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- For other uses, see The Fame (disambiguation).
The Fame is the debut album by Lady Gaga. The album was first released in Canada on August 19, 2008 by Interscope Records. The main theme of the songs is about how anyone can feel famous like a celebrity. On December 2, 2009, The Fame was nominated for six Grammy Awards and won Best Dance Recording for "Poker Face". The album was nominated for Album of the Year, and won the Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards. On February 26, 2010, The Fame went Diamond (signifying over 10 million albums sold) selling around 16 million copies world wide. On February 16, 2010, it won Best International Album at the 2010 BRIT Awards. On July 7th, 2010, The Fame became the best selling album in U.S. digital music history until Adele's 2011 album 21 surpassed it in digital album sales.
Writing and Development
The writing of the album took around two years and a half and started in 2006. Some of the songs from the album come from her work with various producers (RedOne, Rob Fusari, KNS Productions) in 2006-2007 and the other half with her work after being signed to Interscope Records (Martin Kierszenbaum, RedOne). The songs are mostly inspired by Gaga's love of fame in general, and deals with the intricacies of a rich and famous lifestyle, visualized by her. Musically, the album drew inspiration from '80s electropop and synthpop while incorporating dance music and clear hooks. In regards to the title and concept of the album, Lady Gaga explained, "The Fame is about how anyone can feel famous. Pop culture is art. It doesn't make you cool to hate pop culture, so I embraced it and you hear it all over The Fame. But, it's a sharable fame. I want to invite you all to the party. I want people to feel a part of this lifestyle."
- "I just feel like this record is really different- you[']ve got club bangers to more 70s glam to more singer-songwriter records to rock music. [...] The Fame is not about who you are—it's about how everybody wants to know who you are! Buy it and listen to it before you go out or in the car. [...] I think you've really got to allow artists' creativity to marinate. It took me a while but really delving into myself I finally got it. I couldn't be more proud of it. It's not just a record[,] it's a whole pop art movement[.] It's not just about one song."
Musically, the album drew influences from late 1970s glam rock musicians such as David Bowie and Queen. Gaga incorporated their glam-rock sound while devising catchy pop melodies and hooks to create what she has dubbed, "theatrical pop". Songs like "Poker Face", "Just Dance" and "LoveGame" are uptempo dance songs, with "Poker Face" carrying a dark sound with clear vocals on the chorus and a pop hook. "Just Dance" is synth-based while "LoveGame" has a more dance-oriented beat, and "Money Honey" has a moderate techno groove. All of them combined synths of clipped marching beats, sawing electronics and contained mild R&B-infused beats. "Paparazzi" carried a sultry beat while "Summerboy" had influences of the music of Blondie". "Eh, Eh" is credited as a ballad compared to the rest of the dance-fueled tracks from The Fame. The song has an eighties synth pop feeling in it while incorporating the "Eh, Eh" hook from Rihanna's single "Umbrella" (2007).
Lyrically, the songs on The Fame talk about being famous and achieving popularity. "Poker Face" is about sexual innuendo and teasing.Gaga explained in an interview with the Daily Star that the lyrics carry a bit of an undertone of confusion about love and sex. "Just Dance" talks about being intoxicated in a party, with lyrics like "What's going on on the floor? / I love this record, baby but I can't see straight anymore". "LoveGame" portrays a message about love, fame and sexuality which is akin to the central theme of album."Paparazzi" portrays a stalker who is following somebody being his or her biggest fan. The lyrics also portray the desire of capturing the attention of the camera as well as achieving fame. In an interview with MTV UK Lady Gaga explained about The Fame:In an interview with MTV Gaga explained about The Fame:
- "This idea of 'The Fame' runs through and through. Basically, if you have nothing—no money, no fame—you can still feel beautiful and dirty rich. It's about making choices, and having references—things you pull from your life that you believe in. It's about self-discovery and being creative. The record is slightly focused, but it's also eclectic. The music is intended to inspire people to feel a certain way about themselves, so they'll be able to encompass, in their own lives, a sense of inner fame that they can project to the world, and the carefree nature of the album is a reflection of that aura. I like to funnel interesting ideas to the rest of the world through a pop lens."
To promote the album, Gaga did several performances worldwide. Her first televised appearance was on Logo's NewNowNext Awards on June 7, 2008. She also performed on So You Think You Can Dance, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She performed in Vietnam for the 57th Miss Universe beauty pageant during the swimsuit competition. On January 31, 2009, she performed on television in Ireland on RTÉ One's show Tubridy Tonight. Three songs off The Fame were used in The CW's series Gossip Girl: "Paparazzi" in the episode "Summer, Kind of Wonderful", "Poker Face" in "The Serena Also Rises", and "Money Honey" in "Remains of the J". Gaga also performed "Poker Face" on American Idol on April 1, 2009. To celebrate the launch of the show Dirty Sexy Money, ABC created a music video of Gaga's song "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich", directed by Melina Matsoukas. It was initially announced as Gaga's second single, but "Poker Face" was chosen instead. There were two videos released for the song – the first was composed of clips from Dirty Sexy Money, and the second was the actual music video. The song charted on the UK Singles Chart due to digital downloads and peaked at number eighty-three.
