Lady Gaga: Unreleased, demos and rarities rate (Finished) | Page 39 | 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. I didn't know about the fact that Fusari (Wendy) met Gaga after seeing... Hollywood. It feels very Meta. And sweet.

    Honored that my commentary was the one to close it.
    The song is alright. I feel like most of the Joe Vulpis song weren't... all that they could be. It's all very "Live Session Recorded" and, while it's an amazing experiment to show Stefani's talent, it doesn't feel very special with the music. But yeah, the song is great and I'd call it the official Prelude for The Fame.

    "Oh, within a year I know I could \ Oh, look like a girl in Hollywood"

    Well, you did it. Within 2 years.
    soratami and Maki like this.
  2. I hope the fuck not me again... But there's a high chance of rain (on me-he-he) it being me due my amount of 10's
    soratami, Sprockrooster and Maki like this.
  3. Pat


    Also interesting to find out 'Paparazzi' was pretty much the only Rob Fusari related song that wasn't on that list with songs that Interscope obtained while she signed with them, so must have been recorded after that.

    Edit: Oh he actually says that in the interview you posted (which is kinda difficult to listen to, his intonation is awful).

    Edit 2: God, there's so much hatred to Gaga in that making of Paparazzi.

    Edit 3: Also if Gaga produced it, why is Rob Fusari giving a 1-hour keynote about creating 'Paparazzi'? I'm confused.
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  4. Sorry, no eliminations tonight. Reason: it's about to rain. ​
  5. Let's continue.

    This one is a loss for me...

    ...and I consider it better than "Rain on Me" (sorry, I had to)

    Oh, and we say goodbye to another section.

    'Cause yeah, this room is crowded but I'm so alone...



    Wish You Were Here

    Average score: 6.754

    Highest scores (a.k.a. team taste):
    10 x 1 (@CorgiCorgiCorgi), 9.75 x 1 (@Maki), 9.5 x 1 (@M24), 9 x 2 (@TéléDex, @Laurence)
    Lowest score: 2 x 1 (@HEARTCORE)
    My score: 9.75

    High peak: #24 (6 voters, 7 voters)
    Low peak: #41 (10 voters)

    With this elimination, "Red and Blue" EP loses all of its songs. Even though it left way before it should, I'm happy that we collectively agreed that "Wish You Were Here" is the best song from the extended play, and, now that "Hollywood" is also gone, the best song by the Stefani Germanotta Band, too. With just a little bit of help, it could've easily been in the top 30, but it was still fighting for that top spot of "Red and Blue", especially with the title track.

    "Wish You Were Here" was written in late 2005/early 2006 by Lady Gaga and produced by Joe Vulpis. This is the last time I'll be saying this, since there's no more songs where Joe contributed to. There's basically no background info, so we can only assume what the song is about. The song was performed live only once, at The Lion's Den on December 17th, 2005, but there's no video nor audio footage of the performance, unfortunately.

    This song has never been my favourite from the EP, but it managed to grow on me immensely in the recent years and became my favourite song by her prior meeting Rob Fusari. Not being as instant as "Something Crazy", it shows its beauty over time and leaves me chuffed every time I hear it. It's probably the most AC moment of the EP, but I'm very glad that the song exists.

    After the windy effect, the inevitable piano opens this lovely song, and Stefani's soft singing voice follows right after. She really killed it with the delivery here, controlling her vocals to the perfection during the softer parts. The chorus is so simple, yet effective. It's like she holds a lot of sentiment in that "I wish you were here" line and delivers it so passionately and emotionally. That being said, this surely is one of her best vocal performance at this time, showcasing both ethereally light and powerful, edgy side of her tone perfectly. I mean, it is a sad song, so of course the emotions are well present here.
    And that middle-8 deserves a special mention. It's literally the best moment of the all pre-Fusari recordings we have available. The melodrama, the power, the melody, the vocals. Whew, I'm floored. The way it slowly builds up to that culmination, and then falls back to the softness is just a delightful moment. And while it is a usual mid-00's pop rock, singer-songwriter song at its core, there's something compelling about it and I'm always completely charmed by that.

