Released in 2008, 15 tracks, 59 min
The Fame Thing: Lady Gaga and Her Journey to Superstardom
2008-2009 is an integral year in my life. I just graduated from college and I was about to embark on a journey to the corporate world. The sudden need to commute to work on a rush hour can be daunting that’s why having my iPod mini as a companion in train and jeepney rides kind of helped. I tend to stick to my old favorites, but during that time, I got interested with a newbie pop singer named Lady Gaga. She is a protégé of RedOne whose songs were all over the place that year. When I saw her music videos on TV and the sort-of brand new YouTube, I just thought that well, she has it. But I never thought that she will be THAT big. Let’s be honest here: Most of the female singers who were big those days where either band members embarking on a solo route (Gwen Stefani and Fergie) or those who took a while before they scored that big hit (Rihanna and Katy Perry). When you go to the dance-pop route with no public history, you really need to exert a lot of effort to be noticed and to gain loyal followers. Ladies and gentlemen, Lady Gaga is one of the few brave artists who chased fame by singing about it.
Just Dance: Starting it Simple
Lady Gaga is just a year older than me. I guess that’s the reason why the lyrics of her songs were relatable to me since I aspired those things back then. While I am making baby steps in achieving my goals, I can simply just party with my friends on Friday nights and weekends singing and dancing to “Just Dance.” The music video encourages one to organize house parties or to simply have fun with friends. It is fun to play with the idea of going out and partying in a luxurious way when you know you deserve it.
The Breakthrough Song: Poker Face
Mum-mum-mum-muh. I knew it. I heard those from the Boney M song “Ma Baker!”. The robotic effect, catchy sample from the 70’s Europop song, good use of synthesizers (which was very evident in the 80’s), fun to sing lyrics (whether you realize the sexual metaphors or you find bluffin’ with my muffin ‘cute’) and outrageous yet classy music video, I can say that “Poker Face” is Lady Gaga’s breakthrough song. Or at least that’s the single that really introduced Lady Gaga to a wider market. The fans loved her looks and dance sequence in the music video and the critics praised her lyrical content and LSS-worthy music. The fact that she is once again expressing how determined she is in reaching her luxury-related goals, she also plays with the usage of he/she in the chorus. That is indirectly revealing her bisexuality which the fans appreciate. Needlessly to say, Lady Gaga captured the attention of the LGBT community with this song.
Cherry, Cherry, Boom, Boom: Some Bubblegum Pop for You!
I’m sure some listeners were confused when Lady Gaga released “Eh, Eh (There’s Nothing Else I Can Say)”, which is very much in contrast with her previously released singles. Maybe that’s the reason why this song was not as successful in the charts. Honestly, this is one of my top favorites in the album. When my blogger friends and I flew to Singapore together on an all-expenses paid trip to attend an awards night, we found ourselves singing this song while we were heading towards Tiong Bahru for lunch. By the time we were preparing to get glammed up on our own, we were also playing the rest of Lady Gaga’s songs from The Fame album to put us in the mood for upscale party time, which we were not used to. If you want to turn down a guy you’re hanging out with because you met someone new, well, there’s nothing else I can say but tell him to listen to this song! He-he-he!
LoveGame: On Disco Sticks and Being a Fame Monster
By the time Lady Gaga released “LoveGame”, it is already clear that she is so determined to shock people not only with her music but with her visuals. The controversial music video of “LoveGame” is inspired by the underground New York lifestyle scene with sick choreography, hot dancers and lots of sex. I think she is the only singer that time who made out with both men and women. Surely, she gained the fame she wanted with this move. She’s not a one or two hit wonder. The “I want to take a ride in your disco stick” might be one of the best metaphors in pop music ever. Lady Gaga also shows how bad her sexual attraction is with someone she met on the dancefloor. Might as well have some fun and action while the beat is sick!
Paparazzi – How Far Will You Go for Fame?
