Lady Gaga's Monster Ball Now Available on DVD

Check out Gaga's psychedelic excess on 'Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball at Madison Square Garden'

Lady Gaga performs at Madison Square Garden on February 21, 2011 in New York, New York.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
January 19, 2012

With nearly as many costume changes, dance routines and self-empowerment speeches as songs, everything about this New York gig from last February pushes the envelope of what's too much, and therein lies Lady Gaga's genius. Gaga plays gothic keyboards under the hood of what resembles a radioactive Hummer, dons a nun's cornet with a see-through plastic dress and sweetly sings "Paparazzi" while fighting back a giant anglerfish with her spark-spewing boobs – critiquing the pseudo-religious excess of celebrity/consumer culture while worshipping it with psychedelic gusto.

This story is from the Januray 19th, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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