Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Lady Gaga - The Fame

The Fame

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the fragrance by Gaga, see Lady Gaga Fame. For other uses, see Fame.
The Fame
The face of a blond woman. She is wearing black glasses. The right side of the glasses is covered by blue crystals. On the bottom of the left side of the glasses, the word "The Fame" is inscribed in white.
Studio album by Lady Gaga
ReleasedAugust 19, 2008
Recorded2006–08
Genre [1][2]
Length42:21
Label
Producer
Lady Gaga chronology
The Fame
(2008)
The Cherrytree Sessions
(2009)
Singles from The Fame
  1. "Just Dance"
    Released: April 8, 2008
  2. "Poker Face"
    Released: September 23, 2008
  3. "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)"
    Released: January 10, 2009
  4. "LoveGame"
    Released: March 24, 2009
  5. "Paparazzi"
    Released: July 6, 2009
The Fame is the debut studio album by American recording artist Lady Gaga. It was released on August 19, 2008 through Interscope Records. After joining Kon Live Distribution and Cherrytree Records in 2008, Gaga began working on the album with different producers, primarily RedOneMartin Kierszenbaum and Rob Fusari. Musically, The Fame is a synthpop and dance-pop album that has influences of pop music from the 1980s. Lyrically, the album visualizes Gaga's love of fame in general while also dealing with subjects such as love, sex, money, drugs and sexual identity. Promotion was primarily through The Fame Ball Tour and multiple television appearances. The Fame was included as a bonus disc on the deluxe edition of the extended play, The Fame Monster(2009).
The album received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who commended the album's lyrical content and Gaga's musicianship and vocal ability, which have been compared to fellow pop singers such as Gwen Stefani. The album was a commercial success, topping the charts in different countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland. In the United States, it peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, while topping the Dance/Electronic Albums chart for 106 non-consecutive weeks.
The first two singles from The Fame, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", gained international success, topping the charts in several countries worldwide, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. "LoveGame" and "Paparazzi", were commercial successes as well, charting within the top ten of more than ten countries worldwide. "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" had a limited release in some countries, while "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" was released in the form of a promotional single.
The Fame has won multiple awards since its release. It was nominated for a total of six Grammy Awards at the 52nd Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. It won the Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album and the Best Dance Recording for the single "Poker Face". It also won Best International Album at the 2010 BRIT Awards.[3] In 2013, Rolling Stone namedThe Fame as one of the "100 Greatest Debut Albums of All-Time".[4]

Contents

  [show

Background and development[edit]

While establishing herself as an artist and working her way up through the New York underground club scene, Gaga released her debut studio album, The Fame.[5] Speaking about the title and concept of the album, Gaga explained: "The Fame is about how anyone can feel famous. [...] Pop culture is art. It doesn't make you cool to hate pop culture, so I embraced it and you hear it all overThe Fame. But, it's a sharable fame. I want to invite you all to the party. I want people to feel a part of this lifestyle."[6] Gaga stated in an interview with MTV UK that she had been working on the album for two and a half years and completed half of it during the first week of January 2008.[7] As well as writing the lyrics, Gaga worked on the melodies and synth work of the album, with record producerRedOne.[6] According to Gaga, the first track "Just Dance" is a joyous, heart-themed song, which appeal to people going through tough times in their life.[8] "LoveGame", the second track, was inspired by Gaga's sexual crush on a stranger in a night club to whom she said, "I wanna ride on your disco stick". It was written in four minutes based on the disco stick hook.[9] "Paparazzi" has been interpreted with different meanings. However Gaga explained in an interview with About.com, that the song was inspired by her struggles and hunger for fame and love. Essentially a love song, "Paparazzi" dealt with enticing the media and asked the question, whether one can have both fame and love.[10]
"Poker Face" was inspired by Gaga's boyfriends who enjoyed gambling, and also dealt with her personal experience of bisexuality; her fantasies about women while having sex with men, thus representing her 'poker face'."[11][12] "Boys, Boys, Boys" was inspired by the similarly titled Mötley Crüe song "Girls, Girls, Girls". Gaga explained that she wanted a female version of the song that rockers would like too.[6] "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" summed up her time of self-discovery, living in the Lower East Side and dabbling in drugs and the party scene.[6] "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" was about breaking up with a boyfriend and finding someone new.[6] "Brown Eyes" was inspired by the British rock band Queen and, according to Gaga, is the most vulnerable song on the album.[6]
Gaga further clarified the ideas behind The Fame, and her inspirations and visions for the album. She believed that the most important thing missing from contemporary pop music was the combination of the visual imagery of the artist with the music. Gaga incorporated theatrics in her live performances of the songs from the album. Hence she hoped that people would take notice of the performance art, which she was trying to bring back with the album and its music; according to her, the music put the lifestyle in front of it.[13]
"I just feel like this record is really different- you[']ve got club bangers to more 70s glam to more singer-songwriter records to rock music. [...] The Fame is not about who you are—it's about how everybody wants to know who you are! Buy it and listen to it before you go out or in the car. [...] I think you've really got to allow artists' creativity to marinate. It took me a while but really delving into myself I finally got it. I couldn't be more proud of it. It's not just a record[,] it's a whole pop art movement[.] It's not just about one song."[7]

