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Bad Romance

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"Bad Romance"
Upper bust of a blond woman. She has short cropped hair, her body and her face is covered by a red translucent cloth with intricate wrappings in the front. Over the image the words "Lady Gaga" and "Bad Romance" are written in red capital letters.
Single by Lady Gaga
from the album The Fame Monster
Released October 26, 2009 (2009-10-26)
Format
Recorded
Genre
Length 4:54
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • RedOne
  • Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga singles chronology
"Paparazzi"
(2009)
"Bad Romance"
(2009)
"Telephone"
(2010)
"Paparazzi"
(2009)
"Bad Romance"
(2009)
"Telephone"
(2010)
Music video
"Bad Romance" on YouTube

"Bad Romance" is a song by American singer Lady Gaga from her third extended play, The Fame Monster (2009). It was written and produced by Gaga and RedOne. Lyrically, "Bad Romance" explores Gaga's attraction to individuals with whom romance never works, her preference for lonely relationships and the paranoia she experienced while on tour. Following an illegal demo leak, Gaga showcased the final product at Alexander McQueen's show at the Paris Fashion Week in October 2009, followed by the release of the single's cover art. Musically, "Bad Romance" features a spoken bridge, a full-throated chorus and sung lyrics about being in love with one's best friend, the song, which is imbued with elements of Germanesque house and techno, as well as music from 1980s and the 1990s, was touted by Gaga as an experimental pop record. The song contains a few lines in French.

Most commentators were enticed by "Bad Romance", which they declared one of the highlights of The Fame Monster album, it was included in the 'best-of' lists in several media outlets such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media, and acquired two Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. In the United States, "Bad Romance" peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and it has been certified eleven-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having sold 5.6 million digital downloads as of April 2016. It achieved worldwide success by topping the charts in a variety of markets, ultimately selling 12 million copies worldwide, thus becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.

The accompanying music video of "Bad Romance" features Gaga inside a surreal white bathhouse. There, she gets kidnapped by a group of supermodels who drug her and sell her to the Russian mafia for sexual slavery, the music video ends with Gaga live incinerating the man who had bought her. The song's video garnered acclaim from critics, who not only applauded the risqué and symbolic nature of the plot, but its artistic direction and vivid imagery; in 2011, the music video was voted the best video of the 2000s (decade) by readers of Billboard. It was nominated for numerous superlatives, including ten awards at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, where the singer won seven, including the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. Gaga has performed "Bad Romance" on various television programs, such as Saturday Night Live, at various award ceremonies, such as the 2009 American Music Awards, and in four of her tours, the most recent being the Joanne World Tour.

Background[edit]

Gaga collaborated with Nadir "RedOne" Khayat in writing "Bad Romance", with Khayat taking charge of production, the song was recorded at Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles and FC Walvisch Recording Media Studios in Amsterdam.[2] "Bad Romance" was released as the lead single from The Fame Monster (2009), Gaga's follow-up to her debut album, The Fame (2008).[3] Before its official release, a demo version of the song was published illegally on the internet, prompting Gaga to comment via Twitter, "leaked next single is makin my ears bleed. Wait till you hear the real version."[4] A snippet of the song was performed on Saturday Night Live on October 3, 2009, along with "Poker Face" and "LoveGame".[5][6] The final version of "Bad Romance" premiered during the finale of fashion designer Alexander McQueen's 2010 Paris Fashion Week show,[7] and the song's release followed on October 19, 2009.[8]

According to Gaga, the song was one of her initial efforts among the songs that she wrote in 2009 while touring, the songs composed during that time were about the various abstract "monsters"—metaphors for her paranoias—that she faced during the tour. One of these concepts became the inspiration behind "Bad Romance".[9][10] Gaga explained that she generally felt lonely when she was involved in a relationship and concluded that she was attracted to men with whom romance never works.[11] "Bad Romance" explores her preference for such lonely relationships and her poor choice in men.[11] Gaga wrote the lyrics of "Bad Romance" in Norway on her tour bus, she further elaborated on the writing process in an interview with Grazia:

I was in Russia, then Germany, and spent a lot of time in Eastern Europe. There is this amazing German house-techno music, so I wanted to make a pop experimental record. I kind of wanted to leave the '80s a little bit, so the chorus is a '90s melody, which is what the inspiration was. There was certainly some whisky involved in the writing of the record. It's about being in love with your best friend.[12]

Composition[edit]

