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Queen drummer Roger Taylor wrote this song. When it charted, all 4 members of the group had written at least one Top-10 hit.
Taylor wrote this as a critique of radio stations, which were becoming commercialized and playing the same songs over and over. And this was before radio was deregulated, allowing companies to own multiple stations in a market, resulting in more corporate ownership, less competition and generally bad radio.
Taylor claimed he was inspired to write this after watching MTV. He noticed that lots of kids were watching the channel instead of listening to the radio.
The video is based on the 1926 movie Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang. Queen had to pay the German government to use clips of it in the video.
An extended version was released as a 12" single at the same time.
Originally, this was "Radio Ca-Ca," but the rest of the group objected and asked Taylor for a re-write. As a result, it went from a song condemning radio ("Ca-Ca") to praising it ("Ga Ga").
Queen stole the show at Live-Aid, when Freddie Mercury, battling laryngitis, got everybody in Wembly Stadium singing the chorus of this. (thanks, Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 2)
The extras in the video got the clapping sequence right on the first try, but it took practice for the members of Queen to get it down. (thanks, Jonathon - Clermont, FL)
The rock band Electric Six recorded this on their 2005 album Señor Smoke. In the video, their lead singer Dick Valentine is shown as the ghost of Freddie Mercury appearing in front of his grave. (thanks, Logan - Troy, MT)
The New York dance pop shock artist Lady Gaga took her name from this song.
Songs About Movies
Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.
One of the most successful songwriters in the business, Desmond co-wrote "Livin' La Vida Loca," "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" and "Livin' On A Prayer."
Don breaks down "Hotel California" and other songs he wrote as a member of the Eagles. Now we know where the "warm smell of colitas" came from.
Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root
Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.