"Applause" is a song written by Lady Gaga and produced by DJ White Shadow in 2012. The song served as the lead single from her fourth studio album ARTPOP. It was originally intended to be released in August 19, 2013, but was rush released on 12 August, 2013 after some snippets of the song were leaked online.
Gaga first revealed the title of the song in November of 2012 through Little Monsters: "I Live for the APPLAUSE". She tweeted on January 4, 2013 part of the lyrics: "If only Fame came in IV form could I bare being away from you. I live for the way that you cheer and scream for me. The Applause."
On July 24, 2013, Gaga posted via Little Monsters handwritten lyrics with a visual for the song. The lyrics were slightly reworked from the first version revealed a year before. She explained that she documented the creation of the ARTPOP project in a series of notes and books filled with visual ideas and sketches.
When asked about the song, DJ White Shadow explained that it was written in 2012 and that Gaga was in pain due to her undiagnosed broken hip and labral tear while writing the song. When asked about the creation of the song, Gaga confirmed that she was in a lot of pain during the last weeks of the tour and that thanks to the applause of her fans, she was able to drown out the pain and finish the show.
At the time, they didn't know which song would be the lead single for ARTPOP. It was after she took some time off in 2013, that they revisited the song and selected it as the first single. He also revealed that he recorded the "screaming fans" heard on the track during one of the Born This Way Ball dates.
Applause has been pinned to the electropop and Eurodance music genres, with vocals reminiscent to those of Annie Lennox and David Bowie. Written in the key of G minor, the song follows a chord progression of Gm-F-Eb-Cm-F-Gm and has a tempo of 140 beats per minute. Gaga's vocals span from a low note of F3 to a high note of A5, covering nearly two and a half octaves.
On July 28th, 2013, Gaga took to Twitter to announce that the pre-order for ARTPOP has been moved up to August 19, 2013, saying that her single, "Applause" will be released that day as well. This confirmed all speculation that "Applause" was the lead single. The song was registered onto Gaga's BMI on August 29, 2013.
Due to multiple leaks of Applause on August 11, Gaga announced on Twitter that the single will be released on August 12, 2013. The day prior, Gaga retweeted a fan including a link to an Universal Music Group page dedicated to fight leak. However, due to the song being available through various snippets that, Gaga later tweeted that it would be released on iTunes at midnight.
|Promotional poster for the "Applause" music video.|
Social media promotion
- See reference for more details.
Before the release of "Applause", Gaga released a few photograph from the album photoshoot with Inez and Vinoodh. Usually her posts came from either Twitter or Little Monsters and were lated also posted on her active social media accounts such as Facebook and Google+. The content of these posts were mostly either lyrics or a caption with the photos along with the number of days remaining until the premiere of the single.
The artwork was shot by Inez and Vinoodh, who also shot the music video for "Applause". The photograph features colorful, emotional and theatrical, capturing Gaga with a Pierrot-esque face, her rainbow of makeup artfully smeared and her hair covered under a head wrap. Gaga added colors to the printed photograph which was later scanned to be the single artwork. The central image is placed on a double black bordered white canvas, the text was handwritten by either Inez or Vinoodh.
The physical single was available as a 2-track CD single including the album version of "Applause" alongside the instrumental version, it was also released on a 12" Picture Disc vinyl exclusive for Black Friday of 2013 and included eight remixes of the song.
International CD Single
Format: Slimline jewel case
Released: September 11, 2013
Photography: Inez and Vinoodh
|August 12, 2013||Digital download|
|August 13, 2013|
|August 19, 2013||Mainstream radio|
|September 11, 2013||UICS-9138||4988005790477|
|September 13, 2013||602537524891|
|September 18, 2013||DS30695|
|October 1, 2013||3752489||602537524891|
Picture Disc Vinyl
The picture disc vinyl was released on November 29, 2013 as a 'Black Friday' store exclusive for Record Store Day, both in the US and in the UK. The content of the vinyl is exactly the same on both vinyls, with the only difference being the country of manufacture and the color and position of the sticker on the plastic sleeve, the US sticker is white, and the UK sticker is clear.