    If there was just a bit more melodic variety in the verses, it would've surely gotten a 10 from me.
    A pity we're saying goodbye to it already, since this definitely belongs to the top 15 of the rate for me and never should've left before top 30, but I'm glad it got some acclaim and achieved

    Also, I messed up the photo used in the artwork, because I wanted to use a different photo, so I quickly jumbled up another one. Here's the original artwork:

    Off to the commentary, where the song mainly received love, which is great to see.

    This was almost a hit for @pop3blow2 (8.3), who comments: "This almost lands for me. Might just be a victim of its rather junior production." Blaming the production seems reasonable, but for a semi-demo EP, it is great. Once again, @berserkboi (7.9) shows love for this side of Stefani, but still leaves some space for complaining: "This started really well but the over-singing killed its chances of a 10… Oversinging a little more grating on re-listen, down the score goes!" I wish you didn't listen to the song multiple times, ha! (I just re-read the beginning of the previous sentence in the melody of "I Wish You Were Here")

    Losing his highest score so far, @M24 (9.5) basically sums up my thoughts on the song and says: "Beautiful ballad, the lyrics hit me close, especially the "I was so much more than all of my fears, than all of these tears". That middle-8 took me completely by surprise and improved my score a ton!" A big yes at the middle-8 praise!

    @spaceship (7) calls it "the strongest song on the EP" and I nod my head in agreement, while @Laurence (9) will be happy to not lose 10's for two eliminations in a row, but this appears to be another song he is very fond of: "I love this. It's very sweet and I wish that final moment was a bit more relaxed, but I love it." That punch near the end is very much needed, in my opinion.
    @DominoDancing (6) throws shade on the title and the song, but praises the middle-8, so I won't drag him: "Not sure if the world needs another song called Wish You Were Here, especially if it's as uninspired musically as this. The middle 8 is nice in a Muse-y dramatic way." and @Pat (7) just says: "Love this too." Glad you do.

    And since @DinahLee (7) didn't write a separate comment for each song from the EP, but made a comment on the EP in general, this is a great way to use it and say farewell to it: "In a general note, I think the EP is way too simple and I think some outtakes (like Hollywood?) had something way more special. Wish You Were Here and No Floods especially are also songs that I have saved in a special place. Wish You Were Here is a bit catchy? Idk nn."
    "Idk nn." is not a sophisticated way to end a write up, but we love the appreciation for this song, so thank you for closing this part again.

    "Where is home? I want you to know..."

    Next up: One of my least favourite songs of the rate leaves. And it received multiple 10's.

    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    soratami, M24, pop3blow2 and 11 others like this.
  6. soratami, sesita, pop3blow2 and 8 others like this.
  7. soratami, pop3blow2, Maki and 5 others like this.
  8. It has been a while since I was among the lowest scorers for an album.
    soratami and Maki like this.
  9. And it's a bit shocking that you're among the lowest scorers for a pop-rock EP.
    @CorgiCorgiCorgi saved the day with these high scores!

    The next elimination is coming very soon, and here's a hint:
  10. Well I stan her official poprock songs. Hello 11-contender You & I, so I am thrilled she improved her sound here drastically.
    berserkboi and Maki like this.
  11. Finally, we lose this particular song...

    ... and I can't believe it outlasted "Wish You Were Here".






    Sexy Ugly

    Average score: 6.775

    Highest score:
    10 x 3 (@SyPOPhantic, @Laurence, @yeRleDanaL)
    Lowest score: 3 x 2 (@Markus1981, @abael)
    My score: 5.75

    High peak: #28 (26-29 voters)
    Low peak: #42 (11 voters)

    The first song with three 10's leaves the rate, in an unexpected form of "Sexy Ugly". To be honest, I thought this one wouldn't get as much high scores, but also be a bit more divisive. The second highest score it received is just one 9 from @m_dimitrov, which makes it less polarizing than it may appear, but also the fact that it gathered a lot of scores between 6 and 8.

    "Sexy Ugly" was written by Gaga and Fusari in 2007, during the Team Love Child sessions. The background of it isn't exactly known, but it's speculated that she referenced the song in the June 2009 issue of Rolling Stone magazine (the iconic bubble outfit cover posted as a hint), where she said: “I don’t feel like I look like the other perfect little pop singers,” and continued with “I think I’m changing what people think is sexy.” She received some harsh criticism for that cover, and almost broke down in tears, so it must've felt humiliating.

