“Radio Ga Ga” is the first track off of Queen’s 1984 album “The Works”. Written by the band’s drummer Roger Taylor, derived from the term “radio caca” which he heard from his toddler.
Changing the term “caca” to “ga ga” (which is where popstar Lady Gaga got her name inspiration from), turned the song into a commentary on the television overtaking the radio in terms of popularity. The song does reference two extremely important radio events of the 20th century – Orson Welles’ 1938 broadcast of H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” (the lyric “through wars of worlds/invaded by Mars”) and Winston Churchill’s 18th June 1940 speech from the House of Commons (shown in the lyrics: “you’ve yet to have your finest hour”). The track was originally meant for Taylor’s solo album, but when the rest of Queen heard the song and deconstructed and rewrote components of the original, thought it would work extremely well with the band’s sound.
The music video was filmed in November 1983 and directed by David Mallet, featuring scenes from Fritz Lang’s 1927 expressionist science fiction film “Metropolis”. The band flies over the city in a car, and then later performing the track in front of movie city’s works. Since being uploaded to the official Queen YouTube channel on the 1st August 2008, it has over 77 million views.
Release Date: 23rd January 1984 (UK), 7th February 1984 (US)
Songwriter/s: Roger Taylor
Producer/s: Queen, Mack
Label/s: EMI, Capitol
Chart Rankings: Reached #1 in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. It also made it to #16 on the US Billboard Hot 100.