This week’s Official Singles Chart sees Spanish serenader Enrique Iglesias climb into the Top 10 with Subeme La Radio. Already a big hit in Spanish-speaking countries, the song has found its way on to the UK Top 40 thanks to a Spanglish remix with Sean Paul and X Factor winner Matt Terry.
Literally translating as ‘turn up the radio’, it gives Enrique his first Top 10 and radio hit on UK shores for three years. It got us thinking, do songs about radio help you get played on the radio?
In addition to Subeme La Radio, just 11 other songs with ‘radio’ in the title have reached the Top 10 in the Official Singles Chart’s 65-year history, with a further 28 reaching the Top 40. Spookily, that makes for a round 40 songs.
Here’s a look back at a selection of the top ‘radio’ songs in Official Chart history:
Robbie Williams – Radio
Robbie’s ode to radio, on which he sings, ‘Listen to the radio and you will hear all the songs you know’, reached Number 1 on October 2004. Fittingly, the track headed up his greatest hits album, packed with songs that had been all over the radio the previous eight years.
The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star
Perhaps one of the most famous songs about the radio, The Buggles’s Video Killed The Radio Star was about the supposed death of ‘radio stars’ in favour of ‘TV stars’. Ironically (or perhaps a stroke of genius?) it was the first ever music video show on MTV, and it shot to Number 1 in October 1979.
Queen - Radio Ga Ga
In a similar vein, Queen’s 1984 hit was about television overtaking radio’s popularity. It peaked at Number 2 in the UK, held off the top by Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax, and years later inspired a cover by rockers Electric Six (that version peaked at 21) as well as the name of little-known artist Lady Gaga.
Donna Summer – On The Radio
Donna’s disco classic was a smash on radio, but it didn’t quite translate to chart success in the UK. Released in late 1979 as the soundtrack to the film Foxes, the song didn’t chart until February 1980 in the UK, topping out at Number 32 – though it was a huge hit in America where it reached Number 5. 21 years later, Eastenders actress-turned-singer Martine McCutcheon released a cover that saw the song reach a new high in the UK at Number 7.
McFly – One For The Radio/ Love Is On The Radio
In McFly’s early days, they were virtually inescapable on radio. The band boast two ‘radio’ songs in their discography, both of which landed inside the Top 10. The first, 2008’s blastathon One For The Radio, reached Number 2, while the second – their final single release - Love On The Radio, peaked at 6 in 2013.
The Selecter – On My Radio
British ska band The Selector landed their biggest chart hit in 1979 with On My Radio, a brilliantly kooky number of which its producer Roger Lomas later revealed: “The band didn’t want to record it as a single at first – they said it sounded like a Eurovision entry”. It reached Number 8 on the Official Chart.
Lolly – Viva La Radio
“How I love my radio, I take it with me wherever I go,” sings Lolly on her 1999 single, which reached Number 7 on the Official Singles Chart. As far as love songs to the radio go, they don’t get much cheesier – or cuter – than this.
Nelly Furtado – …On The Radio (Remember The Days)
In a case of radio breaking up a relationship, Nelly Furtado released On The Radio in 2002 as the third single from her debut album Whoa Nelly. “You liked me till you heard my s**t on the radio,” she sings in the opening line. In what was clearly an act of defiance, radio didn’t get behind the song and it stalled at Number 18.
Article image: Queen