    However, this song can be associated with a positive event. Along with "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" (then called "Dirty, Rich"), "Sexy Ugly" was presented to the Insterscope Records in mid-2007 (a choice). And guess what? She got the deal.
    During an interview with Billboard, Fusari recalls the meeting with Gaga, Vincent Herbert, and himself that they had with Jimmy Iovine, the CEO of Interscope Records: "...Jimmy Iovin listens to a little bit of “Dirty, Rich” and to another record Stef [Gaga] and I did called “Sexy Ugly”. He stands up, looks at Vincent Herbert and says, “Let’s give it a try.” And that was it. She got a deal."

    During her performance at Glastonbury in 2009, she performed a section of this song (the middle-8) as an interlude before "Just Dance". Ironically, that was the performance when those outrageous rumors about Lady Gaga being a hermaphrodite came out. Here's the video of that controversial moment, shortly after performing "Boys Boys Boys":

    The moment is around the 1-minute mark. In ultra LQ quality, for your viewing pleasure. But what a throwback!

    During the second leg of The Monster Ball Tour, a neon sign with the words "Sexy Ugly" is used while Gaga performs "Just Dance" (seen in the upper right corner of this video).

    The song isn't bad, but it's intentionally meant to be bad and that's not helping. There's something... ugly about it. I know it deliberately wants to sound as wonky and ridiculous as possible, but there's basically none of Gaga's charm to support it. Really, those verses are more limp than some of her wigs during the Enigma Tour. The production features some annoying deep synth persistently appearing throughout the song, and an odd bubble-pop/water-drop sound effect which makes the entire thing sound even cheaper than it is. Just plods along without anything interesting happening sonic-wise.
    A nice chorus is the most redeemable thing about it, as well as the sound quality, but generally I'm not here for that slurry talk-singing here. And don't get me started on that horrendous "You, sex, pot..." middle-8. I know that headache-inducing yet oddly iconic moment has its fans, but let's pretend it doesn't exist.

    Also, a word from Gaga's Dictionary makes an appearance - "soundophobic", which resembles another word used later in the form of "glamophonic" on the missed single opportunity that is "Boys Boys Boys". Speaking of the lyrics, they are full of her meaningless, party life, gimmicky style which was one of Gaga's staples during that era (DJ shout-outs, filthy glamorous etc.). Oh, and do I hear something in that pre-chorus?

    Wish it, wash it down,
    Gonna paint the town pink.
    We don’t care what you think, sorry...

    A low-key nod to the Chromatica theme and "Rain on Me". More impressive than the actual song.

    I think I overscored this one, actually. One of the weakest songs in the entire rate, to be honest.
    Sorry, "Sexy Ugly", but you and your stoned ass won't be missed.

    The commentary reveals some stans, and some reasonably unimpressed reactions.

    @SyPOPhantic loses their first 10 and says: "I really love this track, of this “era” it feels the most finished (along with Let Love Down)." Even though it does sound a bit more finished, that doesn't make it sound less clumsy to me, I'm afraid.
    @M24 (7.5) keeps it simple: "Good beat, that's all I can say." and @Untouchable Ace (7.7) has a point: "This is so wonky, it is like she's singing drunk." She may have been drunk, but it's much more plausible that she just got high on that sex pot. @Seventeen Days (8) is here for the cheapness: "The squelchy synths and that bubble sound effect, yas. Definitely feeling this." , while @DominoDancing (5) isn't impressed: "Despite the squeaky electronics, this is underwhelming." Same, to be honest.

    Step aside, everyone, @DinahLee (7) is here to spill the tea: "It’s cute but I scream when I remember it was one of the songs that got her a deal with Interscope like nn." This. I mean, did they really think "yeah, this song is what's going to make us a lot of money".

    And I guess @yeRleDanaL (10) just likes the ridiculousness: "I haven't heard this song in years and the chorus still would periodically pop up in my head. And that ridiculous bridge... Iconic. You, sex, and pot.... YEAH." And this isn't the only time that atrocious middle-8/bridge is mentioned. @Pat (7.5) goes for it, too: "YOU SEX POT. Iconic. This is a classic Gaga outtake."
    Another voter into sex potting is @Laurence (10), who says: "I love this. "You sex pot. You are a sex pot." Living for my sex pot stuff and I like it." Well, each to their own.

