Though not a happy story, A Star Is Born was a great movie. The tale of Ally and Jackson is a roller coaster of highs and lows as a young singer pursues her career and love life. Unfortunately, having both was a tall order and ultimately doomed to fail. We won’t spoiler the ending for those who haven’t seen it yet, but it’s rough. The 2018 film was Lady Gaga’s acting debut and Bradley Coopers’ first time directing. Together they brought this outstanding musical to life. We’re ranking all the songs from the Star Is Born Soundtrack.
18. Why Did You Do That by Lady Gaga
Why Did You Do That is meant to be ironic. Ally’s character has effectively sold out and turned into an inauthentic pop act. On its own, this song is excellent, but within the context of A Star Is Born, it’s a part of the tragedy that makes the story compelling. We’ve put this last because the irony gets lost unless you watch the whole show.
17. Is That Alright by Lady Gaga
Is That Alright is a well-written love song. Unfortunately, it feels a little forced. The irony lost on the previous song is palpable here. It’s a fantastic love song sung by someone who doesn’t sound in love.
16. Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga’s voice is well suited to Always Remember Us This Way. The delivery is powerful and lovely. As they explain on Lyric Interpretations, it is “… about the inevitability of a hot flame cooling over time. What makes a relationship hold over time is not that initial flame, but you can always think back to those times that made it great.”
15. La Vie En Rose by Lady Gaga
The moment in the film where Jackson and Ally meet is closer to real-life than you might expect. As PopSugar reports it, he says that “…he met Gaga after seeing her perform the same song that Jackson first sees Ally sing in the movie: Édith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose.” Though, rather than a drag bar, the stars were at a charity event.”
14. Out Of Time by Bradley Cooper
Out Of Time is an outstanding instrumental piece. Most of the song consists of drums and guitar, and that’s really all it needs. Cooper does a great job. This song is so low on our list because it gets lost in the shuffle with all the heartfelt vocals in this musical.
13. Look What I Found by Lady Gaga
On the one hand, Look What I Found is well performed and enjoyable to listen to. Lady Gaga brings life to this love song. The flip side of that is the lyrics which describe an undeniably codependent relationship that reminds us of Humpty Dumpty because the singer needs someone to put them together rather than working on themselves and having more to offer than their brokenness.
12. Alibi by Bradley Cooper
The world is full of brilliant love songs, but this song is not about that. The singer refuses to commit. Musically it’s fantastic, but lyrically the whole piece is an excuse for a one-night-stand. The idea that adults need to excuse themselves in this way is very old-fashioned.
11. Maybe It’s Time by Bradley Cooper
Like love, redemption is a common theme for songs. However, most redemption songs involve seeking out a higher power or outside assistance. Maybe It’s Time is about saving yourself and doing the work.
10. Heal Me by Lady Gaga
Heal Me made number ten on our list despite being another cliche love song where the singer is looking for someone else to solve their problems. The replayability of this tune is undeniable, and it’s a great example of Lady Gaga’s versatility and range. Although it will never be a fan favorite like Bad Romance, Heal Me is still a worthy listen.
9. Hair Body Face by Lady Gaga
It’s easy to fall into the mentality of wanting to fit in and seeking approval, but it’s not healthy to base your self-worth on the opinions of others. This is doubly true if they’re the sort to talk behind your back. Happily, the singer in Hair Body Face realizes she doesn’t want to appeal to everyone as much as she cares how the person she loves most sees her.
8. Too Far Gone by Bradley Cooper
Too Far Gone is all about longing for love. The obsessive, passionate need for another person is an emotion many people relate to. Although this is one of the shortest and simplest songs in A Star Is Born, it aptly describes the fear of losing someone you adore.
7. Before I Cry by Lady Gaga
The fear of losing someone you love comes up again in Before I Cry. Ally’s love for Jackson is at odds with her career, and it causes problems between the two. She is still holding out hope that the two can work things out and she can have his love and fame.
6. Black Eyes by Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper wrote Black Eyes himself. You can hear how much of himself he put into it as he sings about being second fiddle. The singer, Jackson, is losing the woman he loves to her career, and this is his lament. He sings, “And I’m gone, sitting by the phone. And I’m all alone by the wayside. And I’m gone, sitting by the phone.”
5. Diggin My Grave by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Unlike the songs that come later, Diggin My Grave is energetic, showing the early days of Ally’s career. Even this early on, Jackson seems to sense that fame will be the death of their relationship. In this excellent duet, his jealousy shows.
4. I Don’t Know What Love Is by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
There’s no feeling quite like falling in love. I Don’t Know What Love Is ranges from disbelief to acceptance as the singers share their early affection and willingness to do whatever it takes to make it work. Young lovers everywhere can relate to this feeling, and it’s no surprise that this was a fan favorite.
3. Music To My Eyes by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Love, at first sight, is too cliche, so this song calls it ‘music to my eyes.’ Either way, this song is how Ally and Jackson express their blooming attraction. Lyrics about melodies and paradise make it plain to the listener that the singers are falling for each other.
2. I’ll Never Love Again by Lady Gaga
Love lost is one of the most powerful and awful feelings a person can have. Gaga as Ally sings her heart out about how there’s no one else for her. She isn’t even willing to entertain the notion of loving anyone else.
1. Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Shallow was easily the most successful song out of A Star Is Born. It garnered an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, plus two Grammys for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media. Between the awards and the memes, this song had to be at the top of the list. It certainly was for the fans.
Even if you’ve seen it before, this story will bring tears to your eyes. If you haven’t seen A Star Is Born, then you’re missing out on one of the best and most depressing musicals to come out in the last couple of decades. Unsurprisingly, the soundtrack was nominated for eight awards at the 91st Academy Awards, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We recommend watching or re-watching the film once you finish listening to this multi-award-winning soundtrack.