Lady Gaga’s Worst Music Videos

We all make mistakes. Lady Gaga might be one of the most successful and critically acclaimed pop musicians of the past ten years, but that doesn’t mean that everything she’s released has been brilliant. While she has helped resurrect the music video as an art form, she has occasionally released videos that are either too over-the-top or too low-key for their own good. Let’s look at some of Mother Monster’s more regrettable videos.

Lady Gaga poses for photographers | TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

‘John Wayne’

Lady Gaga in New York City | Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images

Since two of Gaga’s best music videos – “Paparazzi” and “Telephone” – were directed by Swedish filmmaker Jonas Åkerlund, it only made sense for the singer to want to collaborate with him again. Since their previous collaborations were so spectacular, the duo apparently felt the need to outdo themselves for the third video that they made together. The video for “John Wayne” has very little to do with the titular Western star – or anything else. The video’s use of  neon lighting creates a sickly color palette and the choreography in the video looks herky-jerky and unnatural. Maybe that sort of choreography would make sense if she was making a spooky video, like Rihanna’s “Disturbia,” but “John Wayne” is a sexy song designed for the club. Gaga wasn’t trying to be creepy – she just accidentally was. Since Gaga is a style icon, she probably could have come up with a better look than what she wears in the video’s opening scenes. That sun hat/leotard combo strives to be cool and weird, like her famous meat dress, but it just comes across as lazy.

‘The Edge of Glory’

Lady Gaga in Florida | Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Speaking of lazy, how did Lady Gaga managed to create a boring video for one of her best songs? “The Edge of Glory” boasts more depth and grandeur than most Lady Gaga singles, so the hype for its music video was enormous. Gaga responded to that hype by releasing a music video where she… walks around on a sidewalk. Gaga’s more restrained work has its own pleasures, but not here. Did she just run out of money after making the video for “Born This Way?” Was she too busy to schedule a shoot for something a little more complex? Did she just temporarily run out of ideas? The world will never know. Near the end of the clip, the singer kisses the sidewalk, which feels like a last-ditch (and gross) attempt to make the video memorable.

‘G.U.Y.’

Lady Gaga performs onstage | Photo by Barry Brecheisen/WireImage

Now that we’ve just discussed how minimalism can go wrong, let’s discuss how maximalism can go wrong. After the first two singles from Artpop didn’t perform as well as earlier Gaga singles, the singer apparently decided the best thing she could do was make a music video that was so incredibly gaudy that no one could ignore it. The video for “G.U.Y.” is gaudy all right –  and everyone ignored it. If you’re not a hardcore Lady Gaga fan, there’s a good chance you’ve never seen this video – and for good reason. The singer throws everything – absolutely everything – against the wall and none of it sticks. Watch members of a cult revive Lady Gaga in a pool! Watch Gaga and a YouTube celebrity use Minecraft to resurrect Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, John Lennon, and Michael Jackson! Watch Andy Cohen play a Greek god! Watch Gaga wear an outfit made of plastic bubbles that makes her look like a teddy bear! The full clip goes on for 11 interminable minutes that reek of desperation. The commercial failure of this song and the entire Artpop album inspired Gaga to make three albums in a row where she toned down her image and musical style to show off her talent.