Pop artists come and go on a constant basis. However, a small number of them manage to stand the test of time. There can be no doubt about the fact that Lady Gaga is one such individual, seeing as how she released her debut album in 2008 and has continued strong to the present time. So far, she has released numerous songs of note, though of course, some of these songs have been better than others.
20. Perfect Illusion
“Perfect Illusion” was a single off of Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album Joanne. Fittingly, it focuses on both the highs and the lows of the singer’s relationship. As such, it was no wonder that people started speculating that the song was a reference to Lady Gaga’s ex-boyfriend Taylor Kinney. Something that was refuted by the singer, who said that she wasn’t interested in using her song to hurt someone else. Regardless, the result is worth a listen from time to time, not least because of the emotion poured into it.
19. You and I
“You and I” was one of the better-received tracks off of Born This Way, which is no mean achievement when said album is considered to be one of Lady Gaga’s best studio albums. Inspiration-wise, people have noted the influence of both Queen and Shania Twain. Something that can be explained by the involvement of Queen guitarist Brian May as well as Shania Twain’s long-time collaborator Mutt Lange.
“Monster” is a dance-pop song from The Fame Monster. Subject-wise, it is about the singer’s attraction to the wrong individual, which is wholly unsurprising considering the song’s name. Something that isn’t particularly uncommon to say the least. However, while “Monster” comes very close to being generic in nature, it manages to be more than that thanks to Lady Gaga’s vocal performance.
Songs don’t need to be particularly sophisticated to be worth listening to. To name an example, consider “LoveGame,” which was inspired by Lady Gaga’s sexual attraction to a stranger at a night club. A lot of people will remember the line about the singer wanting to ride on the addressed individual’s “disco stick,” which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. As cringey as it sounds, the line worked, as shown by how “LoveGame” proved to be very popular with a receptive audience.
16. Dance in the Dark
“Dance in the Dark” was the song that was supposed to follow “Telephone.” However, there was some kind of dispute, with the result that “Alejandro” was chosen instead. Regardless, “Dance in the Dark” remains memorable, meaning that people should give it a listen sometime. It is interesting to note that the song was outright stated to be about a girl who prefers having sex with the lights off because she is concerned about her appearance. Something that resonated with Lady Gaga because of her own experience as well as her interactions with other young women while working with the MAC AIDS Fund.
There was some controversy about the music video for “Judas” when it came out. This is because it featured Lady Gaga playing Mary Magdalene, Norman Reedus playing Judas Iscariot, and Rick Gonzalez playing Jesus Christ. Throughout it, Lady Gaga’s character makes multiple attempts to warn Gonzalez’s character about what is to come but never manages to succeed, with the result that she is stoned to death at the very end. In any case, while there were people who were upset by the mix of sexual imagery and religious symbolism, “Judas” was well-received by the critics for the most part.
“Gypsy” is a ballad that transforms into something much more reminiscent of pop. Something that worked quite well considering its inclusion in the rather experimental Artpop. It is far from being the first time that a singer has sung about the loneliness brought on by fame. For that matter, chances are good that it isn’t even the thousandth time that such a song has been penned. However, what makes “Gypsy” special is that it somehow managed to make it work in spite of it having been done again and again over the years.
Context-wise, “Applause” was written after Lady Gaga had been forced to cancel her third concert tour because of a hip surgery. As such, it is interesting to note that the song is an expression of her reliance upon her fans’ adoration, which in turn, is a product of her overwhelming desire to perform. The result is both catchy and uplifting.
On the whole, “Alejandro” didn’t seem to have received a very good reception in the United States. However, it managed to find more fans in Europe. Like its counterparts, “Alejandro” is a pop song, which took particular inspiration from ABBA and Ace of Base. One of the most interesting things about it is that it also foreshadowed Lady Gaga’s subsequent interest in combining influences from a wide range of music from a wide range of music genres.
“Paparazzi” was a single from The Fame. As such, it wasn’t a song about how Lady Gaga handled her fame so much as a song about Lady Gaga’s quest for fame. In any case, “Paparazzi” was a success, which makes sense because it was designed from the very start to be both fun and club-friendly. For that matter, it helped that it had a memorable music video that came complete with a miniature story of sorts.