Format: Vinyl, 12" PIcture Disc
Released: November 29, 2013
Photography: Inez and Vinoodh
- Side A
|2.||"Applause" (Empire of The Sun Remix)||4:25|
|3.||"Applause" (Viceroy Remix)||4:22|
|4.||"Applause" (Purity Ring Remix)||3:04|
|5.||"Applause" (Seven Redant/Dave Verde & Guy Schieman's Bent Collective Mix)||7:27|
- Side B
|1.||"Applause" (DJ White Shadow Electrotech Remix)||5:49|
|2.||"Applause" (Fareoh Remix)||4:53|
|3.||"Applause" (DJ White Shadow Trap Remix)||4:09|
|4.||"Applause" (Goldhouse Remix)||4:35|
Released: 30 September, 2013
Photography: Inez and Vinoodh
Design: Not credited
|1.||"Applause" (Empire of the Sun Remix)||4:08|
|2.||"Applause" (Viceroy Remix)||4:27|
|3.||"Applause" (Purity Ring Remix)||3:04|
|4.||"Applause" (Bent Collective Club Mix)||7:26|
|5.||"Applause" (DJ White Shadow Electrotech Remix)||5:49|
|6.||"Applause" (Fareoh Remix)||4:52|
|7.||"Applause" (DJ White Shadow Trap Remix)||4:09|
|8.||"Applause" (Goldhouse Remix)||4:34|
|Chew Fu ReFix||4:48||2013|
|DJ White Shadow Trap Remix||4:08||Applause (Remixes)|
|DJ White Shadow Electrotech Remix||5:48|
|Empire of The Sun Remix||4:05|
|Purity Ring Remix||3:04|
|Bent Collective Club Remix||7:26|
Prior to the release of the Remix EP, each remix (excluding the two DJ White Shadow remixes, as they had been released via soundcloud and youtube earlier) premiered on a different website throught late September, 2013.
- The Purity Ring Remix premiered on Dazed Digital on September 20, 2013.
- The Empire of The Sun Remix premiered on Rolling Stone on September 23, 2013.
- The Bent Collective (Steven Redant, Danny Verde & Guy Scheiman) premiered on Towleroad on September 24, 2013
- The Goldhouse Remix premiered on Idolator on September 25, 2013.
- The Fareoh Remix premiered on Earmilk on September 26, 2013.
- The Viceroy Remix premiered on Dancing Astronaut on September 27, 2013.
The song was first performed at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
- See reference for more details on the release of select lyrics.
Starting on July 24, 2013, Gaga revealed part of the lyrics via posts on her social media accounts.
Album version (3:32)
On July 17th, 2013, Inez posted a photo of her and Vinoodh on the set of the "Applause" to her instagram account.On July 26th, an image of the clapboard from the filming of the "Applause" Music Video was released. The music video was filmed on July 17. This confirmed it was directed by Inez and Vinoodh. On July 31st, 2013, Gaga tweeted that the video was to be released the same day as the single on August 19.
It was confirmed that the music video for Applause would be released on Good Morning America (GMA) on August 19th as planned before the leak of the single. Gaga tweeted that she would be in Times Square in New York to watch the premeire of the music video on some of the big screens. She described the video as a "classic black and white battles color in a theatrical bid for applause!" and that the video won't be longer than the actual song unlike her previous music videos.
So, while fans might find their own meanings in the visual, MTV News spoke to Inez van Lamsweerde, one half of the directing duo Inez & Vinoodh, about the video. "She'll do anything in this video to make her audience happy and give them inspiration". Inez said on the phone, hours after the premiere, noting that she and Vinoodh were inspired by silent movies and early horror films. "We wanted to bring it back to a very basic element".
Inez van Lamsweerde told MTV News this scene was originally meant “to be a tiny vignette in the video that would look back at a past time in her life when she was fresh out of school and living in the Lower East Side and dreamt of whatever her future would be. And that was there to represent that. She used to have that kind of hair when she was 18, 19, so we said that’s that past moment. When we started shooting it, it felt so great we said “Let’s do the whole song on this mattress and do the choreography laying down”. And she performed so incredibly it felt like such a real, raw feeling. It made it as the thread through the whole video. That’s the real and the rest is sort of the dreams she had”.
- Lady Gaga wears a jacket by Maison Martin Margiela, a mirrored bodysuit by Haus of Gaga with Natali Germanotta and Swarovski Elements collaboration.
- Lady Gaga wears an inflatable coat by Gareth Pugh, a catsuit by Mila Schön and boots by Azzedine Alaïa.
Inez told MTV News the fashion show was all Gaga’s idea: “She always had it in her head that she wanted to do a fashion show, where she would be flying instead of walking. She always been incredibly inspired by fashion and its energy, so it felt extremely right to have that part of her life represented”.
