Radio Ga Ga - Queen - 80sneverend - Greetings from Metropolis

Greetings from Metropolis

Queen – Radio Ga Ga

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
#Queen #RadioGaGa

January 23rd, 1984, was a milestone date for Queen’s and Freddie Mercury’s history and career. After almost two years in silence, after a couple of albums which received no great success, Queen, in those days famous mostly in the UK, were setting the stage for the release fo their new album, The Works, at the end of February.

And so they released the first track of the new album, Radio Ga Ga. Maybe it’s my favourite Queen’s song. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there is Bohemian Rhapsody or I Want it All and many others, but this song is really a masterpiece. And it was so successful that Queen’s fame boomed and crossed every border.

It’s a masterpiece. Listening to the song and looking at the video are two different experiences. Different, but perfectly matching. If we read the lyircs, we find the nostalgic feeling for the times when radio was the main and only communication media, and of course had a fundamental role in spreading news such as in times of war.

In some way, it’s the same melancholy narrated by the Buggles in Video Killed the Radio Star. I spent my first years listening to the radio, waiting for the tv to air programs with music and videoclips in Italy, so I really loved my radio, I perfectly understand and share this feeling and find it extremely romantic.

We then have the video. Calling it a masterpiece, is an understatement. The idea of leveraging the environment of the movie Metropolis was fantastic. The great Giorgio Moroder was then working at the modern edition of Metropolis, and Queen wrote a song for his movie (not this one but Love kills).

In return, he allowed them to use the footage from Metropolis for the video of Radio Ga Ga. Actually, they had to buy the rights form the legitimate owner, and it was… the communist government of East Germany! I think it was probably a consequence of the Fritz Lang being funded by the State for his works, as the State was the final owner, as the State was the final owner of the original movie in the 20s.

Fritz Lang was far more than a visionary. It’s true that New York already had skyscrapers in 1927, but look at how he imagined the future in Metropolis: elevated motorways and monorails, glass and steel skyscrapers, queues of cars. A visionary? He was completely correct!

The flying car of Queen travels across the slies of Metropolis; Roger Taylor drives it with a joystick. Queen perform in front of a crowd of massified workers, a mix between 1984 and Another Brick in the Wall, and here we see the fantastic handclap to the beat that, from Live Aid onwards, will always be a peculiarity of this song in concerts.

There is a scene I really love: Freddie Mercury moves back and forth the arms of the lighted big clock, and he joins and mixes past and future. Metropolis is a movie of the past, telling how the future will be. Radio was at the heart of this system. So, does radio belong to the past or to the future? I have no doubts at all!

Queen and Freddie Mercury on Wikipedia

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