Composition[edit]

A blond woman standing on a stage. She wears a black tutu shaped dress with a shiny triangle attached on her right bosom. Her hair is in bob and she wears sunglasses while singing to a microphone held in her left hand. Behind her, a set piece encrusted with broken glasses is visible.
Gaga performing "Paparazzi" on The Fame Ball Tour.
Musically, the album drew influences from late 1970s glam rock musicians such as David Bowie and Queen. Gaga incorporated their glam-rock sound while devising catchy pop melodies and hooks to create what she has dubbed, "theatrical pop".[14] Songs like "Poker Face", "Just Dance" and "LoveGame" are uptempo dance songs, with "Poker Face" carrying a dark sound with clear vocals on the chorus and a pop hook.[15] "Just Dance" is synth-based while "LoveGame" has a more dance-oriented beat, and "Money Honey" has a moderate techno groove.[16] All of them combined synths of clipped marching beats, sawing electronics and contained mild R&B-infused beats.[17] "Paparazzi" carried a sultry beat[18]while "Summerboy" had influences of the music of Blondie.[14] "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" is credited as a ballad compared to the rest of the dance-fueled tracks from The Fame.[2] The song has a 1980s synthpop feeling in it,[18] while incorporating the "Eh, Eh" hook from Rihanna's single "Umbrella" (2007).[19]
Lyrically, the songs on The Fame talk about being famous and achieving popularity; "Poker Face" is about sexual innuendo and teasing.[15] Gaga explained in an interview with the Daily Star that the lyrics carry a bit of an undertone of confusion about love and sex.[20] According to the BBC, the "Mum-mum-mum-mah" hook used in the song is copied from Boney M's 1977 hit "Ma Baker".[21] "Just Dance" talks about being intoxicated in a party, with lyrics like "What's going on on the floor? / I love this record, baby but I can't see straight anymore".[22] "LoveGame" portrays a message about love, fame and sexuality which is akin to the central theme of album.[23] "Paparazzi" portrays a stalker who is following somebody being his or her biggest fan.[24] The lyrics also portray the desire of capturing the attention of the camera as well as achieving fame.[25] Gaga explained that,
"This idea of The Fame runs through and through. Basically, if you have nothing—no money, no fame—you can still feel beautiful and dirty rich. It's about making choices, and having references—things you pull from your life that you believe in. It's about self-discovery and being creative. The record is slightly focused, but it's also eclectic.[...] The music is intended to inspire people to feel a certain way about themselves, so they'll be able to encompass, in their own lives, a sense of inner fame that they can project to the world, and the carefree nature of the album is a reflection of that aura. I like to funnel interesting ideas to the rest of the world through a pop lens."[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic71/100[26]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. ClubB–[22]
Entertainment WeeklyB–[27]
The Guardian3/5 stars[17]
musicOMH3.5/5 stars[28]
The Phoenix3/4 stars[29]
PopMatters7/10[18]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars[30]
Sputnikmusic3.5/5[31]
URB3.5/5 stars[32]
The Fame received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 71, based on 13 reviews.[33] Matthew Chisling from Allmusic called the album "a well-crafted sampling of feisty anti-pop in high quality", and wrote that it "fails to come up short on funky sounds to amuse fans of this dance genre."[2] Nicole Powers of URB complimented its "irony-laden lyrics, delivered in a style that owes a little something to Gwen Stefani," as well as the album's "deluxe ditties".[32] Mikael Wood of Entertainment Weekly called it "remarkably (and exhaustingly) pure in its vision of a world in which nothing trumps being beautiful, dirty, and rich. In this economy, though, her high-times escapism has its charms".[27] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian found it "packing an immensely addictive melody or an inescapable hook, virtually everything sounds like another hit single", and predicted that it "certainly sounds like it could be big."[17]Daniel Brockman from The Phoenix wrote that "Gaga ups the ante in terms of catchy songwriting and sheer high-in-the-club-banging-to-the-beat abandon."[29] Ben Hogwood of musicOMH praised Gaga's "blend of sassy attitude, metallic beats and sharp, incisive songwriting", elements which he felt are integral to "creating pop music".[28]
Although he panned "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", "Paper Gangsta", and "Brown Eyes", Evan Sawdey of PopMatters called The Fame "a solid dance album" and wrote that "much of the album’s success can be attributed to rising club producer RedOne."[18] Joey Guerra from the Houston Chronicle felt that although the songs present in the album are not innovative, Gaga deserved credit for bringing real dance music to the mass.[34] Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club felt that the "whole point" of the album is "glitter-laced, dance-inciting energy that bodes well for extended club play".[22] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani viewed that Gaga's lyrics veer between "cheap" and "nonsensical drivel", while her singing is "uneven at best". He added that the highlights such as "Poker Face", "Starstruck", "Paper Gangsta", and "Summerboy" rely "almost solely on their snappy production and sing-along hooks."[30] Freedom du Lac from The Washington Post criticized the album for lacking originality.[19]MSN Music's Robert Christgau gave the album an "honorable mention" and quippedly referred to it as "shallowness at its most principled."[35] The Fame garnered five Grammy nominations at the 52nd Grammy Awards on December 2, 2009. The album itself was nominated for Album of the Year and won Best Electronic/Dance Album.[36][37]

