The Indespesible Gaga
April 8, 2011 12:55 PM   Subscribe

If I wanted to make a compilation of the best tracks by Lady Gaga, what would those tracks be? Smash hits and obscure remixes both considered.
posted by Artw to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
She did an improvised piano cover of Viva La Vida (video) that was pretty great.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:05 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Based on my iTunes play counts (many repetitions due to use in running playlists), the the Best Of Lady Gaga According To Sara C would include:

Bad Romance
Just Dance
Boys Boys Boys

It slightly embarrasses me to even type this out.

Many people I know think the best Lady Gaga song is Alejandro, but I don't particularly like it. I am pointedly NOT a fan of her new "Born This Way" single - too derivative of Madonna for my taste.

I am not enough of a Gaga fan to know about obscure mixes and the like.
posted by Sara C. at 1:40 PM on April 8, 2011

Willing to bet that "Born This Way" is a hit, even though it hasn't been out very long.
posted by royalsong at 1:41 PM on April 8, 2011

I'm not a huge Gaga aficionado or anything, though I do like a lot of her songs, and this is rather obvious, but I find myself humming or straight up singing "Bad Romance" all the time. Not necessarily with the right lyrics or anything, but damn that song is catchy as fuck.
posted by kmz at 1:43 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I also like Boys Boys Boys despite its idiocy and I don't think it's well-known.
posted by cranberrymonger at 1:50 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

My brother emails:
If you get the deluxe version of The Fame Monster, you'll have everything other than the crappy lead single to her next album (Born This Way). Or you can take out the five actually bad or pointless songs and be left with something pretty consistent. Those songs would be Eh Eh (nothing else I can say), Boys Boys Boys, Paper Gangsta, Brown Eyes, and Starstruck. Then you'll have 17 fairly solid songs. But if you're buying these on iTunes anyway it would probably cost less to just get the whole thing. [Added: You can download the whole thing on Amazon for $13 -- a much better deal than buying the tracks individually.] If you wanna narrow it down a little more I might get rid of Alejandro and Telephone. The rest of them are all worth having.
I actually like Eh Eh. But I agree with him that Born This Way, an embarrassing rehash of Madonna's Express Yourself, is one to leave out.

I'm not a huge Lady Gaga fan, but based on a casual listen to the album, the only songs I would say you have to include are Paparazzi (my favorite), Bad Romance, Poker Face, Speechless, and Beautiful Dirty Rich.
posted by John Cohen at 1:52 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Teeth is my favorite Gaga.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:53 PM on April 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh yeah. Teeth and Paper Gangsta are both awesome.
posted by cranberrymonger at 1:54 PM on April 8, 2011

Paparazzi is my favorite, but Speechless feels "best" to me. I'm also partial to Boys Boys Boys and Dance in the Dark.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:56 PM on April 8, 2011

Paparazzi is my favourite too, followed by Bad Romance and Teeth. I can't stand Born This Way, it just seems like a religious version of Express Yourself. It is a big hit, though.
posted by arcticwoman at 2:03 PM on April 8, 2011

I love me some Bad Romance. The great riff, the guttural quality of her voice, the soaring parts in the middle -- hard to imagine anything better. Poker Face is right up there.

Alejandro was a little annoying to me until I saw her do it in concert (pre-encore finale, dancing on a three-tiered fountain of "blood" -- LOVE. HER.) Catchy as hell; reminds me of "La Isla Bonita" but better.

Seriously, I know the Madonna comparison is very easy to make, but I have to give Lady Gaga the edge. Madonna worked very hard to put her act together, but Lady Gaga has so much more talent: in every part of her vocal range, on the piano, artistic subversion, even dancing. (Also in the ways she touches my wee black heart. Le sigh.)
posted by Madamina at 2:10 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I know these technically aren't solely Gaga but I love love love this mashup of Santana and Gaga. I also love this one with Gaga/Metallica.
posted by msbutah at 2:13 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

Seconding Starstruck. That song makes me want to rent a car just so I can blast it while waiting for my best friends forever to run downstairs from her apartment and meet me to go OUT.
posted by sestaaak at 2:19 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think Alejandro is pretty worthless, and while I like the lyrics of Born this Way the song is kinda lacking.

