Let’s be honest: unless you’re a hardcore Little Monster already in the know, some of Lady Gaga's best work has gotten the shaft, never getting its deserved praise, either because of single selection or simply due to little or no airplay at all.
Gaga’s back catalogue is full of these hidden gems that, once discovered, can’t be forgotten.
So, we’ve picked out some of Mother Monster’s best non-singles hidden in her albums. Grabbing one of her records on vinyl — especially Born This Way — will provide a new appreciation for many of her deeper cuts and her ability to truly craft a body of work.
"Electric Chapel"Born This Way
This DJ White Shadow collaboration was written as an ode to her concerts being what she called an “electric chapel,” and a safe place for her fans. “Pray for your sins / Right under the glass disco ball,” Gaga croons over one of Born This Way’s best guitar riffs.
Translating into “s--t” in English, this Gaga-RedOne collaboration is one of her wildest songs to date — and one that would have easily fit on ARTPOP as well. While promoting Born This Way, Gaga described the song as “wanting to be a strong female without all the bulls--t that comes along with it.”
"Mary Jane Holland"ARTPOP
Co-written and produced with Madeon, who also collaborated with Gaga on “Venus” and “Gypsy” from ARTPOP, the electric ode to weed is one of the album's shining moments. Written while on the road for the Born This Way Ball Tour in 2012, Gaga described Mary Jane Holland as an alter-ego she created after smoking weed and dying her hair brown in an attempt to feel like someone other than “Lady Gaga,” even if just for one night. It was also unreal live.
#JusticeForBadKids! Truly an underrated cut on Born This Way that deserved so much better than to never be mentioned again. (Excuse the bitterness.) In keeping with the theme of Born This Way, “Bad Kids” is a true anthem for the underdog, with Gaga assuring us that being a little wild doesn’t mean you’re not a good person. “Don’t be insecure if your heart is pure / You’re still good to me if you’re a bad kid baby.”
One of her newest songs, "Diamond Heart" is one of the most powerful tracks on Joanne. “I might not be flawless, but you know I gotta diamond heart,” her impeccable vocals soar over a chorus that’s itching to be sung alongside Bruce Springsteen.
“Highway Unicorn (Road To Love)”Born This Way
"Get your hotrods ready to rumble / 'Cause we're gonna fall in love tonight / Get your hotrods ready to rumble / 'Cause we're gonna drink until we die," Gaga screams over a thunderous organ. From its title to the soaring chorus, everything about "Highway Unicorn" is as extra as it gets — and it's honestly one of the most underrated cuts on Born This Way.
This might seem like an obscure pick from The Fame, but it’s one of Gaga’s earliest demonstrations of her ability to write killer verses and craft a story through song. Gaga wrote "Paper Gangsta" after Island Def Jam Records dropped her from her first record deal a mere six months after signing with them. She got back in the best way possible: by putting this song on what ended up becoming a multiple Grammy-nominated album. It's safe to say she won.
"Monster"The Fame Monster
Representing her “Fear of Attachment” monster on The Fame Monster, this RedOne and Space Cowboy collaboration delves into Gaga’s fear of commitment, sex and her obsession with being with bad boys. “I keep falling in love with the monster,” she told MTV News in 2009 when asked about the song.
This throbbing synth-pop masterpiece was one of the biggest standouts on ARTPOP. “In the song I'm explaining my infidelity to the person I'm with, and then I'm having a conversation with myself to the person that I'm fantasizing about,” Gaga said when speaking with the Daily Mirror in 2013. Although a long shot at becoming a single, "Sexxx Dreams" has since become somewhat of a cult hit amongst Little Monsters.
"Speechless"The Fame Monster
Although she performed this Queen-esque piano ballad at the 2009 American Music Awards, "Speechless" never got the single treatment — or a proper video. Her “Fear of Death”-inspired monster, written as a plea to her father to undergo open-heart surgery, was one of the first times we really saw what magic Gaga could make at the piano. It also certainly could have been more of a hit, especially after seeing what Gaga has done with other piano ballads like “Million Reasons.”