"Bad Romance" is an electropop and dance-pop song with house, new wave and techno influences.[13][12][14] According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, "Bad Romance" is set in common time with a metronome of 119 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of A minor, with Gaga's vocal range spanning from the low-note of E3 to the high-note of C5. The song follows in the chord progression of Am–C–F–C–G in the verses and F–G–Am–C–F–G–E–Am in the chorus,[15] the song opens with Gaga singing a portion of the chorus, then transitioning into the "Rah-rah--ah-ah-ah, Roma-roma-ma, Gaga-ooh-la-la" hook, which—according to an interview Gaga gave for the Carpool Karaoke segment of The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2016—is an abbreviation of the word "romance".[16] It is followed by the sound of drum beats and keyboards,[4] after the first verse, the pre-chorus follows, with Gaga voicing the lines, "You know that I want you, And you know that I need you, I want your bad, your bad romance". The full-throated chorus then follows, where she sings, "I want your love, And I want your revenge, You and me could write a bad romance ... Caught in a bad romance".[4]

Gil Kaufman from MTV News found similarities between the tempo of "Bad Romance" and that of Gaga's previous single "Poker Face".[4] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine noticed the 1980s influences that resonate throughout the track: "If melodies could be time-stamped, these would have '80s' branded on their asses."[14] Daniel Brockman of The Phoenix pinpointed not only the declarations of liberation "from a significant other", but the Depeche Mode and Madonna-esque qualities that permeate "Bad Romance".[17] To Pitchfork Media journalist Scott Plagenhoef, Gaga was able to transform her persona to reflect various female entertainers of similar vein, often reminiscent of the likes of Britney Spears, Madonna and Amy Winehouse.[18] Simon Price from The Independent heard characteristics of Boney M in the chorus, and stated that the first line of the song, "I want your ugly, I want your disease", established the grim tone of The Fame Monster.[19]

The lyrics address aspects of a bad relationship, but also reference fashion in the line, "Walk, walk fashion baby, Work it move that bitch crazy."[2][20] In an interview, Gaga pointed out that in the verse, "I want your psycho, your vertigo shtick, Want you in my Rear Window, Baby, you're sick", she was listing Alfred Hitchcock films; she said, "What I'm really trying to say is I want the deepest, darkest, sickest parts of you that you are afraid to share with anyone because I love you that much."[21]

Critical reception[edit]

Gaga performing "Bad Romance" on ArtRave: The Artpop Ball in a rave-inspired costume

"Bad Romance" was widely acclaimed by critics. In a 2011 review for the song, Rolling Stone declared it the best song in Gaga's discography. Epitomizing the "essence of Gagaism", the publication was enamored by the song's "relentlessly" catchy chorus and "pummeling" beat, which reflected a track that was "grand", "joyful" and "melancholy".[22] Kaufman, while applauding the drastic transition into a bombastic "Erasure-esque throb during the chorus", felt that the instant catch that was apparent in her earlier singles was absent in "Bad Romance".[4] Kitty Empire of The Guardian argued that instances such as this established Gaga as a figure comparable to Madonna.[23]

Referring to her emerging popularity, Jon Dolan from Rolling Stone notes that "Bad Romance" makes the singer's name a "Teutonic chant".[24] A columnist from the aforementioned publication, Daniel Kreps, while writing about the song's initial leak, felt that the song was comparable to "Poker Face" and was not on a par with her other singles.[20] Christopher John Farley from The Wall Street Journal praised the "Jabberwockian" catchiness of the hook,[25] while Michael Hubbard from MusicOMH opined that the chorus of the song was Gaga's best yet.[26] Pitchfork Media placed "Bad Romance" at number 39 in its top 100 tracks of 2009, saying that it was "epic in construction",[27] and Edna Gundersen of USA Today commented that the song was a "ferocious club thumper" that possessed a "sordid underbelly".[28] The Boston Public Health Commission rated "Bad Romance" as number 10 on its list of "Top 10 List of Songs with Unhealthy Relationship Ingredients".[29]

Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times wrote about the lead single's "turbocharged Euro-soul",[30] while BBC critic Paul Lester summed up "Bad Romance" as a song with "cheesy rave synths, the now typically Gaga stomping beat and a controversy-lite lyric."[31] Monica Herrera from Billboard, while saying that it was not as catchy as Gaga's previous efforts, commended the track's "wicked sex appeal",[32] and Jon Blistein from L Magazine wrote about the organization of the song. He felt that "Bad Romance" "[revelled] in the nightmare it tries to create with Hitchcock references and somber vocals", but lacked cohesion, that it was an amalgamation of "Cher song", "faux-European accented verse", "power disco chorus" and "bland spoken-word bridge".[33]

