful in my own attempt.

This song tells the story of either a robot ship or crew member who is stranded in space and contacting Star Control to be rescued.  It has an overall sad expression and maintains a science fiction style to its composition.  It made me think of the Mmrnmhrm because of their robotic nature, not that it it was related.  I thought of “robots” and “Star Control” and Mmrnmhrm popped up in my mind.

I’d like to thank those who posted in the forum about finding the lyrics to this song; without it, this would have been more difficult than it already was.  If there’s anyone out there who was curious about this song, I hope this answers your question about what this song sounds like.  In summary, I think it was an interesting coincidence.  Speaking of coincidences, while Nintendo was designing controllers for the Wii, they had a prototype with a star button on it, dubbed the “Star Controller”.  It was quickly scrapped in favor of the Wii remote, nunchuk and classic controller. 😀

Links
Official Dollar Website
Star Control Lyrics Discussion
Dollar – Shooting Stars
Mystery of the Nintendo Star Controller Revealed

EDIT: Made some corrections to the lyrics. Thanks Peter and Unusualsuspex.

17 Responses to “Dollar – Star Control”

  1. I like it. Maybe it's the mmrmhhrm singing. Or the Voyager space probe. Who knows. Still, I like it a lot.
  2. I continue to be astonished at the amazing things you dig up. You should be a sleuth, or spy or something.

    Even some of the lyrics sound a bit like Star Control, despite being from long before it was conceived. I wonder if the Taalo are playing *time games*?
  3. Thanks. Sleuthing and spying? Hmm... I've never quite thought of that. Perhaps some kind of video game information broker? :P

    It's certainly a different song; they were probably playing around with some effects and wanted to experiment with their style a bit.
  4. Hi,
    Very nice (and rare) pick.
    However, that´s not distortion, they ran the vocals through an analogue vocoder, and a very nice one at that.

    I love that song, sounds like french band Air before they even existed.
  5. Thanks for the extra info, Harpgirl. :D
  6. OH MY GOD....!!!!
    I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW LONG I'VE LOOKED FOR THIS SONG (STAR CONTROL). WERE THE HELL CAN I DOWNLOAD IT FROM?
  7. Hello Orange Wonder,

    I got the song from 7digital.com for $0.99. MP3 with no DRM.
  8. I have loved this one for many many years. Thank u so very much!
  9. Ive loved this song ever since I heard it,
    It was the original B side to ''who was you with in the moonlight''
    you have almost got it right!
    just a couple of mistakes lol!

    Line 9 :
    You can't see the things that we can see

    line 11:
    Suspicions far too long

    Chorus:
    Billion not million!

    ''The lines in confusion''

    ''We're at your command''
    {not out of the box lol!}

    apart from that ''a brilliant job of deciphering''
  10. P.S
    sorry i forgot!
    loose the ''all'' in front of communications

    and it's ''our'' coordinates not ''the''

    and put ''So'' in front of ''tell us where do we go from here''
  11. sorry 1 last alteration line 2:

    ''Civilizations are all gone''

    Don't know why I missed it lol!
  12. Thanks for the corrections Peter. I'll be sure to update them.
  13. Wow I remember Dollar, they had moderate success throughout Europe and Autralia I think in their time. This is a sad but not popular song, but a gem nevertheless.
    I have the Shooting Star album, it's available to buy in the UK.
  14. this is a beautiful song, the first Dollar album was fantastic, a 'progressive' sci fi infused side one and a poppier side 2. i adored their 'Overture' too. briiliant pop duo with a great sound. but this track is particularly special, very melancholy, and the vocoder really gives it an ethereal edge. i miss Dollar.
  15. Hi, I'm from Brazil and in the 70 I bought a disc of the musical group Dollar, with the song Who Were You With In The Moonligth. In the b-side was this song. I spent most of my teenage years listening to this song. But the album was lost in time and I never heard this song again. Until today! Thanks for posting. Simply awesome!
    Olá. Sou do Brasil e nos anos 70 eu comprei um disco do grupo musical Dollar, com a música Who Were With You In The Moonligth. No lado b havia esta música. Passei parte da minha adolescência ouvindo esta música. Mas o disco se perdeu no tempo e nunca mais eu ouvi novamente esta música. Até hoje! Obrigado por postar. Simplesmente demais!
  16. Not "They head fast" but "They head past"

    Not "Suspicions" but "This mission's"

    Not "And you've perfectly designed" but "And your perfectly designed"

    Otherwise top job....

    Love this song
  17. Thanks Unusualsuspex. I'm amazed by the feedback I still get about this song.