From Bad Romance to Bloody Mary: The 30 greatest Lady Gaga songs, ranked


Watching her decade old album track go viral globally and make its debut on charts worldwide, Lady Gaga must be like a pig in shit on Chromatica right now watching the cash and attention flow in. That’s if they have pigs on Chromatica – I must admit I’m mostly unsure of their animal population beyond ‘kindness punks’. What the resurgence of Bloody Mary has done is remind me of what a great track it is – and it had me thinking about what a consistent and iconic discography Mother Monster has blessed the girls, gays and theys with over her career. So here we are – the 30 greatest Lady Gaga songs, ranked. Fight me on Twitter after if you must.

30. Aura

The boldest and brashest way to open Gaga’s boldest and brashest album. ARTPOP’s track one feels like the grimiest, grainiest B-movie you’ve ever watched. Ludicrous, nightmarish and euphoric.

29. Gypsy

There was a time in my cursed theatre gay days when Gypsy would have been top three Gaga for me. It’s fell quite the way down the list, but it’s still a campy romp into the power ballad melodramatic sunset of ARTPOP’s final moments. The stupidly written ending with all the location shoutouts is one of the silliest things Ar Steph’s ever done.

28. Bloody Mary

Thanks to a random TikTok that shoved a sped up version over Jenna Ortega’s viral dance on Netflix’s Wednesday, Bloody Mary has finally hit the ears of the straights and the locals. I envy them getting to hear the goth opera masterpiece in all its glory. The ominous masculine backing vocal repeating “Gaga!” scratches an itch in my brain that not many songs can manage.

27. Poker Face

Perhaps some will be up in arms seeing this HUGE track so soon, but please bear in mind that 27th out of over 130 songs is still fucking excellent. Poker Face is a thumping late 00s pop classic to the core – the “muh muh muh mah” motif never gets old. Bluffin with my muffin aside, a lot of great writing here. “Russian roulette is not the same without a gun, and baby when it’s love if it’s not rough it isn’t fun” is perfection.

26. Venus

Venus embodies ARTPOP at its most glorious. Should have been a single and should have been huge. I think about her iconic performance of it on The X Factor every day of my silly little life. NOW SERVE, PLUTO!

25. Fashion of his Love

One of Born This Way’s best songs was sadly relegated to being a bonus track on the album’s special edition. Fashion of his Love is an ode to the late, great Alexander McQueen – the way it kicks into the chorus gets more euphoric every time, and by the time the key change comes in there ain’t a frown in sight.

24. Monster

I always think of Monster as Dance in the Dark’s little sister. Changed Halloween parties forever – no October playlist is right without the accompanying bellow of “We French-kissed on a subway train, he tore my clothes right off, he ate my heart and then he ate my brain”.


ARTPOP’s title track is one of the moodiest and most underrated songs in the entire Lady Gaga discography, a dark synth track that stands out from everything else ranked here by keeping it minimal and mysterious. In an alternate universe, the whole album would have sounded like this.

22. Sour Candy

When I first heard Chromatica’s first entry into the 30 greatest Lady Gaga songs ranked, I thought it was too simple and underwhelming. Over time, it became a firm favourite – a hypnotic beat that should be on every gym playlist as a matter of urgency. I love the contrast between the BLACKPINK higher pitched vocals in the verses and Gaga’s theatrics on the pre-chorus.

21. The Edge of Glory

Gaga’s big, Springsteenian stadium anthem that feels like it could close any show in the world and it would have everyone wooping for an encore. The slow build, the big chorus, the feeling of liberation you get every time you listen to it? Come on now. Don’t even get me started on the sax.

20. Fashion!

I love this camp little ditty so much. I do not expect you all to understand or agree, but those that do are the people I want in my life.

19. Stupid Love

We all remember where we were when Stupid Love leaked in the halcyon months that preceded the Covid lockdowns. A simple but thumping Bloodpop track to its core, Stupid Love reminds me of dating a boy I was travelling for over an hour to date and how much I blasted it on the train to see him when it hit streaming. Stupid Love indeed!

18. Applause

One of the best choruses of any of the Lady Gaga songs ranked here. End of.

17. G.U.Y.

Dare I say this is perhaps the greatest video of her entire career? In an ideal world, this would have been the ARTPOP lead single.  A song written in the sweet spot between amazing and ridiculous – I remember critics laughing at the “love me, love me, please retweet” lyric and saying it made the song feel dated already, but with the passing of time the lyric has never lost its cultural relevance. Banger.

16. You and I

Quote me on this: The best downtempo Gaga song of all time. It’s better than any of her ballads, more emotional, more sing-a-long in the car. Country rock just hits different – “There’s only three men imma love my whole life, that’s my daddy and Nebraska and Jesus Christ.”

15. Alice

Name a more perfect way to kick off a dance album, I BEG. The perfect blend of the old Gaga and the new.

14. Diamond Heart

And whilst we’re on the topic of amazing album openers, this is a masterpiece. Joanne is much maligned, but the first run of tracks are impeccable – one of her strongest ever first halves to her records. The chorus feels instantly anthemic, her vocals are absolutely soaring.