Chart performance[edit]

A blond female, holding a lighted-bulb stick. She has yellow curls and wears a translucent white dress.
Gaga performing "LoveGame" on The Monster Ball Tour
In the United States, The Fame debuted at number seventeen on the Billboard 200 with sales of 24,000 on the issue dated November 15, 2008.[38][39] After fluctuating down the charts, the album reached number ten on the issue dated March 7, 2009.[40] It then reached a peak of number four on the chart.[41] The album also topped Billboard'Dance/Electronic Albums chart; it stayed at the number-one spot for 106 non-consecutive weeks.[42] On March 2010, the album was certified three-times platinum for shipments of three million copies, by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[43] With the release of The Fame Monster, which was also combined with The Fame as a deluxe edition, the album jumped from thirty-four to six on the Billboard 200 with sales of 151,000.[44] It reached its highest sales week on the issue dated January 9, 2010 with 169,000 copies sold. On the issue dated January 16, 2010, The Fame moved to a new peak of two on the Billboard 200 after being on the charts for sixty-two weeks.[45] By the end of 2009, The Fame became the fifth best-selling album of the year.[46] The Fame has sold 4.572 million copies in the United States as of March 2014[47] and is the seventh best-selling digital album, selling 1.086 million digital copies.[48][49][50]
In Canada, the album reached number-one, and has been certified seven times platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) for shipment of 560,000 copies, and sold 476,000 copies as of March 2011.[51][52][53] The album debuted at number six,[54] and peaked at number two in New Zealand as well as being certified double platinum.[55] In Australia, the album debuted at number twelve[56] and peaked at number three.[57] The album has been certified three times platinum in Australia, by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipments of 210,000 copies.[58]
The Fame debuted in the United Kingdom at number three.[59] After spending ten weeks in the top ten, it replaced Ronan Keating's Songs for My Mother at the top position.[60]Since then, the album spent four consecutive weeks at the number-one spot.[61] It has since been certified nine-times platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI),[62] and has sold 2,881,664 copies as of November 2013.[63] It has also become the first album to reach the platinum certification based on digital sales after selling 300,000 units in the UK.[64]
In France, The Fame debuted at number-seventy-three and reached a peak at number-two for five weeks. It has been certified diamond status by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique and, as of February 2012, has sold 630,000 copies.[65][66] In Ireland, the album entered the charts at number-eight,[67] and in its fifth week climbed to number-one for two consecutive weeks.[68] In mainland Europe, the album peaked at number one on the European Top 100 Albums,[69] the Austrian Albums Chart and the German Album Chart.[70] In Germany, it became the fourth most downloaded album ever.[71] It also reached the top twenty in Mexico, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Switzerland and the album has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.[70][72]

Singles[edit]

