Friday, September 23, 2016

"Radio Ga-Ga" by Queen

Song#:  1797
Date:  02/18/1984
Debut:  65
Peak:  16
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's Hot Space album signified a big decline in sales in the US. It could only manage gold level reaching #22.  This was a sharp downturn following their last studio album The Game, which was a 4x platinum #1 hit. After a small hiatus, the band got back into the studio to record their next LP. Title The Works, it was introduced by this first single that reached #2 in the UK. In the US, the song's fortunes were not that good. It missed out on the Pop Top 10 while only getting to #22 at Rock and #28 Dance. While the video was popular on MTV, it didn't translate into sales. The album would do about the same as Hot Space getting to #23 and eventually going gold. Meanwhile, in the rest of the world the album did very well hitting the Top 10 in many countries including #2 in the UK.

ReduxReview:  Queen keeps up their synthpop experimentation with this song and I think it works out rather well this time around. In fact, as time went on I got to like this song more and more. It has a sweet melody with a great build to the chorus. I actually think one of the things that made this a lesser hit in the US was the title. I remember people saying back then "what a stupid title" and making fun of it. The rest of the world embraced it, but a lot of folks here just couldn't get past the title. It's too bad because I think it is one of their best latter career songs.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  That title! Where did that come from? Apparently, Queen's Roger Taylor was driving around one day with his three-year-old son in the car. A song came on the radio that his kid didn't much care for and the boy blurted out "radio ca ca." That little phrase prompted Taylor to pen a song that revolves around radio and how it had gotten ignored when TVs became the rage. It also applied to this time period when music videos were in fashion and it seemed radio was once again getting the shaft. Although it wasn't a huge hit in the US, a part of the song's title would later inspire a new superstar's name - Lady Gaga.



  1. I'm one that couldn't get past the silly sounding title. And I think a better chorus would have done wonders for the song.

    1. It is odd, but then we would have ended up with Lady "someone" instead of Lady Gaga...

  2. I agree this song had potential to be a great song if it wasn't for the annoying chorus, the verses were great but the chorus can get on your nerves at times.