The album received further promotion from her first headlining concert tour The Fame Ball Tour, which started on March 12, 2009 in San Diego, California. It was Gaga's first concert tour with North American shows in March, followed by dates in Oceania and a solo trek through Europe. Dates in Asia soon followed, as well as two performances at England's V Festival and two shows in North America that had been postponed from April. Gaga described the tour as a traveling museum show incorporating artist Andy Warhol's pop-performance art concept. Tickets were distributed for charity also. Alternate versions of the show with minimal variations were planned by Gaga to accommodate different venues. The show consisted of four segments, with each segment being followed by a video interlude to the next segment, and it ended with an encore. The set list consisted of songs from The Fame only. Gaga appeared on the stage in new costumes including an innovative dress made entirely of bubbles and premiered an unreleased song called "Future Love". An alternate set list with minor changes were performed for European dates. The show has received positive critical appreciation with critics complimenting her vocal clarity and fashion sense as well as her ability to pull off theatrics like a professional artist.
The official album artwork for "The Fame" features Lady Gaga's face, with her Crystal Glasses and Disco Stick. Gaga has said that she wanted to portray the look of an already established artist, as she had been making music for a long time prior to her album release. The cover has been compared to an old Italian Vogue magazine from the 70s to 80s, and expresses the idea of bringing back the concept of fame.
Track list and release history
- Main article: List of international editions of The Fame.
The track listing of "The Fame" was intended to have a different song for the eighth track on each different localized version. "Money Honey" appeared on the Canadian version, "Starstruck" appeared on the US version, and the European release included "Vanity". However, she later released a revised edition with a modified track listing in the US on October 28, 2008 and in some countries where the album had not yet been released. A third version was released in Ireland and the UK on January 9 and 12, 2009, with a few further modifications to the track listing. As an exclusive to the online music store Rhapsody, "Vanity" was included on the third edition as an exclusive download single.
First Edition (2008)
- This version was released in Canada, some European countries, and Australia in 2008.
|1.||"Just Dance (feat. Colby O'Donis)"||4:01|
|2.||"LoveGame" (The ending on this edition is different than the ending on other releases)||3:33|
|4.||"Beautiful, Dirty, Rich"||2:52|
|5.||"Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)"||2:57|
|8.||"Money Honey" (The introduction on this version is longer than on other releases.)||3:43|
|10.||"Boys Boys Boys"||3:22|
|13.||"I Like It Rough" (Bonus track in Canada, Mexico, Australia, and selected European countries)||3:24|
Second Edition (2009)
- For the US release of the album, the text "LADY GAGA" was colored in red rather than blue and the image had a slight red tint.
|1.||"Just Dance (featuring Colby O'Donis)"||4:01|
|5.||"Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)"||2:57|
|6.||"Beautiful, Dirty, Rich"||2:52|
|9.||"Starstruck (featuring Flo Rida and Space Cowboy)"||3:39|
|10.||"Boys Boys Boys"||3:22|
|14.||"I Like It Rough"||3:24|
Third Edition (2009)
Released in 2009, the third and final edition of The Fame was released in the UK, Ireland, and Japan. This final track listing contains all the tracks from the first and second editions, as well as "Disco Heaven", which was included on neither. The tracks also are in a significantly different order to that on either of the first two versions. The track listing on this edition is very similar to the track listing of the bonus disc of The Fame in the deluxe editions of The Fame Monster.
- The UK release of the third edition includes the Space Cowboy remix of "LoveGame" as an enhanced bonus track.
- The Japanese edition included "Retro Dance Freak" and no enhanced content.
|1.||"Just Dance (featuring Colby O'Donis)"||4:01|
|5.||"I Like It Rough"||3:24|
|6.||"Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)"||2:57|
|7.||"Starstruck (featuring Flo Rida and Space Cowboy)"||3:39|
|8.||"Beautiful, Dirty, Rich"||2:52|
|11.||"Boys Boys Boys"||3:22|
|15.||"Disco Heaven" (Bonus track)||3:41|
|16.||"Again Again" (Bonus track)||3:05|
Booklet and credits
- For the credits and the rest of the shoot, see Pieter Henket. For lyrics, see each individual song page.
The gallery below is a digital copy of the "Special Edition" booklet.
- Executive Producer — Vincent Herbert (Streamline Records)
- Artists and repertoire (A&R) — Vincent Herbert & Martin Kierszenbaum (Cherrytree Records)
- Co-Executive Producers — Rob Fusari and RedOne for Kon Live
- Management — Troy Carter and Leah Landon for THE CO-OP
- Mastering — Oasis Mastering (Burbank, CA) by Gene Grimaldi
- Production Coordinator — Lisa Einhorn-Gilder
- A&R Coordinator — Andrea Ruffalo and Vicki Boyd
- A&R Admin — Jennifer Paola
- Marketing Director — Dyana Kass
- Photography — Pieter Henket
- Additional photography — Candice Lawler and Warwick Saint
- Design — Liam Ward
- The Deluxe Edition of The Fame have altered liner notes, changes are in bold. Name with a * were removed in the new version. Along the songs lyrics, For A Moment by late Joanne Germanotta is printed.
I am sitting in a hotel room in Vietnam. Preparing to perform on the first ever American/Vietnamese broadcast since the war. It really is the perfect time to write. There are so many people, places, and things that I need to thank for the success of this project. But before I begin, I need to say that each and every chemical moment of my life, every person I have spoken with, every street I have traveled, every museum, country, city, space or home that I have visited has been a profound instance and is mirrored, whether obviously or in some refracted way, in the work you see today. So if your name is not here, it is purely because this is the distilled version of my “thankyous.”