    Let's close with @berserkboi (4.6), who makes me cackle: "More ugly than sexy I am afraid!" I agree with that, actually.

    "Soundophobic polite, don’t be afraid to shake that butt right..."

    Aforementioned 'sex pot' interlude:

    In better quality (with a part of the set):

    Next up: After a long time, we're losing another 11.
    soratami, M24, yeRleDanaL and 11 others like this.
  12. No eliminations tonight, but I'll get two songs out tomorrow.
    Hold on to your 11's is all I will say.
  13. Oh my god this cover.
    soratami, abael, Crisp X and 2 others like this.
  14. So, who's ready to lose an 11?

    Just missing out on top 30...


    One look and I'm done...



    Captivated (live)

    Average score: 6.838

    Highest score:
    11 x 1 (@berserkboi), 10 x 2 (@myblood, @Laurence)
    Lowest score: 3.5 x 1 (@Markus1981), 4 x 4 (@spaceship, @Ana Raquel, @SyPOPhantic, @HEARTCORE)
    My score: 7.25

    High peak: #22 (9 voters)
    Low peak: #39 (5 voters)

    And just like that, we lose another section. Impressively, "Captivated" takes at least two achievements: being the longest lasting song from its section and the last pre-Fusari song to be eliminated. Also, it didn't have much detractors, which made it consistently glide its way throughout the voting period, constantly peeking in and out of top 30.
    I hope @berserkboi won't be too disappointed, because this is an excellent placement for a song of its kind.

    "Captivated" is a song written by Lady Gaga in 2005 (or possibly earlier).
    Technically, it's the very first original song by Gaga (or Stefani) that we have audio and video footage of (exactly three minutes ahead of "Electric Kiss"). As far as we know, it was never recorded in the studio, but was registered on BMI in April 2010.
    Notably, she performed the song at, and particularly wrote it for Ultraviolet Live, New York University's annual talent show on February 3rd, 2005, where the audio comes from. The moment the song ended, she burst right away into the rebellious "Electric Kiss", which left the rate at #45. She placed third at the talent show, with judges being visibly impressed, comparing her to Norah Jones. With that performance, I don't get how she didn't sweep the competition and won. And to mention that she looks gorgeous in her singer-songwriter era.
    Also, she did a one-off short acapella performance of the song on March 10th, 2011 in Ohio, during The Monster Ball.

    Now, I won't say I adore this song, but it is heartwarming in a way. The first time I listened to it, I thought it was rather boring, actually. Luckily, over time, the song showed its beauty to the point I think my score is a bit too low compared to some other songs here. Still, I find "Electric Kiss" much better, although this piano ballad is simple and showcases her talents in a great way. The jazzy undertone suggests she was no stranger to this genre long before "Cheek to Cheek" came out. It's a romantic love song, and while it's on the overdone and slightly uninspired side when it comes to the lyrics, her passionate delivery completely makes up for it. However, I think the lyrics are very well-written. Her different vocal tone is apparent here which she uses perfectly. And she just delivers - those amazing alterations between delicate and powerful vocals are quite a feat. The delivery of the line "love the way you can make me dance..." is a great example of that. I would go on to say that this is surely one of the best vocal performances in this rate. So classy, so sophisticated. No wonder the jury was floored.
    Just Stefani, piano and pure talent on display.

    While it won't please everyone, this is a perfectly acceptable placement for a song that I thought would surely plummet below top 40.

    Onto the commentary.

    Summing up the experience, @elektroxx (7) says: "It's a cute little ballad, but it feels like standard singer / songwriter fare, imo." True, but it deserves a bit more praise.