13. Do What U Want (with Christina Aguilera)

The main version of this track featuring THAT man is a whopping shame because him aside, it’s one of my personal favourite Gaga songs. Thankfully, a better version exists featuring someone more talented and iconic: Christina Aguilera. Hearing Gaga and Xtina sing their tits off together to a melody this irresistible is just legendary.

12. Perfect Illusion

Perfect Illusion was ahead of its time. Nearly seven years after its release, it still sounds fresh – perfect production from Mark Ronson and a big dance-rock sound that has one of my favourite final minutes to a Gaga track ever. It sounds as sweaty as that grungy gig-rave she’s throwing herself around at in the video looks. Justice for Perfect Illusion!!!

11. Replay

Chromatica is just TOO good. It’s the best Lady Gaga album because the quality between singles and album track songs just does not shift, and that’s why so many of its deep cuts are ranked so high here. Replay feels like an endless disco into the flames – futuristic production from BURNS built around a retro Donna Summer sample – perfection.

10. Scheiße

We’re at the top 10, and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the best of the best Lady Gaga songs ranked. When I was 14 and pressed play on this, my life was changed forever. It’s Gaga’s weirdest, raviest track – a Euroclash beautiful monstrosity that features faux-German verses and the heaviest, thumping beats. I love it so much, it’s the kind of weird Gaga tune that literally only she could ever do with such conviction and flair in today’s pop landscape.

9. Babylon

Ignore the gays who demanded the original leaked demo version: The final released Chromatica closing track is the best version. This is the highest I’ve rated any non-single, and its quality speaks for itself. It’s Chromatica’s campest moment, big sax and a gospel choir who build up in the mix to the hand-clapping finale. The lyrics are knowing and playful – oh to be speaking languages in a Bloodpop moonlight on Chromatica. We could only dream.

8. Just Dance

Where it all began. Funnily enough, I used to think this track was boring. The moment it clicked? When Gaga played the best Super Bowl halftime show of all time and played the opening notes on that huge keytar as a dancer posed around her moving the mic to her face. It’s hit different since that day, and the production is just absolutely glorious. Never has “just dance” felt like more of a command you daren’t disobey.

7. Marry The Night

If there’s one thing you can count on Lady Gaga for, it’s that she’ll give you the best opening track to her albums you could ever hope for. Marry The Night is unrelenting, ferocious. It’s the kind of song that turns a good night out into a great one – that bridge should be preserved in museums

6. Rain On Me

It didn’t cure Covid, but my god did it make things better. Rain On Me dropped when the world needed it most, and I’ll never not think of how much it felt like a positive burst of joy in a time where everything felt impossibly hopeless. The power of pop music.

5. Judas

Forget what I said about GUY – it’s Judas with the best music video. The shots of her on the rocks by the sea? For the Louvre. Visuals aside, Judas has one of the most unrelenting and thumping instrumentals imaginable and you’d be hard pressed to find a time in my life where I’m not overjoyed to be getting my gay little life to it.

4. Dance in the Dark

Only released as a single in France, criminally, Dance in the Dark is one of the most epic songs out of any Lady Gaga tune ranked here. It is pure theatre. Pure drama. The ominous intro, the spooky verses filled with moonlight howling and vampire grins, the bliss of the chorus are great enough on their own – but then the Marilyn, Judy, Sylvia Plath and Princess Diana referencing middle eight arrives and it’s over for everyone. We won.

3. Bad Romance

For many, Bad Romance is THE Lady Gaga song. It’s like her theme tune. It perfectly encompasses every single thing that makes her unique as an artist and lets her flex her silly and her camp with her untouchably great vocals. The pinnacle of iconic bridges. It hardly gets any better than this.

2. Telephone

Despite the fact the demo was shopped around artists (Britney recorded a version), it’s so bizarre to think of the cultural juggernaut that is Telephone in the hands of anyone else but Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. It’s also impossible to listen to Telephone without visualising the Kill Bill inspired video in all its 10 minute glory – a piece of music cinema that has more legendary costuming in its short run time than most feature length films. Gaga and Bey are nothing but superstars. Every section of this song works perfectly – but Beyoncé’s verse is the highlight. The video ended with “to be continued”, and best believe we’re all still waiting.

1. Paparazzi

Because Lady Gaga is an artist in so many more ways than just the recorded music, her videos and live performances can change the trajectory and legacy of her songs forever. Take Paparazzi – a song so intrinsically linked to her VMAs performance that saw her leaking blood from her stomach and then dangling above the stage like a corpse that it’s impossible to get the sight of fake blood out of your brain when listening to it. But that is what makes Lady Gaga so special – she gives us songs that impact the culture in all its forms.

Paparazzi is the definitive Gaga song to me. In both its themes and its delivery, it’s quintessential. The fact it was from her first album makes it all the sweeter – an untouchable pop force from the off.

Listen to a playlist of the ranked 30 greatest Lady Gaga songs here

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