Chart performance[edit]

A blond woman in white pants and black bustier stands inside a number of metallic circular rings. She holds a microphone to her mouth with her left hand and her right hand makes a claw like gesture, the woman is flanked by men and women in white dress and fierce expressions with their eyes being white in color.
Gaga, surrounded by her dancers, performing "Bad Romance" on the revamped Monster Ball show, after crawling out of a gyroscope.

In the United States, "Bad Romance" debuted at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 14, 2009, making it Gaga's highest debuting song on the chart at the time. It sold 143,000 paid digital downloads in its first week,[34] after two weeks the song moved from number 11 to number two, which became its peak. It held the spot for seven non-consecutive weeks, held out of the top spot by "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys and "Tik Tok" by Kesha. The movement to the runner-up spot was first spurred by a 49% digital gain, which took the song to the top of the Hot Digital Songs chart, selling 209,000 digital copies that week.[35] "Bad Romance" became Gaga's third-highest peaking song on the Hot 100, behind "Just Dance" and "Poker Face".[35] As of April 2016, "Bad Romance" had sold 5,600,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan,[36] making Gaga the second artist in digital history to have three singles—along with "Just Dance" and "Poker Face"—pass the five million mark in digital sales.[37][38] After RIAA started including video streams in their tabulation of the single certifications, "Bad Romance" was certified 11× platinum for eleven million in total of sales and streaming.[39] "Bad Romance" debuted on the Pop Songs chart at number 38[40] and moved to the number one position, making it Gaga's fifth consecutive number one single on the chart.[41] The same week it also topped the Hot Dance Club Songs chart.[41] According to Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, "Bad Romance" set the record for most weekly plays in the 17-year history of the Pop Songs chart, registering 10,859 plays from 130 radio stations monitored for the chart, the record was broken the following week by Kesha, with her debut song "Tik Tok".[42][43] Following Gaga's Super Bowl LI halftime show performance, "Bad Romance" re-entered the Hot 100 at number 50, while at number 9 on Digital Song Sales.[44]

The song debuted at number 16 on the ARIA Singles Chart in Australia and at number 33 on the RIANZ Singles Chart in New Zealand,[45][46] the next week, "Bad Romance" was the greatest gainer on the Australian chart, rising to number three. In its seventh week on the chart, the song peaked at number two in Australia and at number three in New Zealand,[45][46] the song was certified quadruple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of 280,000 copies of the single.[47] On October 29, 2009, "Bad Romance" debuted on the Irish Singles Chart at number 20; it reached the top in its seventh week.[48][49] On the Canadian Hot 100, "Bad Romance" debuted at number 58,[50] the following week it reached number one, making it Gaga's third song to top the Canadian chart.[51] After being replaced by "Tik Tok" for two weeks, "Bad Romance" again claimed the top spot on the chart.[52] Music Canada certified "Bad Romance" septuple platinum, denoting shipments of 560,000 copies.[53]

After its release in the United Kingdom, "Bad Romance" debuted at number 14 on the UK Singles Chart;[54] in December 2009, the song reached the top spot with 72,919 copies sold,[55] making it Gaga's third UK number-one single.[56] She became the first female in British chart history to have three number-one singles in one year.[57] Two weeks later, in the first week of 2010, "Bad Romance" returned to the number one spot, making her only the second female artist of the 21st century to have two separate runs at the top spot.[56] "Bad Romance" attained platinum certification by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), for selling 600,000 copies of the single.[58] It has sold 1.045 million copies and has been streamed 7.53 million times.[59] The release of her single "Applause" in August 2013 prompted an increase in sales of "Bad Romance", pushing it across the one million sales threshold in the UK, thus making Lady Gaga one of only 17 artists ever to have had a single in the UK that has reached more than one million sales;[60][61] in Sweden, the song debuted at number three and after two weeks reached the top of the chart.[62] Across Europe, the song reached number 1 in Greece and stayed for 7 weeks, also topped the charts in Austria, Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland,[63] on the European Hot 100 Singles chart, "Bad Romance" spent two weeks at number one.[64] According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the song sold 9.7 million copies worldwide in 2010, and went on to sell 12 million in total, thus becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.[65][66]

