“Radio Gaga” by Queen
When you think Queen, generally you think of the hits – “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “We Are the Champions,” and of course “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It is for this reason that these songs are on the top 50 most requested songs at live shows like dueling pianos and songs played at weddings and other events. But one of our favorite songs happens to be one that didn’t even make it into the Billboard top 10.
“Radio Gaga” was released in 1984, much later than their string of undeniable hits in the 1970s. It clearly was not as popular in the United States as in Europe, where it did chart at #1 in seven different countries.
The song is literally about the medium of radio in its finest hour, including references to Orson Wells’ 1938 “war of the Worlds” Broadcast, Winston Churchill’s 1940 speech about “their finest hour.” Ironically the song was released as MTV was gaining viewership with its “new” music video format, as the song commented on the “old” medium of radio.
Freddie Mercury was a master of involving his audiences in the songs. Even though most of “Radio Gaga” is a nicely written story, the song doesn’t “move” much until the chorus.
In the live performance of “Radio Gaga” at Live Aid in 1985, Freddie Mercury directs the tens of thousands of fans to throw their hands up in the air for a double hand-clap in the middle of the chorus.
This is one of the most fun things about dueling piano shows — involving the crowd — and one of the reasons this author argues that Freddie Mercury may have very well been the father of dueling pianos before the sing-along concept was truly invented in America.
For the crowds that know “Radio Gaga,” it is a very exciting song to perform during dueling piano shows, and for those that don’t know it, they will get a great education on both a great song and interaction with the performers.