“I’m your biggest fan I’ll follow you until you love me….”. Is this the ultimate anthem of celebrity stalkers? “Paparazzi” is one of Lady Gaga’s critically-acclaimed songs. She explores on the challenges of having a romantic relationship once you reach a certain level of fame. In her rather wicked music video, she is seen having an intimate moment with her boyfriend and while they’re making out in the balcony, she notices a number of paparazzi taking stolen shots of her private moment. She falls – literally. The Fall of Lady Gaga is all over the papers. Despite of the leg amputation, she still makes sure that she is ready for the cameras. I remember that some bashers were insinuating that Lady Gaga is encouraging amputation for the sake of ‘art’. I’m sure that’s just a rubbish rumor. You cannot deny that Lady Gaga is doing whatever it takes to reach a certain level of fame and popularity. Well, she succeeded! Other songs in The Fame album that I love include “Money Honey”, “Summer Boy” and “The Fame.”
An ordinary day in Summer 2008… and suddenly the first worldwide star of the third millennium was born!
It often happens like this. You wake up one morning, it seems a quiet, ordinary day, and might not even realize it, but the world of music is going to change forever in a blink of an eye, and nothing will be like before. This happens when a new album is released, and the album is going to sell millions and millions of copies in the next periods. Its tracks will be downloaded for years, billions of times by young people from every country of the world. This also happened in 2008 when Lady Gaga released The Fame. A title that is also a goal and a destiny for the album and for the artist. Actually, the first single was released some months before, and Lady Gaga already gained some popularity especially in the US, so she was definitely not new to the music scenes. But nobody could probably forecast the skyrocketing career that was about to begin. The new album featured several worldwide hits, but most of all introduced to the world a new dance and pop icon, with a very personal style. She learnt a lot of lessons from the iconic divas that came before her, and raised the bar to new, unprecedented levels of provocative and teasing images and clips. The name Gaga was born almost randomly during a conversation with her producers, who were talking about Queen and mentioned their milestone hit “Radio Ga-Ga”. It sounded great as a stage name for new star, and the brand Lady Gaga was born! For those who loved the 80s music, she definitely took inspiration from Madonna style, controversy, and taste for excess. For those who loved the 90s music, she is a sort of Gwen Stefani brought to the extreme level. For those who love 2000s music, she is simply Lady Gaga, the first and purest star of the millennium. What I really love in this wonderful woman, artist and performer, is the continuous escalation of her production, be it lyrics, music, and videos. You have never seen anything like this before. But, will you be ready for the next level?
That’s how it all began. But remember, this is just the beginning!
“Just Dance” was released in April, a few months before the release of the whole The Fame album. So, in some way it was a sort or teaser, a prequel of what would happen after. And it really did anticipate not only the album, but in a certain sense, the whole career of Lady Gaga. And after about ten years, I have the absolute feeling that this career is still in its early stages. Everything is clear from the early scenes of the video. A house where young people apparently just finished a party, and many of them are destroyed by excess, lying on the ground, or sleeping wherever it happens. But suddenly, Lady Gaga arrives with her crew, literally walking on the bodies on the ground, she turns the boombox on, and the party begins again, better and stronger than before! Basically, the story of the video is exactly what she is yielding to the world about her starting career: you had lots of fun, you had lots of dance and pop hits, but now Lady Gaga is here, and music will never be like it was before. Everything will go to the next level. The video is full of evocative images and deserved to be seen many times, even in slow motion in order to appreciate all the details. Just to mention, part of the action features Gaga on a sofa surrounded by boys and girls in the party, and we will often find similar scenes in her videos. In my personal opinion, this is a great dance song, but the video added value and relevance to it, and it’s what really started creating the Gaga myth. In other words, “Just Dance” hasn’t been only the first track for the album The Fame, but for the whole Gagaism and for the decades to come!
