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When the Stars Go Blue

"When The Stars Go Blue"
Song by Ryan Adams from the album Gold
Released September 25, 2001
Length 3:31
Label Lost Highway
Writer Ryan Adams
Producer Ethan Johns
Gold track listing
Somehow, Someday
"When The Stars Go Blue"
Nobody Girl

"When The Stars Go Blue" is a popular alternative country song composed and originally performed by solo artist and former Whiskeytown band member Ryan Adams. It was first released with his album Gold on September 25, 2001. The song has been covered by many artists, notably: Celtic band The Corrs featuring U2's lead singer Bono, country music singer Tim McGraw and Norwegian artists Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen as a duo. The song has also been performed live many times by Phil Lesh and Friends.


  • Critical reviews 1
  • Personnel 2
  • The Corrs version 3
    • Charts 3.1
  • Tim McGraw version 4
    • Music video 4.1
    • Chart performance 4.2
      • Year-end charts 4.2.1
  • Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen version 5
  • Other versions 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Critical reviews

The original recording of "When the Stars Go Blue" on the Gold album received little attention by critics due to the timing of the release and Adams' overwhelmingly large and ranging catalog. The Gold album was released on 25 September 2001, with a lead track called, "[5]


  • Ryan Adams - vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Richard Causon - piano
  • Ethan Johns - 12 string guitar, harmonium, electric piano, mandocello, Chamberlain strings, drums
  • Julianna Raye - background vocals

The Corrs version

"When The Stars Go Blue"
Single by The Corrs featuring Bono
from the album VH1 Presents: The Corrs, Live in Dublin
Released March 12, 2002
Genre Folk rock
Length 4:19
Label 143/Lava/Atlantic
Writer(s) Ryan Adams
Producer(s) Mitchell Froom
The Corrs featuring Bono singles chronology
"Would You Be Happier (Live)"
"When the Stars Go Blue"
"Summer Sunshine"

The Corrs recorded the song on their album VH1 Presents: The Corrs, Live In Dublin in 2002, featuring U2's Bono. The song was remixed for their album Dreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection during 2007, and released as a single in Spain, reaching #1 at the airplay chart in September.


Chart Peak
U.S. Adult Top 40[6] 18
Spanish Airplay Chart[7] 1

Tim McGraw version

"When The Stars Go Blue"
Single by Tim McGraw
from the album Greatest Hits Vol. 2
Released March 6, 2006
Length 3:55
Label Curb
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"My Old Friend"
"When The Stars Go Blue"
"My Little Girl"
Music video
"When the Stars Go Blue" on YouTube

In 2006, the song was released by Tim McGraw as the first single from his album Tim McGraw Reflected: Greatest Hits Vol. 2. Heribert Severing, creator and writer of, included McGraw's version of "When The Stars Go Blue" on his list of the top Country singles of 2006.[8]

Music video

The video was directed by Sherman Halsey. It features McGraw performing in a snowy background surrounded by clusters of pine trees. It was shot in Crivitz, Wisconsin. The video was shot in black-and-white. Throughout the video, several reflections of people can be seen in the trees. In the end of the clip, McGraw starts to walk backwards, turns around, starts to run, then disappears, leaving only a trail of footprints behind. The version of the song in the video is edited to fit into the time of 3:19. It was released in April 2006.

Chart performance

"When The Stars Go Blue" debuted at number 35 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs for the week of March 18, 2006.

Chart (2006) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 37
US Billboard Pop 100 50
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[11] 12
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[12] 35

Year-end charts

Chart (2006) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[13] 20

Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen version

"When The Stars Go Blue"
Single by Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen
from the album Places I Have Been
Released February 2006
Recorded 2005
Genre Pop
Label Universal
Venke Knutson singles chronology
"Just a Minute"
"When The Stars Go Blue"
Kurt Nilsen singles chronology
"Just a Minute"
"When The Stars Go Blue"
"Push Push"
Music video
"When the Stars Go Blue" on YouTube

The Norwegian artists Venke Knutson and World Idol Kurt Nilsen recorded a duet that appears in Venke Knutson's album 2005 Places I Have Been. The song was released as a single in Norway in February 2006, reaching #14 on the Norwegian Singles Chart.[14]

Chart (2006) Peak
Norway (VG-lista)[15] 14

Other versions

Irish/British girlband Wonderland performed the track for their debut performance on television in Ireland. Both live and studio version is available on YouTube. The recorded studio version was included the band's debut album Wonderland released in United Kingdom and Ireland on 6 June 2011.

It was also featured in One Tree Hill as a hit song by fictional characters Haley James Scott and Chris Keller (real life singers Bethany Joy Lenz and Tyler Hilton) and features on the One Tree Hill Soundtrack.[16]

Performed by Blake Lewis on American Idol Season 6, originally airing on April 17, 2007.[17] In an interview on that episode of American Idol, Lewis incorrectly attributed the song to Tim McGraw. His cover of the song made it to #92 of the pop charts in 2007.[18]

On July 16, 2006 Phil Lesh covered the song in the first set of a show at Charter One Pavilion in Chicago, IL. The show was made available for purchase via compact disc immediately following the live concert as part of an Instant Live recording series which Phil Lesh & Friends made available to all standard concerts during their Summer 2006 tour.

On April 5, 2014 Phil Lesh covered the song in the first set of a show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. The show was available for live streaming to fans throughout the world.


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. "Biography". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ryan Adams – When the Stars Go Blue". mikewentwest. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  3. ^ McGuane, Kenny S. "Cardinology". album reviews. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Wisecracks, Scattered Among Slow Tunes". New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Orshoski, Wes. Ryan Adams Finds 'Gold' On Lost Highway. Billboard. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  6. ^ All Music
  7. ^ >
  8. ^ Severing, Heribert. "The Greatest Country Single Hits of them all: The Year is 2006". Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Tim McGraw.
  10. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Tim McGraw.
  11. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Tim McGraw.
  12. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Tim McGraw.
  13. ^ "Best of 2006: Country Songs".  
  14. ^ Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen's "When the Stars Go Blue" page
  15. ^ " – Venke Knutson and Kurt Nilsen – When The Stars Go Blue". VG-lista.
  16. ^ "One Tree Hill Music". Official Soundtracks. 
  17. ^ Lamb, Bill. "When the Stars Go Blue". American Idol Season 6 - The Songs. - The New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Lamb, Bill. "American Idols on the Charts - A Complete Record". - The New York Times Company. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 

External links

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