Gaga performing the album's lead single "Just Dance" in a Montreal club. Before embarking on her first tour, the singer had performed the song in several small clubs.
"Just Dance" was released as the album's lead single commercially worldwide on June 17, 2008, through digital distribution.[73] The song was critically acclaimed with reviewers complimenting its club anthem-like nature and the synthpop associated with it.[2][19] It achieved commercial success by topping charts in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as reaching the top ten in sixteen other countries.[74][75][76][77][78] The song received a Grammy nomination in the Best Dance Recording category but lost to electronic duo Daft Punk for their song "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".[79]
"Poker Face" was released as the second single from the album. It was also well received by the critics, most of whom have praised the robotic hook and the chorus.[80] The single achieved greater success than "Just Dance" by topping the charts in almost all the countries it was released to.[81] "Poker Face" became Gaga's second consecutive number one on the Hot 100.[82][83] On December 2, 2009, "Poker Face" received threeGrammy nominations in the categories of Song of the YearRecord of the Year, and won for Best Dance Recording.[36]
"Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" was the album's third single in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Denmark and fourth in France. The song received mixed reviews. Some critics compared it to nineties Europop while the others criticized it for bringing the party-like nature of the album to a halt and thus being an embarrassment to the album.[18] It failed to match the success of the previous singles in Australia and New Zealand by reaching fifteen and nine respectively. It peaked at two in Sweden and at seven in France.[84]
"LoveGame" was released as the third single in the United States, Canada and some European nations. It was the fourth single in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The song was critically appreciated for its catchy tune and the "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" hook.[85]The song has reached the top ten in countries such as the United States, Australia and Canada and the top twenty in others.[86][87]
"Paparazzi" was announced as the third single in the United Kingdom and Ireland with a release date of July 6, 2009, the fourth single in the United States, and the fifth single overall.[88] The song has reached the top five in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.[89] It has also reached the top ten in the United States. The song has received critical acclaim for its fun-filled, club-friendly nature and is deemed the most memorable and telling song from the album.[25] The associated music video for the song was shot as a mini-movie with Gaga starring as a doomed starlet who is almost killed by her boyfriend, but in the end takes her revenge and reclaims her fame and popularity.[90]

Promotion[edit]

To promote the album, Gaga did several performances worldwide. Her first televised appearance was on Logo's NewNowNext Awards on June 7, 2008.[91] She also performed onMichalsky StyleNite at Berlin Fashion WeekSo You Think You Can Dance,[92] Jimmy Kimmel Live!,[93] The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[94] as well as in Vietnam for the 57th Miss Universe beauty pageant during the swimsuit competition.[95] On January 31, 2009, she performed on television in Ireland on RTÉ One's show Tubridy Tonight.[96] Three songs from The Fame were used in the second season of The CW's series Gossip Girl: "Paparazzi" in the episode "Summer, Kind of Wonderful",[97] "Poker Face" in "The Serena Also Rises",[98] and "Money Honey" in "Remains of the J".[99] Gaga also performed "Poker Face" on American Idol on April 1, 2009.[100] To celebrate the launch of the show Dirty Sexy MoneyABC created a music video of Gaga's song "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich", directed by Melina Matsoukas. It was initially announced as Gaga's second single, but "Poker Face" was chosen instead.[101] There were two videos released for the song – the first was composed of clips from Dirty Sexy Money, and the second was the actual music video.[102] The song charted on the UK Singles Chart due to digital downloads and peaked at number eighty-three.[103]
Gaga performing the album title track, "The Fame" on The Monster Ball Tour.
The album received further promotion from her first headlining concert tour The Fame Ball Tour, which started on March 12, 2009 in San Diego, California. It was Gaga's first concert tour with North American shows in March, followed by dates in Oceania and a solo trek through Europe. Dates in Asia soon followed, as well as two performances at England's V Festival and two shows in North America that had been postponed from April. Gaga described the tour as a traveling museum show incorporating artist Andy Warhol's pop-performance art concept.[104] Tickets were distributed for charity also. Alternate versions of the show with minimal variations were planned by Gaga to accommodate different venues.[105] The show consisted of four segments, with each segment being followed by a video interlude to the next segment, and it ended with an encore. The set list consisted of songs from The Fame only. Gaga appeared on the stage in new costumes including an innovative dress made entirely of bubbles and premiered an unreleased song called "Future Love".[106][107] An alternate set list with minor changes was performed for European dates. The show received positive critical appreciation with critics complimenting her vocal clarity and fashion sense as well as her ability to pull off theatrics like a professional artist.[108] Gaga's second headlining tour, The Monster Ball Tour was also heavily consistent with songs from The Fame album, besides tracks from the follow-up EP,The Fame Monster. Her 3rd concert tour, "The Born This Way Ball" had 4 songs off The Fame as well.

The Fame Monster[edit]

Main article: The Fame Monster
Originally intended to be a re-release of The Fame with eight additional tracks, The Fame Monster was announced by Gaga and her record label as a standalone album containing the eight new songs. The deluxe edition of the album contains The Fame in its entirety along with The Fame Monster.[109] The album deals with the darker side offame, as experienced by Gaga over the course of 2008–09 while travelling around the world, and are expressed through a monster metaphor. Gaga compared the feel of her debut album and The Fame Monster with the Yin and yang concept. Cover artwork was done by Hedi Slimane and has a gothic look which Gaga had to convince her record company to allow her to shoot. The composition takes its inspiration from Gothic music and fashion shows.[110] Contemporary critics gave a positive review of the album, with the majority of them complimenting the songs "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Dance in the Dark".[111] In some countries the album charted together with The Fame while in others like the United States, Canada and Japan, it charted as a separate album. It has reached top ten in most of the major markets. She announced The Monster Ball Tour supporting the album, which started on November 27, 2009,[112] and continued through until Spring 2011.

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