- Lady Gaga wears wings by Junker Designs, a catsuit by Mila Schön and boots by Azzedine Alaïa.
- Dancers: bloch and rupskin dancewear, blonde hair headpieces by Charlie le Mindu, black headpieces by Theresa Dapra.
She explained that "we were extremely inspired by Botticelli's painting," for that look where Gaga appears in a clam shell bikini, her curls cascading around her shoulders. She added "[We were also inspired by] having this idea that she goes through this struggle to go back onstage, which is in that pink laser tower. And she's sort of dragging that leg as a trophy and making it back on stage as a fully-realized, complete new person and that's why the Botticelli came to mind".
For a song like "Applause", the directors knew they needed a way to get hands in there so they found the most unexpected way to do it. She said, "The glove-kini! That's Brandon Maxwell, her fashion director that had that made. The song's called 'Applause'. There had to be hands".
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac tweeted on July 21, 2012, that he was working on a outfit for Lady Gaga's next video. He collaborated with her on "Telephone" and she also wore some of his creations in the past.
- Lady Gaga wears a bra, neckpiece and gloves by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.
The scene where Gaga's head appears on a black swan was not inspired by the Darren Aronofsky film, but instead more by Gaga's fascination with eggs. "She's always had the egg reference in her work and since this video is kind of about a rebirth and at the end there's the Botticelli 'Birth of Venus' reference, so we said, 'OK, an egg... a fur egg and what comes out of a fur egg?' In our minds, a black swan with her face on it," Inez said.
She added "[We were also inspired by] having this idea that she goes through this struggle to go back onstage, which is in that pink laser tower. And she's sort of dragging that leg as a trophy and making it back on stage as a fully-realized, complete new person and that's why the Botticelli came to mind".
- Lady Gaga wears a gown by John Galliano, body chain by Mathieu Mirano, necklace (worn as headpiece) by Halaby and oversized leg by Marla Weinhoff Studio.
- Dancers: headpieces by Luke Brooks.
- Lady Gaga wears a custom jeweled mask by House of Lavande.
|Lyric Video||Behind The Scenes|
On August 13th, 2013, Gaga tweeted that she would be at Micky's that night in Los Angeles to shoot the lyric video for Applause.
- "I will definitely NOT be at Mickys tonight, and I will definitely NOT expect you there to be in my lyric video. #APPLAUSE", "IM SERIOUS LA MONSTERS, ITS NOT LIKE I WILL BE HOPING YOU ARE THERE WITH YOUR APPLAUSE MAKEUP READY TO DANCE FOR ME AND WATCH DRAG" , "I AM NOT IN WEHO I SWEAR"
On August 14th, 2013, Gaga revealed that she would release the lyric video on August 15th and that it was a "Haus of Gaga Film". Bobby Campbell of the Haus of Gaga noted that the video was shot and edited by Gaga herself. He also released a behind the scenes video on August 15th. The video became the first lyric video to be released by Gaga.
Behind the scenes
- Lady Gaga wears an outfit, a bow collar as headpiece and shoes by Saint Laurent Paris.
|Directors||Inez and Vinoodh|
|Date||July 16-17-18, 2013|
|Location||Paramount Pictures Studio, LA|
|Director of Photography||Dave Devlin|
|Lightning Director||Jodokus Driessen|
|Production Company||GE Projects and theCollectiveShift|
|Production design||Marla Weinhoff Studio|
|Choreography||Richard Jackson at Haus of Gaga|
|Dancers||Amanda Balen, David Lei Brandt, Graham Breitenstein, Montana Efaw, Kevin Frey, Christina Grady, Knicole Breahn Haggins, Asiel Hardison, Casey Johansen, Christopher Martinez, Ian McKenzie, Sloan-Taylor Rabinor, Victor Rojas, Celine Thubert|
|Fashion director & Stylist||Brandon Maxwell at Haus of Gaga|
|Stylist assistants||Hayley Pisaturo and Sandra Amador|
|Haus of Gaga costume desinger||Perry Meek|
|Set Design||Marla Weinhoff at Haus of Gaga|
|Hair stylist||Shay Ashual|
|Hair stylist assistants||Sean Mikel Hare and Anthony Kelley, Nikki Providence|
|Makeup assistants||Mondo Leon and Kanako Takase|
|Dancer Makeup artist||Sarah Tanno|
|Dancer Hair stylist||Glenn Nutley|
|Dancer Hair stylist assistants||Jacquelyn Fanara and Crystal Pray|
- On July 3, 2012, Tara Savelo tweeted "When u hear the next single ur gonna pee ur pants xoxo - Tara Savelo". Audio engineer Dave Russell later confirmed to a fan that the song Tara was talking= about was "Applause" which was already selected in 2012 to be the upcoming lead single
- On July 24, 2013, Tara Savelo posted via Little Monsters, a photograph of Gaga stenciling on what looks to be a photograph of the single cover. Above the photo reveals the word “APPLAUSE” and in much smaller writing, a signature by Gaga along with the date of the single release — August 19th, 2013.
