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Gaga’s Hidden Gems

Elsie Oulton delves into deep cuts and forgotten favourites from Lady Gaga, following the viral success of Born This Way album track ‘Bloody Mary’.

Babylon (Chromatica-2020) Easily the greatest song to ever be recorded, and that’s simply the objective truth. Transform your walk to the Co-op reduced section or a 9am lecture with this thudding anthem: a catwalk will magically appear, as you ‘strut it out, walk a mile, serve it ancient city style’.

Donatella (Artpop – 2013) Perhaps the campest of Gaga songs, and boy the bar is high: ‘Donatella’ sees Gaga conflate her persona with that of the fashion designer Donatella Versace, reclaiming and hurling back any insults either of them would receive in the media in a gloriously exaggerated fashion. Despite some overwhelming production from Zedd, ‘Donatella’ serves as a walloping, exuberant banger, fit for any occasion.

Replay (Chromatica – 2020)

‘Can’t wait for 2030 when ‘Replay’ goes viral on TikTok and becomes the smash it deserves to be’ wrote the serious journalistic account ‘Gaga Daily’ on Twitter, after the initial wave of ‘Bloody Mary’ success. It really is one of the greats-why Gaga herself didn’t harness its power and release it as a single is a mystery to all us Little Monsters. If you need to feel something- anything at all, I’d recommend watching her unhinged wail during this song on the Chromatica Ball tour. That scream will awaken you from any Brotherton-induced-boredom, I’ll tell you that for free.

Disco Heaven (The Fame – 2008)

Cruelly relegated to a mere bonus track on the extended version of The Fame, ‘Disco Heaven’ is a perfect pop song- no notes, as they say. Blast this through dodgy headphones, and ‘throw your head back girlie, throw it like those girls in the movies’, for pure, unadulterated Gaga joy.

G.U.Y (Artpop – 2013) A surreal, luscious play on gendered power dynamics during sex, G.U.Y is a fizzing anthem, and quite frankly- an ‘Artpop’ highlight. If anyone even mutters ‘Artflop’ under their breath whilst reading this- crikey, I will be having words.

Diamond Heart (Joanne – 2016) Now I know you see ‘Joanne’ and sniff a country ballad, but fear not- I would never do that to you. Diamond Heart is an anthemic number which sees Gaga travelling back to her stripper days in New York before becoming the pop maestro that she is today. We could delve into how this should’ve been the album’s lead single rather than ‘Perfect Illusion’, but frankly that’s a controversy for another time.

Government Hooker (Born This Way – 2011) This bizarre, glitchy song seemingly alludes to Marylin Monroe’s affair with John F Kennedy – need I say more? As a particularly thrilling essay procrastination method, I would recommend watching her perform it for Bill Clinton in 2011. Those were the days eh.

Free Woman- Rina Sawayama remix (Dawn of Chromatica [Remix Album] 2021)

The queer, hyper-pop fever dream that was the Chromatica Remix album was hard enough to process back in 2021, let alone the inclusion of the queen, the maestro: Miss Sawayama herself. Now I’m aware that preferring a remix to an original is a blasphemous, Judas-like occurrence, but in this instance, there is frankly no comparison. Rina elevates the Chromatica track into a new realm, and the day they perform it live together will cause a seismic shift-too large to comprehend, in the world of pop culture.

SheiBe (Born This Way – 2011)

I take back the crown of campness I gave ‘Donatella’ – this truly takes the cake. With crude, faux German lyrics and a shambolic accent, this song is almost too bizarre to be included in this list, but I simply had to sneak it in. It adds an air of empowerment to any shower- I would recommend that particular context, to extract its full power.


Words: Elsie Oulton


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