My Sunday Song – “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen

For My Sunday Song #223, we are discussing another Queen classic, “Radio Ga Ga” off their 1984 album ‘The Works’. The song was a worldwide hit and reached #16 on the US Billboard Top 40 and #2 in their home country of the UK. It was actually so popular that singer Lady Gaga actually took her name from the song…true story. She was is a massive fan of Queen and loved the song.

The song was written by Roger Taylor and he thought it would work great on his solo. The band heard and thought this could be a hit and suddenly it became a Queen song. Roger’s inspiration came from his son and hearing him say “Radio Ca Ca”. He took that and turned it in to a commentary on how TV and Music Videos were changing the way we listened to music and the radio. Radio was becoming less important, but he wanted to wax poetic about its greatness. The song actually makes reference to a couple of major radio events such as Winston Churchill’s “This is their finest hour” speech to the House of Commons in 1940 and to Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” in 1938.

Musically this song was a pure synth song . Roger wrote it on a Roland Jupiter-8 synthesizer and a drum machine. The song was recorded using a Roland VP330+ vocoder synthesizer and John Deacon wrote the bass line on a Roland Jupiter-8. When you hear it, it is basically nothing but synths. Fred Mandel, a Canadian musician, was brought in to program the synths for the right sounds. Freddie took the lyrics and massaged them a little and then sang it so beautifully and effortlessly as only Freddie can do. The song is so 80’s in the sound, but still holds up today. It is a little anthemic especially with the hand claps sounds added. It is a favorite song when played live and they still play it live even today with Adam Lambert. I am usually not a huge fan of synthesizer music, however, this song is a major exception to that rule. Queen has a way to make you listen to the whole song and not focus on one part.

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think about it. Is it stuck in the 80’s or is there a timeless element to it? I still love this one and maybe even more today than I did back then. Let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Sunday!

“Radio Ga Ga”

Radio

Radio

I’d sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights
And everything I had to know
I heard it on my radio

You gave them all those old-time stars
Through wars of worlds invaded by Mars
You made ’em laugh, you made ’em cry
You made us feel like we could fly

Radio

So, don’t become some background noise
A backdrop for the girls and boys
Who just don’t know or just don’t care
And just complain when you’re not there

You had your time, you had the power
You’ve yet to have your finest hour
Radio, radio

All we hear is “Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga”
All we hear is “Radio ga ga
“Radio blah blah”
Radio, what’s new?
Radio, someone still loves you

We watch the shows, we watch the stars
On videos for hours and hours
We hardly need to use our ears
How music changes through the years

Let’s hope you never leave, old friend
Like all good things on you we depend
So, stick around ’cause we might miss you
When we grow tired of all this visual

You had your time, you had the power
You’ve yet to have your finest hour
Radio, radio

All we hear is “Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga”
All we hear is “Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga”

All we hear is “Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah”
Radio, what’s new?
Someone still loves you

Radio ga ga
Radio ga ga
Radio ga ga

You had your time, you had the power
You’ve yet to have your finest hour
Radio, radio

Written by Roger Taylor

27 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen

  1. Nothing wrong with liking this song, but I think cause it’s so overplayed, I got sick of it for a while. It’s only when I watch some Queen concerts on youtube that I get into it again. Queen and the synthesizers though, they really embraced the 80s, odd since they used to put that statement on their earlier albums that “no synthesizers were used.”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. When this came out in 84 it drove me bonkers. But a few decades on (almost 4 lol) I like it now.
    Must be the mellowing aspect of my brain excepting this stuff. lol
    Good track and as Steve says a great time that works well in a stadium setting.

    Liked by 1 person

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