The Fame is Lady Gaga's debut studio album that was released on August 19, 2008 by Interscope Records.
- Just Dance (featuring Colby O'Donis) 4:02
- Lovegame 3:38
- Paparazzi 3:29
- Poker Face 3:59
- Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) 2:57
- Beautiful, Dirty, Rich 2:53
- The Fame 3:43
- Money Honey 2:52
- Starstruck (featuring Space Cowboy and Flo Rida) 3:39
- Boys Boys Boys 3:22
- Paper Gangsta 4:25
- Brown Eyes 4:05
- I Like It Rough 3:24
- Summerboy 4:14
While establishing herself as an artist and working her way up through the New York underground club scene, Lady Gaga released her debut studio album, "The Fame."
Speaking about the title and concept of the album, Gaga explained: "The Fame is about how anyone can feel famous. [...] Pop culture is art. It doesn't make you cool to hate pop culture, so I embraced it and you hear it all over The Fame. But, it's a sharable fame. I want to invite you all to the party. I want people to feel a part of this lifestyle."
Gaga stated in an interview with MTV UK that she had been working on the album for two and a half years and completed half of it during the first week of January 2008.
As well as writing the lyrics, Gaga worked on the melodies and synth work of the album, with record producer RedOne.
According to Gaga, the first track "Just Dance" is a joyous, heart-themed song, which appeals to people going through tough times in their life.
"LoveGame", the second track, was inspired by Gaga's sexual crush on a stranger in a night club to whom she said, "I wanna ride on your disco stick". It was written in four minutes based on the disco stick hook.
"Paparazzi" has been interpreted with different meanings. However, Gaga explained in an interview with About.com, that the song was inspired by her struggles and hunger for fame and love.
Essentially a love song, "Paparazzi" dealt with enticing the media and asked the question, whether one can have both fame and love.
"Poker Face" was inspired by Gaga's boyfriends who enjoyed gambling, and also dealt with her personal experience of bisexuality; her fantasies about women while having sex with men, thus representing her 'poker face'."
"Boys Boys Boys" was inspired by the similarly titled Mötley Crüe song "Girls, Girls, Girls". Gaga explained that she wanted a female version of the song that rockers would like too.
"Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" summed up her time of self-discovery, living in the Lower East Side and dabbling in drugs and the party scene.
"Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" was about breaking up with a boyfriend and finding someone new.
"Brown Eyes" was inspired by the rock band Queen; according to Gaga, is the most vulnerable song on the album.
Gaga further clarified the ideas behind The Fame, and her inspirations and visions for the album. She believed that the most important thing missing from contemporary pop music was the combination of the visual imagery of the artist with the music.
Gaga incorporated theatrics in her live performances of the songs from the album. Hence she hoped that people would take notice of the performance art, which she was trying to bring back with the album and its music; according to her, the music put the lifestyle in front of it.
According to her: "I just feel like this record is really different- you[']ve got club bangers to more 70s glam to more singer-songwriter records to rock music. [...] The Fame is not about who you are—it's about how everybody wants to know who you are! Buy it and listen to it before you go out or in the car. [...] I think you've really got to allow artists' creativity to marinate. It took me a while but really delving into myself I finally got it. I couldn't be more proud of it. It's not just a record[,] it's a whole pop art movement[.] It's not just about one song."
"The Fame" debuted at #17 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 24,000. After fluctuating down the charts, it peaked at #10 on the chart in March of 2009.
It also topped Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums chart, staying in the number-one spot for 108 non-consecutive weeks.
The album was certified 3x platinum by the RIAA in March 2010. By the end of 2009, it became the fifth best-selling album of the year.
"The Fame" received generally positive reviews from music critics.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, it received an average score of 71, based on 13 reviews.
In a five star review for AllMusic, editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the album "music that sounds thickly sexy with its stainless steel synths and dark disco rhythms", and wrote that it is "glorious pop trash and a wicked parody of it."
Nicole Powers of URB complimented its "irony-laden lyrics, delivered in a style that owes a little something to Gwen Stefani," as well as the album's "deluxe ditties".
Mikael Wood of Entertainment Weekly called it "remarkably (and exhaustingly) pure in its vision of a world in which nothing trumps being beautiful, dirty, and rich. In this economy, though, her high-times escapism has its charms".
Alexis Petridis of The Guardian found it "packing an immensely addictive melody or an inescapable hook, virtually everything sounds like another hit single", and predicted that it "certainly sounds like it could be big."
Daniel Brockman from The Boston Phoenix wrote that "Gaga ups the ante in terms of catchy songwriting and sheer high-in-the-club-banging-to-the-beat abandon."
Ben Hogwood of musicOMH praised Gaga's "blend of sassy attitude, metallic beats and sharp, incisive songwriting", elements which he felt are integral to "creating pop music."
Although he panned "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", "Paper Gangsta", and "Brown Eyes", Evan Sawdey of PopMatters called The Fame "a solid dance album" and wrote that "much of the album's success can be attributed to rising club producer RedOne."
Joey Guerra from the Houston Chronicle felt that although the songs present in the album are not innovative, Gaga deserved credit for bringing real dance music to the mass.
Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club felt that the "whole point" of the album is "glitter-laced, dance-inciting energy that bodes well for extended club play".
Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani viewed that Gaga's lyrics veer between "cheap" and "nonsensical drivel", while her singing is "uneven at best". He added that the highlights such as "Poker Face", "Starstruck", "Paper Gangsta", and "Summerboy" rely "almost solely on their snappy production and sing-along hooks."