Welcome to the next Gaga-level
Welcome, to the next level. Did you think that “Just Dance” was the best that Lady Gaga could sort out? Here she comes again; it’s the end of Summer 2008, about four months after the release of “Just Dance”, and few weeks after the release of the whole album The Fame. Gaga presents the video for her second single, “Poker Face”. The hit has everything in place to become a worldwide success, it’s immediately clear after the first time you hear it. It’s a powerful mix of pop with added synthesizer, teasing lyrics on an intelligent metaphor involving poker, love and sex – and many say that the song it’s actually about bisexuality. In any case, it’s really an irresistible song, one of those that stick to your brain and memory and you can’t but repeating and singing the refrain. And then, once again, there is a fantastic video! Lady Gaga introduces herself from the very first frames: here I am, in latex and mask, with a Great Dane dog on the side of the pool, ready to play Texas Hold’Em in a glamour B-win mansion. But don’t be afraid: in some seconds I’ll be on my favorite environment: a fantastic sofa, surrounded by dancing and flirting girls and boys. And what about those fantastic sunglasses with screens that read ‘GaGa pop culture’? I mean, these are the details that make the difference between an ordinary pop video, and a bomb blasting into your musical habits! So, it’s absolutely clear why “Poker Face” turned out to be the best-selling single in 2009 with more that 14 million copies, and climbed to the first place in the charts of more than 20 countries worldwide!
About love and fame. And much more
It’s a love song about fame or love – can you have both, or can you only have one. That’s how Lady Gaga commented the song. “Paparazzi” was released almost one year after the blasting success of “Poker face”; in some countries she released a couples of other singles, in other countries this was her third hit. And once again, the Lady takes the challenge to a different level. The song skyrocketed again in few weeks to the top of all the most important charts, and this is obvious, because it’s another hit that enters your mind from the very first times you listen at it. The lyrics are a correct mix between ironic and deep, summarized by the manifest sentence ‘I’m your biggest fun – I’ll follow you until you love me’, an interesting consideration about who really gives and take in a relationship. But what really stands out, once again, is the video. This time I think we can talk about a short movie, because the complete edit lasts for more than seven minutes, and the song begins about two minutes after the start of the video. A short movie in the perfect style of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, for example. The video had to be a real challenge for the whole production team, because it contains images than can be considered controversial. The story is quite linear: it begins with Lady Gaga and her boyfriend, who tries to kill her, and it follows all of her comeback and final revenge, when she finally poisons hew boyfriend. The video is controversial because it features many scenes and objects that are quite uncommon in music videos, like wheelchair and crutches. It shows dead or almost killed bodies (fictitiously, of course). It merges the concepts of glamour, accidents, the search for love and fame, murder. And I also want to mention the final scenes, where she strikes poses to the police after being arrested – fantastic! But what I really like in the video is that it contains many hidden quotes – and we know that nothing happens randomly with Lady Gaga. For example, after her accident she enters a villa in a wheelchair and she’s wearing a glamorous metallic outfit that’s said to remind of the movie Metropolis by Fritz Lang. But wait, there is another famous hit where the video is openly inspired by that movie… and it’s “Radio Ga-ga”, the song that inspired the artist’s moniker! Then again, in the middle of the video Lady Gaga finds herself lying and flirting on a sofa with boys and girls, like in many other videos. And in a very quick frame there is also the great Dane dogs that we already saw in “Poker face!” Controversy, scandal, humor, dark scenes, glamour, sex, but also infinite class and style, unreachable talent. In other words, Lady Gaga!
Official Music Videos
- Jan 01, 2008
- Ron Fair
- Fernando Garibay
- Tal Herzberg
- Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins
- Lady Gaga
- Teddy Riley
- Space Cowboy
- Darkchild Studios (Los Angeles, California)
- FC Walvisch (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
- Metropolis Studios (London, United Kingdom)
- Record Plant (Los Angeles, California)
- Studio Groove (Osaka, Japan)
The Fame Monster (stylized as The Fame Mons†er) is a reissue of American singer Lady Gaga's debut studio album, The Fame (2008), and was released on November 18, 2009, through Interscope Records. Initially planned solely as a deluxe edition reissue of The Fame, Interscope later decided to release the eight new songs as a standalone EP in some territories. The decision was also because Gaga believed the re-release was too expensive and that the albums were conceptually different, describing them as yin and yang. The deluxe edition is a double album featuring the eight new songs on the first disc and The Fame on the second disc. A super deluxe edition with additional merchandise, including a lock from Gaga's wig, was released on December 15, 2009.Continue reading at Wikipedia...