Music video[edit]

Development[edit]

During an interview with Rolling Stone, Gaga confirmed that film director Francis Lawrence had directed the music video for "Bad Romance" and that she was impressed with the final version,[67] she explained, "I knew [Lawrence's] ability as a director is so much higher than what I could [do]."[68] Her creative team Haus of Gaga managed the art direction,[67] and the final video premiered on November 10, 2009. Gaga described her experience of working with Lawrence:

I wanted somebody with a tremendous understanding of how to make a pop video, because my biggest challenge working with directors is that I am the director and I write the treatments and I get the fashion and I decide what it's about and it's very hard to find directors that will relinquish any sort of input from the artist. ... But Francis and I worked together. ... It was collaborative. He's a really pop video director and a filmmaker, he did I Am Legend and I'm a huge Will Smith fan, so I knew he could execute the video in a way that I could give him all my weirdest, most psychotic ideas ... But it would come across to and be relevant to the public.[68]

The concept of the music video was a joint collaboration between Gaga and Lawrence.[69] Originally, the video was going to be shot in New York City, with more elaborate sets, including sets outdoors,[69] the idea was scrapped, however, for budgetary reasons: the budget for the video was low and there was no product placement.[69] Because of Gaga's schedule, the video was shot in Los Angeles over a two-day period.[69] Lawrence described Gaga's work ethic and creativity during the video shoot: "She loves the art form of music videos and she is a real creative partner and has great ideas and really cool and unique tastes, she has a great team working with her as well, helping build really fantastic things that she wears. She works hard, she shows up on time and she's pretty spontaneous ... it was great ... if she had a new song and wanted to do something, I would do it in a second. She was really fun to work with."[69]

Gaga created a pair of razor-blade sunglasses—which she believed portrayed tough female spirit—to wear in the video, explaining "I wanted to design a pair for some of the toughest chicks and some of my girlfriends ... they used to keep razor blades in the side of their mouths ... That tough female spirit is something that I want to project. It's meant to be, 'This is my shield, this is my weapon, this is my inner sense of fame, this is my monster.'"[68] Gaga also said that the video shows "how the entertainment industry can, in a metaphorical way, simulate human trafficking - products being sold, the woman perceived as a commodity."[70] The white latex suits in the video were inspired by the wolf costume from the film Where the Wild Things Are.[71] Gaga also wore designer Alexander McQueen's 12-inch (300 mm) high shoes[72] and the famous "Alien" shoes.[73]

Synopsis[edit]

Gaga's choreography from "Bad Romance" drew comparisons to the choreography from Michael Jackson's Thriller.

The main idea behind the video is that of Gaga getting kidnapped by a group of supermodels who drug her and then sell her off to the Russian mafia for a million rubles, it takes place in a fluorescent white bathhouse.[68][74] The video begins with Gaga sitting on a white throne in a brightly-lit white room, the scene shows her wearing the razor-blade glasses and surrounded by people and a harlequin Great Dane. She has her finger on the mute button of an iPod speaker, and as she releases it, "Bad Romance" begins to play and a dimly-lit bathhouse is shown. A bright light pans across the walls, activating fluorescent lighting, which shines through a sign reading "Bath Haus of GaGa", as the first hook of the song begins, a group of female dancers wearing white long-sleeved leotards with knee-high boots and matching crowns crawl out of white, coffin-like pods. The center pod has "Mons†er" written on it, and Gaga emerges wearing an outfit similar to those worn by the others, who begin to dance behind her. A pastiche of ensuing scenes alternates between Gaga singing to herself in front of a mirror and lying in a bathtub.

When the chorus of the song begins, two women pull Gaga out of the bathtub, rip her top clothing off and force her to drink a glass of vodka, as the second verse begins, Gaga, wearing a diamond-covered outfit topped with a crown, seductively dances for a group of men bidding for her. She straddles one of the men, played by Slovenian model Jurij Bradač,[75] and performs a lap dance for him. Afterwards, the man raises his bid and becomes the highest bidder for her. When the chorus is played for the third time, Gaga is shown wearing a faux-polar bear hide jacket, she walks towards the man, who is sitting on a bed and unbuttoning his shirt, while drinking a glass of vodka. Gaga has a look of indifference on her face and removes her jacket and sunglasses. Suddenly, the bed spontaneously combusts with the man still sitting on it, and Gaga sings in a sinister way in front of the flames, the video ends with her lying beside a smoldering skeleton, on top of the destroyed bed, covered in ashes. With soot smeared across her body, she calmly smokes a cigarette while her pyrotechnic bra activates.

