Lady Gaga: Unreleased, demos and rarities rate (Finished) | Page 13 | The Popjustice Forum

Lady Gaga: Unreleased, demos and rarities rate (Finished)

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Maki, Feb 16, 2020.


Which section had the most discoveries/is your favourite?

Poll closed Oct 8, 2020.
  1. 2005/2006 - Early years

    0 vote(s)
  2. Red and Blue EP

    1 vote(s)
  3. 2006/2007 - Pre-Fame sessions (Team Love Child)

    7 vote(s)
  4. 2007/2008 - The Fame sessions

    10 vote(s)
  5. 2008/2009 - The Fame Monster sessions

    18 vote(s)
  6. 2010/2011 - Born This Way sessions

    4 vote(s)
  7. 2012/2013 - ARTPOP sessions

    5 vote(s)
  1. The second part of this spotlight is here...


    Career beginnings, band and the big meeting (2004-2006) 2/2

    Part 2/2: 2005-2006

    I've decided to split the third part of this spotlight in two, because there are a lot of interesting details to cover and it will be too much to write in one post, so let's continue.

    Last time, we mentioned that Stefani was determined to form a band, but let's stray away from that for a moment.
    Even though this was mentioned quite an amount of times by the media in the last 10 years or so, did you know that Lady Gaga (Stefani) appeared in MTV's show "Boiling Points". The show, as Wikipedia explains, is 'a prank reality television show, much like the format used on Candid Camera. In each half-hour episode, annoying situations were set up and deliberately inflicted on one or more young adults who were unaware that they were being tested.' So, random people are put in stressful situations to see if they could last a set amount of time, depending on the situation, without getting mad. It's worth noting that the completion of this task earned the player $100.
    Stefani Germanotta was one of the 'victims' and appeared in the episode 22 of the third season, which was aired sometime during 2005. The set-up was basically a rude waitress. Let's take a look (these are the excerpts where she appeared):

    And the full setup, in much better quality:

    She's the only one who lost, having to endure 14 minutes, but making it to 12 minutes and 36 seconds. What a pity, because those $100 would've been so helpful at the time.
    Since reality television documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, we don't know whether this one was scripted or not, but Stefani was looked so damn adorable here while getting angry.

    Okay, back to music. Like I've said, in September 2005, Stefani and Frankie Fredericks (her former manager) were making a band. In the same month, during one of her solo performances, Maura Casey took note of Stefani and invited her to be involved in CD for her music book, "The Portal in the Park", which would eventually be released in the following year.
    And here we're rating the two songs where she sings - more details about this will be shared during the eliminations!

    September 17, 2005 - rehearsing with Frankie Fredericks

    By October of the same year, the band, called Stefani Germanotta Band (also SGBand) was formed.
    The members were:
    Stefani Germanotta - Keyboard/vocalist
    Eli Silverman - Guitar
    Alex Beckmann - Drums
    Calvin Hunting Pia - Bass

    They were primarily a glam rock band, which was Stefani's intention, since she obviously had affinities towards that genre, and performed both original songs and covers.
    Their first official performance occurred on October 1st at The Bitter End, which became band's 'home base':
    Looks like the band performed very shortly after their formation - not a single mention of the other members, just Stefani! This could've grown into a Gwen/No Doubt 'SPIN' magazine cover situation, hehe.

    In November, the band started recording demos for their first (and only EP) and continued performing. This is a rare video of them performing cover of Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er" (on January 20, 2006):

    The same night, they started selling their first five-track demo, titled "Words", which includes the same five songs as "Red and Blue" EP, just slightly underproduced and the track listing order was different.
    Gaining fans through these concerts, the band reached their peak in early 2006, and their set at The Knitting Factory on February 15th is a sellout (on this link, you can see the news updates on Stefani's site up until that month. the only video of that concert is a snippet of the performance of "Again, Again" (the only song which was officially released on Gaga's album and was written before meeting Rob Fusari):

    February 15th, 2006 - @Phonetics Boy wishes she was in the audience!
    Some sources mention that they performed the original, uncensored version of the song, and the video confirms that (on the line he’d never fuckin' last).

    March 9th, 2006 marked the release of their first EP, "Red and Blue". This piano-heavy record, with glam rock flourishes, was only sold after the Bitter End performance, which was a handful of copies. No official release and promotion meant no long-term success, but we should all be glad it stayed that way. In fact, I'm pretty sure they would've flopped into oblivion even if they had released a full album.
    The promo flyer for the show - why does she remind me of Melanie C on this photo?

