Lady Gaga’s Music Videos: A Complete Guide – Rolling Stone
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Lady Gaga’s Music Videos: A Complete Guide

From ‘Just Dance’ to ‘Judas,’ the videos that helped create the Fame Monster

If anyone stands to inherit Madonna's throne as a generation's provacateur, it's Lady Gaga. From her outlandish outfits to her surprisingly incisive interviews, the lady once known as Stefani Germanotta is well-equipped to defend her nuttiness as commentary – and nowhere is that demonstrated better than in her gorgeous, strange body of music videos. From the straight dance mash-ups to the short films, there isn't a single scene without at least one image that'll haunt your dreams. So go ahead little monster, have your fill. Here's a guide to all of Gaga's official music videos, from "Just Dance" to "Judas."

By Mallika Rao

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‘Just Dance’ (2008)

Gaga's first video is arguably her most conventional, which in her case still involves rubbing up against a blow-up whale at a beautiful people party. But "Just Dance" is also the single that launched Gaga, and it remains one of her most popular videos. The official video has nearly 140,000,000 hits on YouTube – more views than "Poker Face" and "Born This Way" combined.

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‘Beautiful, Dirty, Rich’ (2008)

The party scene in "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" is basically the one everyone in "Just Dance" graduates to after leaving home and getting insanely wealthy. It's a starkly lit, perfectly choreographed piece of fame-porn that hints at the more stylized genre Gaga's now known for.

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‘Poker Face’ (2008)

Robotic, dark and filmed on a place called Poker Island, Gaga's third video debuts a string of recurring affectations: a pair of straight-faced harlequin Great Danes, video sunglasses – and those shoulder pads that look like anvils.

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‘Love Game’ (2009)

Filmed in L.A. but intended as homage to the "fucking honest and scary" artists of NYC, this widely censored video sets Gaga and her gender-shifting dancers in a fake subway tunnel for a game of artsy S&M. Censors in Australia, the U.S. and the Middle East pounced on the quick shot of a nude Gaga in profile and the suggestive "disco stick" chorus – which upset Gaga, who called it a "frivolously hard" critique that ignored all the ham-fisted explicitness of most club music.

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‘Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)’ (2009)

Though it was shot back-to-back with "Lovegame," Gaga's take on sidewalk beach pop is a strange aberration within a pretty solid oeuvre of dark and pointy dance videos. But it's worth a watch if only to take the reverse mental leap of imagining the Mother Monster as a housewife in Little Italy who mostly just sings while she irons.

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‘Paparazzi’ (2009)

Alexander Skarsgård pushes a besotted Gaga over a balcony at the start of this filmic meditation on the horrors that a viewing public wishes on its celebrities. In real life, the smash video, and Gaga's eerily structural costumes, only made the self-professed master of "the art of fame" even more likely to attract the likes of TMZ.

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‘Bad Romance’ (2009)

"Walk, walk fashion baby" is the chorus here, but it easily could have been the title. Gaga marches in Thriller-esque zombie jerks under the eye of I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence, and though there's an elaborate backstory about Russian models kidnapping her for a million-ruble sale, this is a video clotheshorse pure and simple, from a fake polar bear hide that looks disturbingly real to foot-high Alexander McQueen lobster claw heels. But the biggest visual surprise of all might be the string of close-ups where Gaga looks, in a rare instance, nothing but pretty.

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‘Telephone’ (2010)

Gaga turned this companion piece to "Paparazzi" into a pop culture event, roping in the Pussy Wagon from Kill Bill and a fancy co-star in Beyoncé. The Thelma and Louise arc has Beyoncé bailing Gaga out of jail to poison a diner full of customers, who look practically sepia-toned next to the bird-in-heat style costumes Beyonce and Gaga shimmy around in. What with its evasive dialogue and the gobs of hype leading up to its release, the video itself feels sort of like an elaborate inside joke we're all supposed to be in on.

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‘Alejandro’ (2010)

Sporting shades of Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" and every Madonna video ever made, Gaga's video for "Alejandro" is intended to represent her love for her gay friends. Slow and a little lackluster, it might also represent Gaga's writer's block after the success of "Telephone.”

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‘Born This Way’ (2011)

The release of Born This Way was probably the moment Gaga realized she can literally do whatever she wants. In the video for the titular song, there's a unicorn, a creation story and the first public appearance of the winglike face bumps Gaga said she'd "been waiting for the right time to reveal to the universe."

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‘Judas’ (2011)

As Madonna taught us, you're not a pop icon until you've pissed off religious people by claiming their iconography. In the video for "Judas," Gaga plays a version of Mary Magdalene who falls for the treacherous Judas, a muddled reference inspired by Gaga's ex, Luc Carl. Unfortunately for Gaga's icon status, the Catholic League released only a mild statement calling the video "a mess" in which she "dances on the line without going over it."

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