Reception[edit]

Upon its release, the video received general acclaim from critics and fans,[73] and in 2010 it became the most-viewed video in YouTube history, up to that point.[76] Tim Stack from Entertainment Weekly called the video "amazing" and added, "I don't think Gaga has ever looked prettier than in the close-ups where she's more stripped down."[77] Jennifer Cady of E! was also impressed by the video and commented, "This music video really makes us appreciate everything Gaga actually brings to pop music. She's exciting to watch, plain and simple. ... We need someone like Gaga to really bring it. To put actual thought and care into her product so that it feels alive".[78] Issie Lapowsky of New York Daily News thought Gaga laid the "theatrics on thick" in the video but complimented her for wearing minimal makeup, calling it "refreshingly normal".[79] Todd Martens of the Los Angeles Times said that the video brought back his faith in performance art, and that "Gaga brings enough [drama] on her own, thank you very much."[80] He also thought the set for the video "worthy of a feature-length film". Daniel Kreps from Rolling Stone felt that the scenes from the music video were reminiscent of the work of Stanley Kubrick, he added that in "Bad Romance" Gaga portrays her craziest ideas yet.[81]

Jocelyn Vena from MTV believed that the video was symbolic and portrayed how "the old Gaga is over, here's the brand-new Gaga: the one who seems to delight in pushing the boundaries and exploring all manner of sexual proclivities", she further believed that the video was a testament to Gaga's brilliance "as an artist that uses the video art form as the jump-off point for the next leg of their career".[82] In 2011, Claire Suddath of Time said that although later Gaga videos were more elaborate, "Bad Romance" was Gaga at her best;[83] in Lady Gaga: Behind the Fame, Emily Herbert drew comparisons between the underlying theme of the video and the theme of The Fame Monster—the relationship with fame.[73] She wrote, "Was this the price that Gaga had to pay for the fame she so desired? Did she feel as if she'd had to prostitute herself in some way? The themes were all based around sex, decadence, and corruption; alcohol and even cigarettes, twenty-first century society's biggest no-no, were present, and so by implication ... drugs."[73] The Wall Street Journal noted Gaga as one of the few pop stars of the present time who really understood spectacle, fashion, shock, choreography—all the things that Madonna and Michael Jackson were masters of in the 1980s.[25]

The video and its choreography also drew many comparisons with the music video of Michael Jackson's Thriller, both having robotic, zombie-like arm movements and morbid themes. Tim Stack from Entertainment Weekly compared some of the dance choreography of the video with the choreography in "Thriller".[77] Issie Lapowsky of New York Daily News compared the pods in the video with coffins and called the dance "zombie-like"; Gaga "[took] a page from Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video", she said.[79] Los Angeles Times said the video had some "twitchy, 'Thriller'-like dance moves",[80] while The Wall Street Journal compared the shock art of "Bad Romance" with the shock art of Michael Jackson during the 1980s.[25] Evan Sawdey of PopMatters also compared the video with "Thriller", but was not sure whether Gaga was deliberately paying homage to it, or this was "just another excuse for Gaga to wear the mostweirdass outfits ever designed by mankind".[84]

Accolades[edit]

Rolling Stone ranked the song at number nine on its list of the "25 Best Songs of 2009",[85] and on February 13, 2011, the single won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.[86] In 2015, Billboard named the song as "The Biggest Hot 100 Hit to Peak at No. 2", describing it as a "modern classic".[87] The review aggregate website Acclaimed Music currently has it listed as the 13th best song of 2009 based upon various year end lists by mainstream critics.[88]

On August 3, 2010, the music video received 10 nominations at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, in the categories of Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Special Effects, Best Choreography, Best Direction, Best Dance Video, Best Pop Video, Best Female Video and Video of the Year, tying with Peter Gabriel's song "Sledgehammer" for the record of most nominations for a single video in the history of the MTV Video Music Award. The video went on to win seven of the categories,[89] it also won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.[86] In 2011, "Bad Romance" was voted the best video of the 2000s (decade) by readers of Billboard, narrowly beating Britney Spears's "Toxic".[90] Time magazine also included "Bad Romance" on its list of best music videos since the 1980s.[83]