- In the comments section under Tara Savelo's picture of Gaga's painting the single artwork, Gaga posted the following lyrics: "If only fame had an IV", "baby could i bare", "being a away from you", "i found the vein" and "put it in here".
- On July 26, 2013, Gaga released this photograph with the following caption: "1ST SINGLE FROM ARTPOP COMES AUG.19 #24DAYS"
- On July 28: "Due to public anticipation, ITUNES will now offer a pre-order for ARTPOP album/app on AUG 19, the same day you can purchase my new single 'Applause'"
- On July 31: Gaga posted part of the lyrics: "give me that thing that I love put your hands up make 'em touch A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E"
- Later that day, Gaga revealed that "The single 'Applause' and it's MUSIC VIDEO will BOTH debut on same day. ARTPOP. 8/19 -GAGA"
- On August 2, Gaga posted the single artwork with handwritten related to the release and some lyrics.
- On August 4, Gaga posted the following lyrics: "i stand here waiting for you to bang the gong to crash the critic saying: is it right or is it wrong? 8.19"
- On August 6, "Applause 8.19 #14days" and "ARTPOP"
- On August 8, "i overheard your theory 'nostalgia's for geeks!' i guess sir,if you say so some of us just like to read APPLAUSE 8.19 #11daysTillApplause"
- Later that day, Gaga posted a photo from on the set to LittleMonsters.com: "I can't wait for you to see the 'Applause' video 8.19, directed by my darling friends @inezandvinoodh !!"
- "i am listening to the album. I know maybe this upsets you, as you'd very much like to hear it. i share these personal feelings because IF I HAD TO GO ANOTHER MONTH WITHOUT PLAYING THE NEW MUSIC I THINK ID CHEW MY ARM OFF #ARTPOP11DAYS", "THIS IS THAT ARM"
- Gaga posted a photo from on the set to LittleMonsters.com: "I can't wait for you to see the 'Applause' video 8.19, directed by my darling friends @inezandvinoodh !!"
- On August 12, Due to hackers leaking Applause, Gaga declared a rush release on Applause tonight.
- "A POP MUSIC EMERGENCY IS UNDERWAY 911"
- "911 SUMMON THE MONSTER TROUPES"
- "HERE IS A PHOTO TO ACCOMPANY THIS EMERGENCY"
- "MY NEW SINGLE 'APPLAUSE' IS OUT TODAY AND CAN BE HEARD ON UNITED STATES RADIO IN 15 MINUTES. INTERNATIONAL RADIO TO FOLLOW."
- "POP MUSIC EMERGENCY #0DAYSTillAPPLAUSE MY NEW SINGLE COMES OUT TODAY. 911 SPREAD THIS MESSAGE"
- "APPLAUSE + PRE-ORDER ALBUM 'ARTPOP' TONIGHT ON US ITUNES IN HQ! INTERNATIONALTERRITORIES WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY, KEEP REFRESHING ITUNES!"
- On August 13, post on LittleMonsters.com gif version of the “Applause” cover art.
|Writers and producers||Lady Gaga and DJ White Shadow|
|Co-Producers||Dino Zisis, Martin Bresso and Nick Monson|
|Recording by||Dave Russell at Record Plant, Hollywood, CA |
Platinum Sound Recording Studios, New York City, NY
|Assistant recording||Benjamin 'Ben' Rice at Record Plant and Andrew Robertson at Platinum Sound|
|Mixed by||Dave Russell at Record Plant, Hollywood, CA |
Heard IT! Studios, North Hollywood, CA
|Additional Mixing by||Bill Malina at Record Plant, Hollywood, CA|
|Assistant mixers||Ben Rice and Ghazi Hourani|
|Mastering||Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering, Burbank, CA|
|Excutive Producer and A&R||Vincent Herbert for Streamline Records|
|Management||Troy Carter for Atom Factory|