    Picking up the vocal differences, @Pat (6.5) is here to note: "Whew, Gaga’s voice sounds so different. It’s a cute piano ballad.", while @Music Is Life (6) mutters: "This is…cute. Inessential. Kinda boring". Using the same word "cute", @M24 (7) puts it more correctly: "It's cute. I like the lyrics. Gaga does ballads so well, even before she was Gaga." Ballads were her go-to during the early years. @pop3blow2 (8.4) calls it: "Smooth song, but still powerful." Yes, calm and powerful at the same time. But @DominoDancing (5.5) will have to warm up to it: "Perfectly competent AC ballad. Leaves me a cold."
    I was quite sure that Gaga jazz-lover @Sprockrooster (9) would be here for it, which turned out to be true. He finds it: "Unexpectedly beautiful. An exceptional showcase of her live skills." @berserkboi and I approve. Speaking of jazz, @Seventeen Days (7.25) asks: "A little jazzy, no? Imagine if we had gotten this Gaga instead." We can only imagine, luckily. And it surely is jazz-influenced.

    @DinahLee (7) has a whole lot to say about it and gives us a throwback story for the 38th time: "Captivated does have a small place in my affective memory, since it used to be this stand alone single sitting in my iTunes Library that would come on shuffle every now and then. And once you only had The Fame and The Fame Monster (plus some unreleased songs from an album called "Shake Your Kitty: The Fame B-Sides" lmao) to listen to, it was mindblowing to hear the same voice over something so classy, so simple and also strong. And I'm not sure if there's video footage of this or so but I just have a crystal clear image of Stefani on piano as a Starlet burned in my brain. Brilliant." It definitely exists, and the video is down below.

    Someone who was truly... captivated by the song is @Laurence (10), and he shares an endearing fact: "What a beautiful little song this is. The intro alone. I love her just alone with the piano. A gorgeous first song in the rate. It is beautiful and I love this song. My sister can play this song on the piano (the beginning) and it made me dream away during my years while I lived at home, like I was watching that live performance with the video is out of." How cute!

    Let's give the last word to our 11-giver, @berserkboi: "What an amazing vocal run! A talent from the start! Gets better with each listen. You really get a sense that this is a special talent already!"
    True. A star is born.

    Full performance with "Electric Kiss" and judges comments:

    The Monster Ball performance:

    Last edited: May 26, 2020
    soratami, M24, VitaminBee and 12 others like this.
  15. Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
    soratami, M24, pop3blow2 and 8 others like this.
  16. I expected this to be one of the first five to go so I am very happy with this placement!

  17. TOP 30:

    2005/2006 - Early years (R.I.P.)

    Captivated (live)
    Electric Kiss (live)
    Master Heartbreaker (live)
    Fountain of Truth
    World Family Tree


    Red and Blue EP

    Something Crazy
    Wish You Were Here
    No Floods
    Red and Blue


    2006/2007 - Pre-Fame sessions (Team Love Child)

    Blueberry Kisses

    Dirty Ice Cream
    Spin U Around
    Glitter and Grease

    Fancy Pants
    When She Go/Go, Go, Go
    Kandy Life
    Reel Cool

    Let Love Down
    Oh Well

    Sexy Ugly
    We Are Plastic (Melt In the Summer)
    Shake Your Kitty

    Love Sick Girl/Yay Ha


    2007/2008 - The Fame sessions

    Filthy Pop
    Oh Baby
    Panty Party
    New York

    Shut Up
    Take You Out

    Your Freakin' Car
    The Greatest Thing
    Fooled Me Again


    2008/2009 - The Fame Monster sessions

    Nothing On (But the Radio)
    Out of Control
    Second Time Around

    No Way
    Future Love (live)


    2010/2011 - Born This Way sessions


    2012/2013 - ARTPOP sessions

    Brooklyn Nights
    Posh Life
    Stache (with Zedd)
    Cake Like Lady Gaga

    We're getting down to the proper goodies now.
    All but one section will have at least one song eliminated until we hit top 20. More 11's will fall, and some of the fan-faves are on the chopping block, too.

    What are your hopes and/or predictions?

    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  18. Is anyone expecting anything other than Nothing On (But The Radio) to take this at this point?
    Sprockrooster and Maki like this.
  19. I think Brooklyn Nights and Reloaded are serious competitors for the win too
  20. As you can see, the lowest possible placement for it would be #39, which is very impressive. "Captivated" did damn well for a live-only song.

    And, sorry, but two eliminations in a day didn't happen because of the top 30 recap.
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