That said, I think Teeth is fucking awesome. Also Paper Gangsta, Pokerface (both the original and acoustic), Love Game, and Beautiful Dirty Rich.
posted by radioamy at 2:20 PM on April 8, 2011

Look up Vanity on YouTube. She performed part of it on the first Monsters Ball tour, & I thought it was pretty fun.

I'm ignoring Born This Way -era Gaga. As far as I'm concerned, Bad Romance was her last single and her best. (And Telephone was a fun collab before Stefani went into seclusion and the label scrambled to grow a clone from Madonna's gym sweat.)
posted by lychee at 2:39 PM on April 8, 2011

Nthing Paparazzi, especially after seeing the insane live performance she gave of it at the VMAs a few years ago. (Perhaps the only interesting thing to ever happen at the VMAs)

Dance in the Dark is also definitely underrated, even though it's a bit minimalist. The lyrics are great.

Come to think of it, a lot of GaGa's music is pretty dark.
posted by schmod at 4:13 PM on April 8, 2011

A lot of her piano-and voice only, slower versions of her uptempo songs are really good to listen to stripped down. The songs become much less 'poppy' and much more unsettling:

Paparazzi (piano-only)
Born This Way (piano only)

I also really like this remix of Bad Romance

And this live version of Paparazzi: Paparazzi
posted by nakedmolerats at 5:21 PM on April 8, 2011

I like most of the stuff on Fame Monster, but Teeth doesn't do anything for me. Bad Romance and Telephone are great. Poker Face is great, whether she's doing or whether you get it from the Glee soundtrack.
posted by lhauser at 5:29 PM on April 8, 2011

I love her track "Summerboy." It's fluffy gentle pop music and so pretty.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:39 PM on April 8, 2011

For me, "Bad Romance" is her only great song, although several like "Paparazzi", "Poker Face", and even "Born This Way" are masterful pop confections. But BR just seems to me like the only song she's released yet that connects with something like a real human emotion. I have high hopes that she'll equal it again -- that album is out in a month or so, right? -- but she needs to get beyond the artifice and the poses or she'll run out of material.

"Speechless" comes close but also seems to hold something back (supposedly it's about her very real fears of losing her father), so it becomes an abstracted emotion without a trigger. It's sort of a weird problem for a songwriter to have.

I sort of like her vocal bit on Elton John's song "Hello Hello" for Gnomeo & Juliet, but I couldn't find a good quality version online -- copyright takedown, I guess. Not essential, but it is obscure, I guess.

This is a key difference with Madonna, because I think a lot of Madonna's songs connect emotionally.
posted by dhartung at 6:42 PM on April 8, 2011

I love her track "Summerboy." It's fluffy gentle pop music and so pretty.

Reminds me very much of early Cardigans -- handclaps and all.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:36 PM on April 8, 2011

When it comes to the non-singles, I'm partial to "Monster." Also, "So Happy I Could Die" is a very smooth, chill, feel-good song about self-confidence and self-acceptance; its tone is rather unique in the Gaga oeuvre, and I like it very much.

Honestly, the entire album "The Fame Monster" is head-and-shoulders above every song on "The Fame" (save, perhaps, "Paparazzi"), which is mostly just bland dance-pop -- in which there are only crumbs of the more interesting Gaga weirdnesses and barely even a glimmer of the masterful pop songwriting that marks the second album.

"Bad Romance" is the best pop song since Outkast's "Hey Ya," IMO. Hook ascends after hook after hook. "Telephone" is a close second. Then "Monster." Then "Alejandro." Then "Speechless." Then "Dance in the Dark." Then maybe "Paparazzi" or "I Like it Rough" somewhere in there.

(Really, any of these rankings -- beyond putting "Bad Romance" at the top -- is going to be more or less arbitrary.)
posted by lewedswiver at 1:18 AM on April 9, 2011

Of possibly obscure mixes: I think the Hercules and Love Affair Dub of Bad Romance is pretty good. Elongates the song down to something suitable mixed in with slower deep house, which I find just spectacular.
posted by zer0render at 1:09 PM on April 9, 2011

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