Live performances[edit]

Gaga opening her 2011 Good Morning America set with "Bad Romance"

A portion of the song was performed on Saturday Night Live on October 3, 2009. Gaga wore a complex outfit called "The Orb", designed by Nasir Mazhar and her creative team Haus of Gaga.[6] Described by Gaga as a "fashion installation", it consisted of concentric metallic rings that revolved around her, after finishing her performance of "LoveGame", Gaga sat at her piano and played an acoustic version of the chorus of "Bad Romance".[4][91] She performed the song on the TV show Gossip Girl, during the episode called "The Last Days of Disco Stick",[92] the performance took place at a private show arranged by Blair Waldorf, one of the characters from Gossip Girl.[93] In an interview with MTV, Gaga explained that the decision to perform on the show was inspired by her sister, she stated that she did not want the performance to be out of tune with the storyline of the show, so she worked with the scriptwriters to incorporate it into the plot. The performance included many ladders, symbolizing bad luck, and featured Gaga wearing a 35-foot (11 m) long dress.[94] According to the show's executive producer Stephanie Savage, the song incorporated a few Gossip Girl-specific lyrics,[92] the performance began with Gaga emerging from two giant doors wearing a large red gown. She climbed up a ladder, from where she sang parts of the song, and her male dancers danced around the ladder as she continued to sing.[95]

"Bad Romance" was also performed at the 2009 American Music Awards, where she coupled it with "Speechless" from The Fame Monster. Gaga was dressed in a flesh-colored bodysuit wrapped with white piping and embedded with flashing lights, imitating ribs and a spine, the performance started with "Bad Romance", with Gaga dancing around the stage and ultimately breaking open a glass door with the microphone stand.[96] It was performed on The Jay Leno Show, where Gaga wore a pair of black sunglasses and a black jacket with shoulder pads that extended above her head, her male back-up dancers were dressed in black suits and S&M-inspired headgear.[97] Both "Bad Romance" and "Speechless" were performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on November 25, 2009.[98] Gaga performed "Bad Romance" on the British TV show The X Factor on December 6, 2009,[99] the performance there had her singing inside a 4-m long bathtub and playing the piano while sitting on a toilet.[100] "Bad Romance" was performed as the last song of Gaga's The Monster Ball Tour. Wearing an 1980s-inspired white power suit with exaggerated high shoulders and high-waisted pants, she performed the song while standing in a human-sized gyroscope.[101][102]

Gaga and her dancers performing "Bad Romance" during the Born This Way Ball tour, 2012

On January 15, 2010, Gaga performed "Bad Romance" as part of a three-song medley on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Gaga was dressed in a metallic jacket and had spikes in her hair, and she carried a spiked ball dangling from a chain held in her hand.[103] "Bad Romance" was also performed at NBC's Today Show, along with "Alejandro", "Teeth" and her later 2011 single called "You and I".[104] In May 2011, Gaga performed the song during Radio 1's Big Weekend in Carlisle, Cumbria,[105] she also performed "Bad Romance" on Good Morning America as a part of their "Summer Concert Series". It was the opening song of the show. Gaga entered the stage flying on a harness and stretching out her hands towards the audience, as steam billowed from center-stage. Once the song started her dancers removed the white cape she was wearing, to reveal her in red fishnet stockings with black felt pieces, a red leotard and black lace boots.[106]

The song was added to the set list for Gaga's 2012 Born This Way Ball, the performance featured the original choreography, with Gaga wearing a white, ram-style outfit designed by Haus of Gaga. During the European leg of the tour, Gaga began the performance in an egg-shaped container reminiscent of the one that she emerged from at the 53rd Grammy Awards;[107] in 2014, "Bad Romance" was included on the setlist of her show at South by Southwest, where she performed it in a country version,[108] and performed it during her residency show, Lady Gaga Live at Roseland Ballroom, while strapping on a rose-covered keytar.[109] In the same year, Gaga performed the song on her ArtRave: The Artpop Ball tour, in a neon anime inspired dress;[110] in July 2016, Gaga performed it in a piano medley along with "You and I" and the Beatles' "Come Together" at the "Camden Rising" concert at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey, which was part of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.[111]