“Speechless” is a song meant to convince Lady Gaga’s father to undergo open-heart surgery. As the story goes, said individual had a bad aortic valve, meaning that his heart was pumping about a third of the blood that it was supposed to pump with every beat. In total, he lived approximately 15 years with the condition, which understandably, concerned Lady Gaga as well as the rest of the family. Fortunately, “Speechless” worked. Moreover, the open-heart surgery went smoothly. Besides this, Lady Gaga also expressed a hope that the song would inspire younger listeners to be more appreciative of their parents because they would only get the single set.
9. Million Reasons
“Million Reasons” was included on Joanne, which tends to be remembered as one of Lady Gaga’s more unusual albums. However, the song is one of those that could’ve been included in one of the other albums without issue. Something that speaks of considerable universality.
“Shallow” is rather unusual. In considerable part, this is because it wasn’t a song on one of Lady Gaga’s studio albums. Instead, it was a song on the soundtrack album for A Star Is Born. This doesn’t mean that it is bad. No, it is no coincidence that A Star Is Born provided Lady Gaga with an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe in the same year. However, “Shallow” is fundamentally a song written for Lady Gaga’s character rather than Lady Gaga herself, with the result that it seems a bit jarring when placed alongside everything else on this list. Still, the song is a power ballad that received either universal or near-universal acclaim from the critics, meaning that it is more than deserving of its position on this list.
7. The Edge of Glory
Death is a constant. As a result, it is someone that everyone has to engage with at some point in our lives. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone has to engage with it in the same way. Some people choose to rail at it. Other people choose to accept it. There are as many ways to engage with the subject as there are people in the world. Perhaps more so, if only because people can change their opinion over time as they change over time. “The Edge of Glory” is fascinating because it addresses the last moments of life. Moreover, it does so in a manner that manages to stand out, which is fitting because it also feels true to the singer’s character.
6. Born This Way
It is no secret that Lady Gaga has a huge following in the LGBTQ+ community. In part, this is because of “Born This Way” as well as songs similar to “Born This Way,” which focus on the self-empowerment of sexual minorities as well as racial minorities. Due to that, it is no wonder that the song resonated with the generation that was coming of age in the early 2010s, so much so that it is sometimes seen as the song of an era. As for Lady Gaga herself, she has called it her freedom song, which is a reference to the songs sung by the participants in the civil rights movement. Something that was surprisingly important for their struggle, which is a powerful reminder of the way that music can bring people together.
“Telephone” was a song penned for Britney Spears, who rejected it. Later, Britney Spears was considered for the role of the guest vocalist. However, that winded up being Beyonce instead. Subject-wise, “Telephone” is more complicated than what one might imagine based on the name. For starters, it is about the fear of suffocation. Not literal suffocation but rather the kind of metaphorical suffocation connected to the singer’s failure to find time to have fun because of her concern that she wasn’t working hard enough to succeed.
4. Just Dance
“Just Dance” gets a high-ranking position for being the club anthem that propelled Lady Gaga on her way to success. Everything about it is meteoric. For example, she apparently wrote the song in about ten minutes. Similarly, it proved to be so successful in spite of the doubters that she wasn’t able to clear out her old apartment in New York City on her own but instead had to leave it to her mother.
3. Marry the Night
A lot of people have commented on the resemblance of “Marry the Night” to Whitney Houston, which is no coincidence because the song was inspired by said singer. The song is a number of other things as well. For example, a homage to Lady Gaga’s hometown. Similarly, a rejection of Hollywood that goes hand-in-hand with the previous statement.
2. Poker Face
“Poker Face” is pop at its best, which is to say, a combination of fun, catchy, and sharp construction. It was Lady Gaga’s fourth single ever released, meaning that it played an important role to making it clear that she wouldn’t be going away anytime soon but instead held the promise of becoming a fixture of the pop scene.
1. Bad Romance
Sometimes, songs can have very straightforward names. For proof, consider “Bad Romance,” which focuses on Lady Gaga’s attraction to people with whom romance doesn’t work. On top of that, the song also discusses topics such as her lonely relationships as well as the paranoia that she experienced while she was out on tour. In this, “Bad Romance” was very much like the rest of the songs that were added to The Fame Monster. However, it can be considered the best of them.