    On the aforementioned EP, they worked with Joe Vulpis, who produced it and who Stefani had most conversations with during the recording sessions. Joe recalls all the different song ideas the went through at the time, saying:
    "There is so much audio footage that has never been released. I mean, like I said, we worked together for such a long time. Months where all we did was just let ProTools run half the time and we just let her run things down, and it was a real selective process what she ultimately wanted to finish and nix. But yes, there are hours and hours and hours of tapes that have never even been finalized, so yes. And there's great stuff-whether she was playing solo at the grand piano doing her thing, or the band and her were jamming for hours on end. There's some great stuff, but you know, like you said, it'll be up to her whether or not there's a place or time in the present world"
    Those recordings are precious indeed, and we (well, at least me) can only hope they see the light of day. The two known song titles, which are outtakes from "Red and Blue" EP, are "John's Song" and "Walk The Road". The band performed both songs live on December 17th, 2005, but no audio nor video footage is available.
    The band continued playing on and off, because Stefani had solo performances booked during 2006, too.

    "I'm about to change your life."

    The sentence that Wendy Starland uttered, and Stefani laughed at after her performance at The Cutting room on March 23rd, 2006.

    Bob Leone (yeah, the guy who 'discovered' Gaga and put her ultra rare CD's for sale online) chose Stefani to be one of the nine performers in the 2006 New Songwriters Showcase at the Cutting Room. Performing "Hollywood", she caught the attention of Wendy Starland, a singer, songwriter and Rob Fusari's collaborator. Fusari was searching for a female singer under 25 to front a band like the Strokes, but couldn't attend that show. As Wendy explains: "He couldn't be there that night, but he asked to keep an eye out for somebody who had the ability and the desire, and that's definitely Stefani."

    Full story and the conversation Wendy Starland and Fusari had is a gem:​
    “While I was talking to her, I was near the computer so I went to her page on PureVolume and had the music on real low in the background,” Fusari said. “Quite frankly, it sounded wedding band-ish, but I could tell that this person had more to offer creatively so I invited her to the studio.”
    I guess this is what most of the voters felt (and will feel) about her pop-rock days.

    The meeting with Rob Fusari was scheduled and Stefani had nothing to lose.

    To be continued...​
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  2. If you don't mind, I can confirm that any of your three lowest scores didn't go to her pop-rock era.

    And I'm excited for @soratami to hear all of these songs, especially the 2006/2007 section, which is a ride.
  3. I love her work with Fusari so much. Shame he fucked it all up.
    Maki likes this.
  4. Also, do y'all have guesses on a winner? I'm sure Nothin On But the Radio might take this, or at least come close.
  5. Reloaded

    That's one of the only songs I'm familiar with so far. I need to get on with this.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  6. Her work with Fusari is hit-and-miss in the most entertaining way.
    Plenty of gems, and plenty of songs that will be divisive.

    Oh, and speaking of potential winners, the ones I had in mind before even opening the rate were "Nothing On (But the Radio)", "Fashion" and "Vanity". Their current placements are... interesting.

    By the way, the current leading song and the runner-up are so close, and are way ahead of #3 and downwards, but the rest is generally very close.
  7. Not sure for winners, but I reckon Brooklyn Nights and maybe Second Time Around will be pretty high in the top 10
  8. So, somehow I missed quoting the text I intended in the most recent spotlight. Here's the part where the text is added (it's bolded):
    That fail is now fixed in the actual post at the top of this page.
  9. Oh, it makes sense now, I wasn't really getting how the PureVolume quote was a gem haha
  10. Yeah, I'm a mess for only realizing the mistake today.

    And now that you've mentioned it, a fun fact: The first Google image result when you search for PureVolume is this:
    The impact! More about the specific page #soon
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  11. A little update due to the current situation: All schools/universities in my country have been closed since Monday, so I'll have plenty of free time and therefore will be able to focus more on this rate (as well as others). Still, the online lectures will be used for now (good that they're pre-recorded and not live), which will be kind of time-consuming, but still so much easier than usual. Imagine having to change four buses on your 45km way to faculty and back every day (five days a week). This is a blessing in a tragicomic way.

    For some odd reason, there's been a stoppage of the incoming ballots (still on 11 voters), but I'm sure the storm of scores is coming soon. There's about 12 days left until the voting deadline, so you still have a decent amount of time to listen to the songs and arrange scores.

    Also, I'm planning to do another 'songs we could've rated' spotlight tomorrow.
  12. I fished up The Braxton's rate, so since there's an extension here, I randomly dove into your Google drive folder today while working. I think I've only heard a couple songs here, but I'll give rating them a go! (I skipped the Gaga dicog rate last year to do Enya instead, so maybe I owe her some time now.)

    Your work for this rate & in the thread here is fantastic. I've been going back through & reading some of your spotlights & giving you likes.
  13. I'm happy you're going to take part!

    Thank you so much for appreciating my write-ups! I really enjoy doing them.
  14. Perhaps @soratami and @londonrain (even though he's not taking part) could find this one especially intriguing...


    Guess Who's Single (with Eve and Pharrell Williams)
    Reason for not being included: Gaga is labelled as a featured artist on the song

    An interesting outtake from this rate is a collaboration with these two notable rap and R&B artists:

    The song was written by Lady Gaga, Eve, Pharrel Williams, Eve, and producer, Jim Jonsin, in July 2008 and is aptly titled: Eve - Guess Who's Single (feat. Lady Gaga & Pharrel Williams). Ten years later, it surfaced on the net and we're finally about to hear it.

