With Christmas just around the corner, Lady Gaga’s topping off a stellar year by releasing a glut of merchandise — musical and otherwise — to extract some festive season cash from her Little Monsters.
First up is the release of Gaga’s first official book, the result of a fruitful 10-month collaboration with acclaimed photographer Terry Richardson. It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes of Gaga Inc, with touching, revealing and genuinely funny moments — such as the prolific tweeter checking her mobile phone from inside the egg-shaped ‘vessel’ she arrived in at the Grammy Awards, or Gaga, all dolled up post-show in the back of a limo with a giant glass of white wine in one hand and a big bag of potato chips in the other.
One quibble, though — this 450-image book is completely text-free, and would have benefited from some more words, be they interviews or chapters written by Gaga herself, to anchor and contextualise the snapshots of her rapid rise to fame.
This week also sees the release of Gaga’s much-anticipated first DVD, The Monster Ball Tour At Madison Square Garden. If you saw the Monster Ball live when she toured the show to Australia last year, you’ll know what to expect: a thrilling, theatrical live show that belies the fact Gaga mounted it with only one album and an EP to her name.
The DVD comes with few extras, save for a 12-minute behind-the-scenes video. It’s a great purchase but we’re still waiting for the holy grail in Gaga releases: a DVD collating all of her incredible music videos to date.
Don’t make us wait until next Christmas please, Gaga!
Finally, on CD, this year’s stellar second album Born This Way gets the remix treatment with the hit-and-miss Born This Way: The Remix. The 14-track collection unites some of the coolest names in indie and electro — Goldfrapp, The Horrors and Metronomy among them — but the results vary wildly.
Surprisingly, Goldfrapp’s remix of Judas is so bad as to be almost laughable — they slow down the original so it sounds like some nightmarish Valium dream, Gaga’s vocals blaring out in half-time. Perhaps Alison wanted to play a little joke on Gaga?
Hurts turn in a respectable reworking of the same track, but the biggest tragedy here is that the incredible Royksopp remix of Judas — arguably the best remix of the whole year — is strangely absent.