100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #40: “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga

From a bad guy to a bad romance, the business of love can be a treacherous minefield. The song at #40 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga. At the dawn of the 2010s, Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) was already an international star, thanks to the success of her debut album The Fame, which launched her career like a shot from a cannon. Two singles from the album – “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” were both huge worldwide hits, topping the charts in the U.S. and many countries.

In late 2009, she followed up with Fame Monster, released as both a stand-alone EP and as a deluxe reissue of The Fame, which included two discs, one consisting of the eight new tracks, and the other consisting of the original tracks from The Fame. One of the new tracks was “Bad Romance”, which I think is her best song ever. The unusual melody and song structure are interesting and fairly complex, featuring elements of German-esque house and techno that Gaga described as being experimental pop. But whatever it’s called, it’s absolutely brilliant and gloriously cinematic, with a larger-than-life quality befitting her own persona.

The lyrics address aspects of a bad relationship and her poor choice in men, specifically, of being attracted to men with whom romance never works, and falling in love with your best friend. In an MTV interview, she stated that in the verse, “I want your psycho, your vertigo shtick, Want you in my rear window, baby, you’re sick“, she used Alfred Hitchcock film titles to express that she wanted “the deepest, darkest, sickest parts of you that you are afraid to share with anyone because I love you that much.”

The stylish and surreal video for “Bad Romance” has garnered nearly 1.3 billion views.

Top 50 Songs of 2010

In 2010, a wide range of established rock artists, including Eminem, Train, John Mayer, Lifehouse, Weezer, Muse, Cage the Elephant, Phoenix, Three Days Grace, and Alice in Chains produced great songs. New artist Ke$ha had one of the biggest hits of the year with “Tik Tok,” her irresistibly fun “let’s get drunk and party” song. Lady Gaga was back in full force with her album “Fame Monster,” a collection of songs that dealt with the dark side of fame and doomed relationships, including the brilliant “Bad Romance,” easily her best song. And jazz-pop singer Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” was a guilty pleasure and a delightful throwback to the 60s. The Script, The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Mike Posner, Neon Trees, and American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert all scored their first major hits. Another newcomer was the incredibly talented Bruno Mars, whose collaborations with R&B/hip-hop artists Travie McCoy and B.o.B. gave us a taste of some great music to come from him.

My pick for best song of 2010 is Country pop band Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” an achingly beautiful song of loneliness and longing.

1. NEED YOU NOW – Lady Antebellum

2. HEY, SOUL SISTER – Train
3. TIK TOK – Ke$ha
4. BREAKEVEN – The Script
5. BAD ROMANCE – Lady Gaga
6. HEARTBREAK WARFARE – John Mayer
7. RESISTANCE – Muse
8. HAVEN’T MET YOU YET – Michael Buble
9. LAY ME DOWN – The Dirty Heads featuring Rome Ramirez
10. TIGHTEN UP – The Black Keys
11. TEENAGE DREAM – Katy Perry
12. ALL THE RIGHT MOVES – OneRepublic
13. HALF OF MY HEART – John Mayer featuring Taylor Swift
14. COOLER THAN ME – Mike Posner
15. TELEPHONE – Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce
16. LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE – Eminem featuring Rihanna
17. 1901 – Phoenix
18. ANIMAL – Neon Trees
19. SECRETS – OneRepublic
20. BREAK YOUR HEART – Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris
21. UPRISING – Muse
22. MISERY – Maroon 5
23. (IF YOU’RE WONDERING IF I WANT YOU TO) I WANT YOU TO – Weezer
24. NOT AFRAID – Eminem
25. KINGS AND QUEENS – 30 Seconds to Mars
26. BACK AGAINST THE WALL – Cage the Elephant
27. BREAK – Three Days Grace
28. YOUR DECISION – Alice in Chains
29. LISZTOMANIA – Phoenix
30. LIFE AFTER YOU – Daughtry
31. IF YOU ONLY KNEW – Shinedown
32. IN ONE EAR – Cage the Elephant
33. WHATAYA WANT FROM ME – Adam Lambert
34. DYNAMITE – Taio Cruz
35. DJ GOT US FALLIN’ IN LOVE – Usher featuring Pitbull
36. NOTHIN’ ON YOU – B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars
37. JUST A DREAM – Nelly
38. SAVIOR – Rise Against
39. ALEJANDRO – Lady Gaga
40. BULLETPROOF – La Roux
41. SOMEDAY – Rob Thomas
42. IMPOSSIBLE – Anberlin
43. HALFWAY GONE – Lifehouse
44. UNDO IT – Carrie Underwood
45. LITTLE LION MAN – Mumford & Sons
46. YOUR LOVE IS MY DRUG – Ke$ha
47. YOUNG FOREVER – Jay-Z featuring Mr. Hudson
48. IMPOSSIBLE – Shontelle
49. MY BEST THEORY – Jimmy Eat World
50. BILLIONAIRE – Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars

