By now, you've undoubtedly heard the amazingly power ballady and accidentally epic Lady Gaga track "The Edge Of Glory," which also means you've already channeled your inner Kelly McGillis with us. Now, I know that the song's about her late grandfather, and I'm in no way trying to make light of that. But there are SO many allusions and references and SAX parts that I do have to talk about that. Because "The Edge Of Glory" is one of those songs whose whole is way greater than the sum of its parts. So grab your huge remote control, pause Teen Witch for a second and get off your Swatch phone (because you KNOW you're on the phone AND watching a movie at the same time -- DUH). We're deep-diving into the bag of Wild 'N Mild Fritos and deconstructing the song to find all of the '80s and '90s monster tracks Gaga's new song alludes to that all equal one big, huge song that could have rolled over the closing credits of Thelma & Louise instead of that "Thunderbird" instrumental thingie that Hans Zimmer dreamed up. So many little musical gems, little monsters. Here goes!
Celine Dion, "To Love You More": All right, so first and foremost you canNOT listen to "The Edge Of Glory" without hearing Celine Dion's "To Love You More." This song represents the best of '90s power ballads: soaring vocals, power belting, a duet with a VIOLIN??? Are you KIDDING me?? Celine is the O.G. alien, right? There is no way anyone who hits those high notes while pounding her chest and making scary faces could be human. Also, listen to the Tony Moran remix -- think Whitney Houston Thunderpuss (yes, THUNDERpuss) remixes from the same era. You will hear what I mean.
Pat Benatar, "We Belong": When "The Edge Of Glory" starts out, you almost hear a little Pat Benatar "We Belong" in there, sweardahGOD. That thumping bass line? It's a classic trick that propels the song forward, makes it sound so urgent, so... EPIC!
Boy Meets Girl, "Waiting For A Star To Fall": There are tons of examples of sax solos in the '80s and 90's, and even some sax solos done only on synthesizers (hayyy alliteration). But Boy Meets Girl's "Waiting For A Star To Fall" is your ultimate reference point for the proverbial, obligatory '80s sax solo. Skip to 2:37 and drink in the amazingness.
Steve Winwood, "Valerie": OK, there is no doubt that Mother Monster reminisced with a few Steve Winwood songs before she recorded "The Edge Of Glory." But "Valerie" is so VERY (to quote my favorite '80s movie, Heathers). It has an AMAZING synth solo -- funny how it's also around 2:40. Soo good..
Roxette, "Dangerous": Ooh boy. Swedish rock-pop band Roxette was one of the definitive bands of the late '80s and early '90s. I never really knew anyone who bought their music, but if one of their songs came on the radio, everyone knew every word. The accent, the tight pants, the red lips, the sexy bleach-blonde hair... it all works SO WELL together. But the main takeaway from "Dangerous" is Marie Fredriksson's (she actually had a name, and it wasn't Roxette) gravelly sweet voice.
So there you have it. Some of my favorite '80s and '90s references I hear in Lady Gaga's pop-rock spiked sugar bomb explosion that is "The Edge Of Glory." What do you think of the song and its references? Amiright?