    Around July 2008, Jim Jonsin was working with singer-songwriter Kalenna on tracks and ideas for random artists when he met Lady Gaga. Behind the scenes of the creation of this song is explained by Jim Jonsin, who recalls: “I gave her some music and she went to work in a back room. I think she was writing an idea for Britney [Spears] and it was sick, so I grabbed her and brought her back in the room.”
    The songs Gaga was writing for Britney Spears are most likely "Quicksand", which eventually got released on her album, "Circus", and "Telephone" (and we all what happened with that one). But where do Eve and Pharrell come from? Well, I don't know myself! The most probable situation was that Eve was working on her fourth album, and Pharrell was one of the producers for that project, so it's likely that Gaga wasn't even with either of them in the same room. The probably just sent the song demo to Eve, who wrote additional lyrics and Pharrel took care of the production and kept Gaga's bit.

    Gaga, Kalenna and Jim wrote four songs together during those sessions, for no artist in particular. Besides "Guess Who's Single", the other three are: "Freezer Burn", "Kaboom", and "Let Dem Hoes Fight". All of them are available online, but only one contains Gaga's vocals ("Let Dem Hoes Fight").
    Jim Jonsin talked about these songs, too. “We started writing a song called ‘Freezer Burn’ and that song turned out really good, so we did another song called ‘Kaboom.’ We were playing the songs back, trying to figure out who to give them to. So I said, ‘As far as the labels are concerned, just let them hoes fight over who gets the song.’ Everyone was like, ‘Jim, that’s a great song title!’ And in like 20 minutes, we had that song with Lady Gaga.”
    "Freezer Burn" and "Kaboom" have only Kalenna's vocals (they are incorrectly assigned to Gaga, who doesn't sing them) and weren't given to any artist, therefore remain unreleased. Both songs are painfully late 00's, each in their own way: "Freezer Burn" is that typical pop ballad, while "Kaboom" is repetitive, catchy and quite annoying dance-pop tune (it has over 2 million views on YouTube!), which is definitely something more reminiscent to Gaga's own work.
    On the other hand, "Let Dem Hoes Fight" found its home: Trina's fifth album "Amazin'", released in 2010. This is the final version of the song, which features Kalenna, since it was re-worked a bit:

    I don't have much to say about this song, except that it's not for me.

    Gaga's vocals appear on the demo of the song, which is a bit different than the released one:

    She sings some of the vocals on the choruses, apparently, and has a short rap verse at 2:30 minute mark.

    That was the background and the circumstances surrounding these song(s). The song we're spotlighting, "Guess Who's Single", undeniably has 00's R&B vibes all over it. From Pharrell's signature four-count start, Eve's rap and hook, to the beat/instrumental, it's very reminiscent of early 00's music. Eve is the lead artist here, which is obvious since she does verses and the choruses. While rapping is something I avoid, I really came around to liking that chorus and hook, since there's something very chill about it. Also, it's very pleasant melodically and gives me 'excellent album track from 2002/2003' vibes, plus the 'hey, now, hey, now, hey, hey, hey, now' hook is an excellent earworm. Of course, Gaga is there, too. Her part comes in during the bridge with her signature tongue in cheek sing-rap verse (@berserkboi found turning the volume down) and literally sings one line, which is comparable to her usual 2007/8 fare, while the rest is more of a rap. There's a line 'you look good in them jeans, but you can kiss this' - which almost makes the line from "Why Did You Do That?" less iconic. Pharrell joins the song near the end, doing his thing, just before the final chorus starts and fades out way too early, suggesting that the song wasn't finished.

    My hypothetical score for it would've been a 7, if not even higher.

    Interesting thing to note is that both Eve and Pharrell Williams collaborated with Gwen Stefani during the 00's, and you know who Lady Gaga reminds us (at least vocally) of on some of her earlier tracks, especially certain songs in this rate? That's right. A shame that collaboration haven't happened yet. Never too late, huh?

    What do you think of this unique gem? Did you know it existed at all?​
  15. Guess Who's Single is cute, but I was expecting an Eve/Gaga collaboration to be a bit more exciting. Though then again, I guess it wasn't exactly a collaboration anyway.

    It's no

    myblood, Laurence, elektroxx and 5 others like this.
  16. Yet what is exactly on the level of Let Me Blow Ya Mind?
    myblood, Laurence, elektroxx and 4 others like this.
  17. This one wrong should be labeled has a hazard
    Untouchable Ace, berserkboi and Maki like this.
  18. Excuse me! This is such a solid 10 in the upcoming No Doubt/Gwen Stefani rate from @Maki. How dare you!
  19. Just to be clear, I'll be hosting No Doubt rate only, but I did consider doing a separate Gwen Stefani discography rate in the future, where the song will be included.
    Also, I've never considered "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" to be that special.
    berserkboi and Sprockrooster like this.
  20. Off topic but are we Team Let Me Blow Ya Mind or Team Gangsta Lovin’? :D
    soratami, Untouchable Ace and Maki like this.
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