Top 50 Songs of 2011

2011 saw the release of two incredible albums by two of my favorite artists, Adele’s epic masterpiece “21” and Foster the People’s debut album “Torches.” The best song of the year is without doubt “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele’s triumphant song of betrayal, heartbreak and ultimate survival. Foster the People have three songs in my top 10, beginning with “Pumped Up Kicks,” with it’s dark message sharply contrasting with a peppy upbeat melody.

Here are my Top 50 favorite songs of 2011:

1. ROLLING IN THE DEEP – Adele

2. PUMPED UP KICKS – Foster the People
3. MOVES LIKE JAGGER – Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
4. STEREO HEARTS – Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine
5. READY TO GO – Panic! At the Disco
6. RAISE YOUR GLASS – P!nk
7. HOUDINI – Foster the People
8. HELENA BEAT – Foster the People
9. SOMEONE LIKE YOU – Adele
10. FIREWORK – Katy Perry
11. PERFECT – P!nk
12. EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL – Coldplay
13. ADOLESCENTS – Incubus
14. PARTY ROCK ANTHEM – LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
15. CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT – Foster the People
16. HOWLIN’ FOR YOU – The Black Keys
17. GOOD LIFE – OneRepublic
18. SHAKE ME DOWN – Cage the Elephant
19. MONEYGRABBER – Fitz & the Tantrums
20. ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD – Rihanna
21. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE – Bruno Mars
22. JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH – The Black-Eyed Peas
23. FOR THE FIRST TIME – The Script
24. BORN THIS WAY – Lady Gaga
25. MY BODY – Young the Giant
26. THE LAZY SONG – Bruno Mars
27. GIVE ME EVERYTHING – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afro jack & Nayer
28. GRENADE – Bruno Mars
29. WHAT’S MY NAME? – Rihanna featuring Drake
30. TONIGHT, TONIGHT – Hot Chelle Rae
31. THE CAVE – Mumford & Sons
32. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP – Andy Grammer
33. WALK – Foo Fighters
34. WAITING FOR THE END – Linkin Park
35. RHYTHM OF LOVE – Plain White T’s
36. DON’T YOU WANNA STAY – Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
37. DON’T GOTTA WORK IT OUT – Fitz & the Tantrums
38. THE ADVENTURES OF RAIN DANCE MAGGIE – Red Hot Chili Peppers
39. DOG DAYS ARE OVER – Florence + the Machine
40. THE SOUND OF WINTER – Bush
41. THE EDGE OF GLORY – Lady Gaga
42. YOU AND I – Lady Gaga
43. LAST FRIDAY NIGHT (T.G.I.F.) – Katy Perry
44. UNDISCLOSED DESIRES – Muse
45. YOU ARE A TOURIST – Death Cab for Cutie
46. IF I DIE YOUNG – The Band Perry
47. NOTHING – The Script
48. WITHOUT YOU – David Guetta featuring Usher
49. JUST A KISS – Lady Antebellum
50. NEVER GONNA LEAVE THIS BED – Maroon 5