RADIO KAOS (1987) – RADIO WAVES
Steeped in 80s pop production technology, Radio Waves is probably one of the most commercially calculated songs Waters has written.
For the opening track on the Radio KAOS album, he had to come up with the kind of song that would fit the playlist of the radio station that was part of the album’s concept. He also had to devise a short and effective way of introducing a complex plot and storyline.
Those who criticise the song for being “trapped in the 80s” are missing the point. The song had to be clad in the prevailing pop fashion of the time. This was 1987, and elementary post-disco beats with all the bland studio mod cons were all over the charts. In addition, part of the concept for the album involved the demise of free-form music stations like Radio KAOS and the rise of formatted, computer-programmed stations where music was played for profit rather than pleasure. So there’s an irony to Radio Waves.
No other Roger Waters album starts in such a bright and breezy manner. Grab it and be grateful.
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