The band performed the song at every concert from 1984 to their last concert with lead singer Freddie Mercury in 1986, including their performance at Live Aid in 1985.

This was Queen's final US Top 40 hit during Freddie Mercury's lifetime. It peaked at 16.

The single was a worldwide success for the band, reaching number one in 19 countries, number two on the UK Singles Chart and the Australian Kent Music Report, and number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The music video received heavy rotation on music channels, and it was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in 1984.

The song features in video game Grand Theft Auto V on the Radio Station Los Santos Rock Radio.

The song makes reference to two important radio events of the 20th century; Orson Welles' 1938 broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds in the lyric "through wars of worlds/invaded by Mars", and Winston Churchill's 18 June 1940 "This was their finest hour" speech from the House of Commons, in the lyric "You've yet to have your finest hour".

The inspiration for this song came when Roger Taylor heard his son utter the words "radio ca-ca" while listening to a bad song on the radio while they were in Los Angeles.

At the "Party at the Palace" concert, celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee in 2002, "Radio Ga Ga" opened up Queen's set with Roger Taylor on vocals and Phil Collins on the drums.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has made a live-cover of this single at the Al Murray's Happy Hour, on ITV.

American pop singer Lady Gaga credits her stage name to this song. She stated that she "adored" Queen, and that they had a hit called 'Radio Gaga'. "That's why I love the name", she said.

Musical theatre actress Elaine Paige recorded the song on her album of Queen covers The Queen Album in 1988.