A Decade of Gaga
August 19th 2018 marks 10 years since one Miss Stefani Germanotta released her debut album 'The Fame' and changed the trajectory of pop music (and pop culture) for the following decade.
Initially a little skeptical about Lady Gaga in 2008, we wrote her off far too early as a manufactured pop princess in the vein of Britney Spears, but after secretly enjoying her fifth single 'Paparazzi' and then being pushed to listen to the whole of The Fame Monster by a friend because "there's a whole track that's just about teeth!" another fully fledged Little Monster was born (this way)!
It was very difficult to narrow down but to celebrate a decade of stanning here are 10 of our favourite Gaga moments from over the years;
1. The Fame Ball Intro
Yes it's 'about a fear of the truth' with the songs repeated refrain "show me your teeth" being a stand in for "tell me the truth" but essentially it's just a raunchy gospel infused romp about teeth. TEETH!
Just listen to it.
3. THAT 'Paparazzi' Performance
She begins on the floor of the stage after seemingly being crushed by a giant chandelier, she executes all dance moves with precision all whilst singing LIVE, never before has their been such excellent mic control, she rocks out on the piano, inexplicably dons crutches for a brief spell and then it happens...
The gasps of the audience are just as delicious with each viewing.
Just watch it.
4. Bad Romance
The song, the video, the choreography, every live performance, every time it's played on the radio!
Arguably one of, if not the best pop song of the last decade. It's just so fucking vast! Even hearing it in a packed arena doesn't do it justice, it's a banger that cannot be contained by even the largest venue. Listening in a expansive field somewhere out in Wyoming probably isn't even a big enough arena to host this anthem!
In our opinion it's Gaga at her most pure, most synthesized, at her peak.
Along with 'Paparazzi' and 'Poker Face' it makes up The Holy Triumvirate of Pop never to be bested!
One of the best things about following Gaga's career was witnessing her evolution over the years, and we don't just mean in the really wanky abscract 'her evolution as an artist' way, we mean the literal refreshing of many of her looks and props.
Creatives almost always revise past work and with success comes more money and better resources, it's fun to watch an idea improve over time. Take the infamous disco stick for example, it started life as a few LEDs on top of a small pole and now it's a full on torch with various light settings!
6. Haus of Gaga
Inspired by Andy Warhol's Factory the Haus of Gaga is an in house creative team who have created a lot of her most iconic looks, props and sets, including the discostick, various sets of sunglasses made out of unconventional materials, the solar systemesque orbit dress, her keytar 'Emma'.
We wanna be members!
7. The Monster Ball
Certainly the best pop concert we've ever been to.
Killer performances and countless costume changes are a given but The Monster Ball is so much more than that. There's a piano under the hood of a car, another piano sets on fire while she's playing it, there are latex nuns costumes and messages of inclusivity, fireworks shoot out of her tits and pussy and there's a statue that bleeds. She gets eaten by a giant angler fish before the finale for sobbing out loud!
One of our favourite bits were the interlude videos projected onto the curtain during set changes, truly some of the most creative visuals she's created.
There's also a loose Wizard of Oz narrative and a scattering of references which we're obviously totally here for!
8. Paws Up!
Rockers have their horns, rappers have their East Side/West Side hand gestures and Little Monsters have their paws! Or more accurately claws.
Few artists have utilised their visual iconography as a brand as well as Gaga has but whereas this is mostly a top down process it's fun to see a seemingly organic fan based icon make it's way into the Gaga lexicon.
Inspired by the Bad Romance choreography the 'monster claw' has become the most pure identifer of a true Gaga stan!
8. The Fame Fragrance Ad
Dark Gaga is our favourite Gaga and it doesn't get much darker than this.
Black latex, guns, smashing glass, screaming, primordial ooze!
Every Gaga/Klein collaboration is great but this one really does it for us.
It's just stunning and probably as close to a video for 'Scheiße' as we're ever going to get!
10. Lady GayGay!
Many female pop stars have embraced the LGBTQ community throughout recent history, some have may have had no choice in the matter when we've embraced them so hard what other option is there but to hug back!?
It feels slightly different with Gaga though perhaps because she's so unapologetic about being so openly queer. Queerness is synonymous with Lady Gaga in a way that it isn't with Madonna or Cher and that's before you even get to her activism work particular in securing the repeal of 'Don't Ask. Don't Tell'.
She full on sang 'No matter gay, straight, or bi Lesbian, transgendered life' in front of notorious homophobe and Vice President Mike Pence, yeah, she's that bitch!