One can make the argument that Lady Gaga has been in the entertainment business since 2001. This is because that was when she played a high school student on an episode of The Sopranos, which was a very popular show from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s. However, Lady Gaga’s music career started up in 2005, with her breakthrough moment happening with the release of The Fame in 2008. Since then, she has become one of the best-known names in the music business, which isn’t even mentioning her involvement in the world of acting. For proof, look no further than the fact that Lady Gaga is the first woman to walk away with an Oscar, a Grammy, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe in a single year. Something that happened in 2019. Still, there is a reason that Lady Gaga remains best-known for her music.
7. Cheek to Cheek
Cheek to Cheek is Lady Gaga’s fourth studio album. However, it is rather unusual in that it isn’t a solo studio album. Instead, it is a collaborative studio album between Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. The two artists met at a Robin Hood Foundation gala where she performed a rendition of “Orange Colored Sky,” with the result that she was asked by Bennett to sing “The Lady Is a Tramp” with him on his Duets II. That paved the way for a full-fledged studio album consisting of jazz standards in 2014. As the story goes, they believed that the chosen songs possessed a universal appeal, which is why they wanted to introduce them to a new generation through their collaboration.
6. Love for Sale
It seems safe to say that Lady Gaga gets along very well with Bennett. After all, the two have not one but two collaborative studio albums with one another, with the second being Love for Sale that came out on September 30 of 2021. Once again, it consists of jazz standards. However, it is interesting to note that every single one of these jazz standards were written by Cole Porter, an American songwriter who was most successful in the 1920s and 1930s but nonetheless managed one last triumph towards the end of his life by securing the first Tony Award for Best Musical ever with Kiss Me, Kate in 1948. As such, interested individuals might be able to guess that Love for Sale is meant as a tribute to said individual, who was a notable standout among the Broadway composers of his time by writing both the lyrics and the music.
In case it wasn’t made clear by the fact that Lady Gaga has released not one but two collaborative studio albums consisting of jazz standards and only jazz standards, she has a well-earned reputation for genre-bending. For further proof, consider Joanne, which would be her fifth studio album. At the time of its initial release, it was sometimes called her country album. However, the truth of the matter is that it boasts influence from folk, cabaret, gospel, 1970s R&B, and more. On the whole, Lady Gaga combined those things well, with the result that Joanne became something more than the sum of its parts. Still, it didn’t stand out that much from the crowd, meaning that it isn’t as memorable as some of her other works.
Chromatica is Lady Gaga’s most recent solo studio album. In a sense, it is rather orthodox for someone who is best-known for being quite unorthodox. After all, Chromatica is a return to her dance pop roots. Moreover, it is absent of Lady Gaga’s famous eccentricities, which have done a great deal to draw attention to her no matter how people might perceive them. Still, these aren’t necessarily bad things. Subject-wise, Chromatica is focused on breaking free from the chains of some very real, very dark personal issues. As such, it is a great mood booster, particularly seeing as how it was released right around the time of the COVID-19 lockdowns. It will be interesting to see how Chromatica’s ranking holds up in the times still to come once the memories of said crisis have become a bit more faded.
Artpop is Lady Gaga’s third studio album. At the time, it met with something of a mixed response. There were those who liked it; there were those who acknowledged its imperfections but were fine with them; and there were, well, suffice to say that “perfunctory” can be a pretty brutal condemnation in the right context. Regardless, Artpop was somewhat experimental in nature, though not different enough from its immediate predecessor to suit the preferences of everyone out there. Still, it has some memorable songs, with “Applause” being one of Lady Gaga’s best.
2. Born This Way
Depends on how one counts such things, one can make the argument that Born This Way is Lady Gaga’s third release rather than her second release. Whichever the case, it cemented her image as a pop superstar, not least because it contained a number of very memorable songs. For example, “The Edge of Glory” focuses upon the last moments of life, having been inspired by the death of Lady Gaga’s grandfather in September of 2010. Meanwhile, there is a reason that the titular track resonated so much with the LGBTQ+ community. Something that contributed to it being called the song that defined the 2010s by no less a source than Billboard.
1. The Fame Monster
Technically, The Fame Monster is a reissue of Lady Gaga’s debut studio album The Fame. In some places, the new songs were added onto their predecessors; in other places, the new songs were released as their own standalone EP. Regardless, The Fame and The Fame Monster combined is deserving of the number one position on this list. They are what enabled Lady Gaga to carve out her initial foothold in the music market. Moreover, the new songs made it clear that she wasn’t just a one-hit wonder that would go away after her debut studio album, particularly since they already contained hints of the musical diversity that she would exhibit throughout her subsequent career.