As the first expedition to Lady Gaga’s fictional planet and sixth studio album, Chromatica, finally approaches, we are taking look back at Gaga’s previous releases. While Chromatica is officially billed as “the sixth studio album by Lady Gaga” and it’s not entirely clear which she considers to be a part of those first five, we will also be considering other non-LP releases for this list. So, while you wait to finally land on Chromatica, lets take a look back at the brilliance of Gaga.
7. Cheek To Cheek
In all seriousness, if you are any sort of fan of Gaga, you know this is her weakest release. An album of covers of jazz standards isn’t what fans would expect of one of the most creative and experimental pop stars to ever exist. That being said, Gaga’s vocals are beautiful, and her chemistry with Tony Bennett is good. Hell, it won her a Grammy, which is a lot more than others can say for their weakest release.
Highlight(s): ‘Anything Goes’
This is where the ranking gets real. All of Gaga’s releases have strengths and weaknesses, but Joanne just has a few too many. The record is an interesting ode to her late aunt, and has some truly wonderful tracks, but it also has some real clunkers. Songs like ‘Sinner’s Prayer’, ‘Come To Mama’ and ‘Hey Girl’ are among the most boring entries in Gaga’s discography, and any album that puts the voices of Lady Gaga and Florence Welch and messes it up deserves sixth place. This also won a Grammy, so its not all bad.
Highlight(s): ‘Dancin’ in Circles’, ‘Perfect Illusion’ ‘Angel Down’
5. A Star is Born Soundtrack
Admittedly, a number of the songs on this are entirely performed entirely by or with Bradley Cooper, but that does not make it any less of a Gaga record. Her fingerprint is everywhere, whether she is singing it or not, her soul is there. Undoubtedly, after the unevenness of Joanne, Gaga came back swinging making the country record she should have made the first time around. This time, she matched Joanne’s Grammy and raised it an Oscar.
Highlight(s): ‘Shallow’, ‘Always Remember Us This Way’, ‘Is That Alright?’, ‘Why Did You Do That?’
4. The Fame
Oh, to be a teenager hearing Lady Gaga sing “This beat is sick/I wanna take a ride on your disco stick” for the first time again. Yes, The Fame was the little debut album that could. With hits like ‘Just Dance’, ‘Poker Face’ and ‘Paparazzi’, its hard to deny how powerful of a debut era this was. As an album, The Fame, was almost as powerful. Other than its hits, songs like ‘Brown Eyes’ showed off Gaga’s diversity. This was a masterful debut that is also beaten off the podium by the brilliance that followed it.
Highlight(s): ‘Paparazzi’, ‘Brown Eyes’, ‘Poker Face’, ‘LoveGame’
3. The Fame Monster
Arguably Gaga’s most lauded effort, this EP/reissue of Gaga’s debut saw her truly elevate her craft from a 100 to a 1000. Dark and twisted, the 8 tracks expand on the pop brilliance of her debut, sinking deeper below the surface to see the monster within. Its hard to put into words how wonderful this EP was, but all we can say is we wish it was longer.
Highlight(s): ‘Bad Romance’, ‘Alejandro’, ‘Speechless’
2. Born This Way
The moment Gaga ended homophobia also gave us the length we were wishing for. Clocking in at over an hour, Born This Way proves Gaga’s brilliance is truly tied to how long her track is. This album and its title track where undeniable forces of nature when they arrived in 2011, and almost a decade later it truly lives up to the success. Full of huge choruses and anthemic one-liners, we are glad this one was born just the way it is.
Highlight(s): ‘Marry The Night’, ‘Hair’, ‘Scheibe’, ‘Judas’, ‘Bloody Mary’, ‘Electric Chapel’
Gaga’s true misunderstood masterpiece. Following the unstoppable Born This Way, this one left critics and audiences scratching their heads. However, if you’re reading this with a look of disgust at our sheer audacity to put this at number one, you obviously haven’t listened to this record in a while. Here, Gaga lets herself be expansive in her track length once again, and the result is ground-breaking. Mixing house with techno with synth-pop and full to the brim with batshit cultural references, ARTPOP is absolute banger after absolute banger. Critically panned? Maybe so. Absolute masterpiece? Most definitely. Good luck ever topping this, Gaga.
Highlight(s): ‘Aura’, ‘Venus’, ‘G.U.Y’, ‘Sexxx Dreams’, ‘Swine’, ‘Donatella’, ‘Fashion!’, ‘Mary Jane Holland’, ‘Gypsy’
Do you agree? Let us know your ranking below!