Radioactive (song)

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1985 US single
Appears on The Firm
Published by Succubus Music
Registration ASCAP 480186654
Release date February 1985
Recorded October 1984 at
The Sol Studios, Cookham, Berkshire.
Mixed at The Sol Studios, Cookham, Berkshire.
Mastered at The Townhouse, London.
Genre Hard rock, blues-rock
Language English
Length 2 minutes 49 seconds
Composer Paul Rodgers
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers
Engineer Stuart Epps

'Radioactive' is a song by English rock band the Firm. It was the first single released from their eponymous debut album The Firm, where it was the fifth track. It was written by Paul Rodgers.


A compact and straight-forward AOR rock song from the 1980s, structured with Tony Franklin's fretless bass hook at the beginning, combined with Page's guitar scratch on the third line in the verse, Rodgers' reverbed vocal, and followed by a wah pedal inflected guitar solo. Chris Slade plays a steady drum beat throughout. On live performances, the song was introduced with a drum solo from Slade, leading into Franklin's opening bass line.[1] Page utilised his 1960's Botswana Brown Fender Telecaster guitar featuring a Parsons and White B-string bender, on tour with this song.

Their self-titled album, appearing on Atlantic Records, cracked the Billboard Top 20 on the strength of this single. Jimmy Page broke with the past and participated in the recording for the promotional film clip and single, the first time he had done both since the late 1960s.[2] Page can be seen playing his famous red double-neck 1971 Gibson EDS-1275 guitar for the performance. In March of 1985, MTV began heavily promoting the video clip, although the track was a modest seller, reaching number 28 in America and topping the Top Rock Tracks chart for one week. 'Radioactive' was also released as a 12" single and limited edition picture disc.

Paul Rodgers stills performs this song during his solo sets and it appears on the 2007 Paul Rodgers: Live In Glasgow DVD.

Chart positions


Chart (1985) Peak position
UK Singles Chart[3] 76
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart[4] 1
US Radio & Records Top 40 Singles Chart[5] 27
US Billboard The Billboard Hot 100 Chart[6] 28
US Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart[7] 28
Canadian RPM Top 100 Chart[8] 75
US ARC Top 40 Singles Chart[9] 17
A screenshot from the music video, depicting Tony Franklin, Paul Rodgers, and Jimmy Page (Chris Slade obscured).


  • Musicians:
    • Paul Rodgers – vocals, acoustic guitar, producer
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, producer
    • Tony Franklin – bass guitar
    • Chris Slade - drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Production:
    • Stuart Epps - engineer, mixing
    • Steve Privett - tape operator, tea, gin and tonics
    • Gordon Vicary - mastering
    • Steve Maher - cover artwork


  1. Mattfeld, Jens. The Firm: The New Band of 1984. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  2. Welch, Chris. Page Onstage '85: The Jimmy Page interview Part 1. brandyzep. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  3. Top 100 Singles - 23 February 1985. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  4. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks - 16 March 1985. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  5. Top 40 Singles - 5 April 1985. Radio & Records. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  6. Hot 100 Chart - 13 April 1985. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  7. Top 100 Singles - 13 April 1985. Cash Box. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  8. RPM Singles Chart - 13 April 1985. RPM. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  9. Top 40 Singles - 20 April 1985. ARC. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.