Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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The Fame Monster (Deluxe Edition)

Lady Gaga


Before there was paparazzi, there was “Paparazzi.”

With the arrival of 2008’s The Fame, a star was (forgive us) born. But before Lady Gaga was living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, Stefani Germanotta was getting ready in the New York club scene. That’s what makes The Fame such a self-manifesting statement—it chronicles the glamorous A-list culture Gaga had yet to actually experience.

When she sings about having “a little bit too much” on “Just Dance,” the album’s defining first single, she’s that free-spirited party girl we’ve all wanted to be. Meanwhile, pop bops such as “Poker Face”—which followed “Just Dance” to the top of the charts—and “Paparazzi” reveal the lyrical and melodic beast behind the beat.

The Fame was already a sensation when it was reissued as The Fame Monster in 2009. This piled on even more hits, including “Bad Romance,” “Alejandro,” and “Telephone.” The presence of none other than Beyoncé on the latter only confirmed Gaga’s lightning-fast ascent from diva-in-training to the real deal.