Radioactive (Marina and the Diamonds song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marina and the Diamonds - Radioactive single cover.jpg
Promotional single by Marina and the Diamonds
from the album Electra Heart
Released 23 September 2011 (2011-09-23)
Format Digital download
Genre Eurodance
Length 3:47
Electra Heart track listing
"Fear and Loathing"
"Sex Yeah"
Music video
"Radioactive" on YouTube

"Radioactive" is a song by Welsh recording artist Marina and the Diamonds from the deluxe version of her second studio album Electra Heart (2012). It was released on 23 September 2011 as the first promotional single from the record;[1] it preceded the premiere of the official lead single "Primadonna" on 20 March 2012.

Background and composition[edit]

Diamandis said of "Radioactive":

I wrote "Radioactive" in New York in the middle of a heat wave. Introduced to a glittering new nightlife, I fell in love with New York; it has this magic, fizzing white energy that no other city in the world has. I felt happy and was inspired to write a song that felt light and euphoric, a more streamlined, minimalistic style of songwriting. I have changed my approach to songwriting completely, and as a result, written songs I would never have written on my own (i.e on my shit Argos keyboard alone in my bedroom in London).[2]

Musically, "Radioactive" is a Eurodance song with a minimalist club beat.[3][4]

Critical reception[edit]

"Radioactive" received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Digital Spy editor Robert Copsey gave the song four out of five stars and, regarding the song's "radio-friendly, synth-laden, and deeply hypnotic" chorus, wrote, "[B]efore we accuse her of bandwagon-hopping (it was produced by Rihanna and Katy Perry collaborators Stargate), we're certain it's all part of the irony, right?"[4] Popjustice named it Song of the Day and commented, "What we like most about 'Radioactive' (and we like a LOT about 'Radioactive') is that it sounds quite a bit like loads of stuff that's in the charts, but proves that you don't have to act like a total fucking idiot singing shit about nothing in order to carry it off."[5] Jim Hiscox of the Daily Star also gave the song a positive review, stating, "More straight-up dancefloor action than the Welsh wonder's previous quirks, Marina suddenly sounds a fully-fledged pop star."[6]

In a review for MTV Buzzworthy, Bradley Stern opined that the song "may throb like one of Rihanna's latest club bangers, but the cutting, sinister lyricism and vocal acrobatics are strictly within her comfort zone, proving that (CHEESE ALERT!) this Diamond's just found more than one way to shine."[7] Damien Ryan of So So Gay, rating the track four-and-a-half stars out of five, expressed it is "like nothing else we've heard from Marina, yet still manages to sound distinctly her". He continued, "The production on its own is hardly revolutionary, however; it's most likely just a left-over from Stargate's studio sessions with Rihanna. Though the duo are obviously running on auto-pilot, Marina's unique vocals save 'Radioactive' from Ibiza club hell and really help the track stand out from the rest of the pop charts."[8] This Is Fake DIY's Gareth O'Malley scored "Radioactive" seven out of ten, concluding that "[t]his is a good pop song, yes, and an even better single, but she can definitely do better."[9]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Radioactive" peaked at number 25 on the UK chart, and spent 3 weeks on the chart. In Ireland it peaked at number 37.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Radioactive" was directed by Caspar Balslev,[10] and is the second part of the Electra Heart music video series, following "Fear & Loathing" (also directed by Balslev). It was shot in Los Angeles[citation needed] and premiered on 22 August 2011.[2][11] Prior to the video's premiere, Diamandis teased several promotional images of the video via her official Tumblr account, mostly featuring shots of the desert environment and images of her in a blonde wig.[12]

Diamandis explained the concept behind the video in an interview with Popjustice, saying:

That's like a really 70s thing, it's set in the desert... I just think every artist always has something at the core of them that fascinates them and inspires them. In the beginning I had exactly the same thought—"oh God, I'm still inspired by America, I don't want to make 'Hollywood Pt II'". And it's not like that. I'm just really inspired by that topic and that culture and I think I always will be. It's kind of like how every longterm artist always has a thread running through their image, or their lyrics, and that's mine. America.[13]

The video centers around Diamandis and her male companion on the run. The first scenes show her packing a suitcase into a car, applying a white blonde wig and leaving the premises with her partner. Following this, the couple are shown trashing a house, arriving at a motel, purchasing food from a supermarket, whilst in disguise and sitting in a diner. The final scenes feature Diamonds dancing in the streets and the couple wandering in the desert. Diamandis removes her wig and proceeds to wander alone in the desert. As of June 11 2017 Radioactive has accumulated 10,460,380 YouTube views.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Radioactive" – 3:46
  2. "Radioactive" (Tom Staar Remix) – 5:20
  3. "Radioactive" (Chuckie Big House Mix) – 6:00
  4. "Radioactive" (How to Dress Well Remix)– 5:12
  5. "Radioactive" (Captain Cuts Remix) – 4:06
  6. "Radioactive" (Acoustic) – 3:30
  7. "Radioactive" (Extended Edit) – 4:43


Chart (2011) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 37
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[16] 25
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 25

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format
Australia[18] 23 September 2011 Warner Music Digital download
Ireland[19] 30 September 2011 679 Artists, Atlantic Records
United Kingdom[14]


  1. ^ Daniels, Colin (3 July 2013). "Marina and the Diamonds plans six singles from 'Electra Heart' album". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Marina And The Diamonds post comeback video for new single 'Radioactive'". NME. IPC Media. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Beyoncé's Countdown, Marina And The Diamonds' Radioactive and Ayshay's WARN-U are among our top new singles this week". Metro. DMG Media. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ a b Copsey, Robert (3 October 2011). "Marina and the Diamonds: 'Radioactive' – Single review". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Marina & The Diamonds – 'Radioactive'". Popjustice. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Hiscox, Jim (3 October 2011). "Marina And The Diamonds: Radioactive – Single Review". Daily Star. Northern & Shell Media Publications. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Stern, Bradley (30 August 2011). "Marina + The Diamonds, Britney Spears, Darren Hayes & More: 5 Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week". MTV Buzzworthy. MTV Networks. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Ryan, Damien (25 August 2011). "Track Review: Marina and the Diamonds – 'Radioactive'". So So Gay. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  9. ^ O'Malley, Gareth (6 October 2011). "Marina & The Diamonds – Radioactive". This Is Fake DIY. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Thakkar, Nik (26 August 2011). "Song and video premiere: Marina and the Diamonds – Radioactive". The Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Copsey, Robert (22 August 2011). "Marina and the Diamonds unveils new single 'Radioactive'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "A savage journey into the Heart of the American Dream." Tumblr. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  13. ^ Robinson, Peter (7 August 2011). "Marina & The Diamonds interview". Popjustice. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Radioactive by Marina & the Diamonds". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Chart Track: Week 40, 2011". Irish Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  18. ^ "Radioactive – Single by Marina & the Diamonds". iTunes Store Australia. Apple Inc. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  19. ^ "Radioactive by Marina & the Diamonds". iTunes Store Ireland. Apple Inc. Retrieved 30 September 2011.