Lady Gaga closed her set at the Super Bowl LI halftime show with "Bad Romance", wearing a silver, sequined Versace outfit with a shoulder pad-inspired jacket and hot pants.[112] "Bad Romance" was performed alongside "Poker Face" as an encore during both weekends that Gaga headlined Coachella in 2017.[113] The song is part of the set-list of the Joanne World Tour (2017-8), where she performs it wearing a white origami-like jacket and a crystal embellished bodysuit with a matching white feathery masquerade mask and Giuseppe Zanotti booties,[114][115] she also performed the song in a piano-only rendition at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, before the world premier of her documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two.[116] In the film, a scene of Gaga performing "Bad Romance" in the Rainbow Room, in celebration of Tony Bennett's 90th birthday, was also included.[117]

Cover versions[edit]

On March 14, 2010, Marco Hietala from Nightwish covered the song on the Finnish choir-singing TV show Kuorosota.[118] Hayley Williams, the lead singer from the band Paramore, covered a piano version of the song and posted it on her Twitter page on March 28, 2010.[119][120] On March 29, 2010, Thirty Seconds to Mars covered the song in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge,[121][122] the cover was later released as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of the band's album This Is War and reached number 11 on the UK Rock Chart.[123] Glee performed it during one of its episodes titled "Theatricality", as a group number for which the actors donned Lady Gaga outfits. When glee club New Directions member Rachel Berry discovers that rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline are planning to perform a Lady Gaga number at Regionals, the character Will (Matthew Morrison) sets the club a Gaga assignment. The girls and Kurt then create costumes inspired by Gaga and perform "Bad Romance",[124] the version sold 48,000 digital downloads according to Nielsen Soundscan, and entered the Billboard Hot 100 at 54, staying on the chart for one week.[125]

Singer Lissie posted a cover of the song on YouTube, her version of "Bad Romance" received praise from filmmaker David Lynch[126] and The Washington Post writer David Malitz, who included it on "Click Track – Singles Files", the newspaper's weekly playlist.[127] The Grandmono Orchestra also covered the song, with Dutch singer Caro Emerald, on June 1, 2011, this was included as a bonus track on Caro's debut album, Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor, and has received many positive criticisms.[128] Singer Lulu and actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. performed a version of "Bad Romance" as a duet during the August 5, 2011 episode of Chris Moyles' Quiz Night on Channel 4 in the UK.[129] The song was covered with lyric changes by Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Chipettes in the 2011 film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and features on its soundtrack.[130] At the 46th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards, Linda Perry sang the song in a slowed down rendition, before Tony Bennett present the Contemporary Icon Award to Gaga.[131] In 2015, actress Meryl Streep recorded the song for her film, Ricki and the Flash.[132]

The song was briefly played on violin by Geoffrey Rush, portraying Albert Einstein in a promo for the National Geographic Channel historical anthology series Genius. The ad aired during Super Bowl LI, immediately following Lady Gaga's halftime performance.[133][134] Brazilian singer Luiza Possi covered "Bad Romance" in May 2017 during Domingão do Faustão,[135] she later sang it during the encore of a show in tribute to singer Michael Jackson, whick took place in July 2017.[136]

Postmodern Jukebox's 2015 cover done in a 1920s The Great Gatsby-inspired style has amassed more than 17 million views on YouTube. Singer Ariana Savalas fronts the group, with tapdancer Sarah Reich providing percussion and dance steps.[137]

Track listings[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Recording and management
Personnel

Credits adapted from The Fame Monster album liner notes.[2]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[47] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Belgium (BEA)[233] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[53] 7× Platinum 560,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[234] Platinum 15,000^
France (SNEP)[235] Platinum 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[236] Platinum 300,000^
Italy (FIMI)[237] 2× Platinum 60,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[238] Platinum 250,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[239] 2× Platinum 30,000*
Russia (NFPF)[240] Gold 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[241] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Sweden (GLF)[242] 2× Platinum 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[243] Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[58] Platinum 1,045,372[59]
United States (RIAA)[39] 11× Platinum 5,600,000[36]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format
France[244] October 23, 2009 Digital download
Ireland[245]
United Kingdom[246] October 25, 2009
United States[247] October 26, 2009
Finland[248] October 27, 2009
Germany[249]
Norway[250]
Spain[251]
Sweden[248]
United Kingdom[252] November 23, 2009 CD single
Australia[253] November 27, 2009
United States[144] December 22, 2009 The Remixes – Digital download
United States[144][254] January 12, 2010 The Remixes – CD single
France[255] January 18, 2010 CD single
United States[145] February 9, 2010 The Remixes Part 2 – Digital download

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]