Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” Music Video: OPEN THREAD

Lady Gaga emailed me today to tell me about the release of her “The Edge of Glory” music video. I wasn’t expecting it — there was no hype, really — and then suddenly here’s Lady Gaga in this video! I wonder if they just ran out of of money and were like, “Listen Stef, I’m sorry, but just put on this outfit (from the late Gianni Versace’s last collection, according to World Renowned Stylist Sara Medd) and be brillant.”

The set instantly brings me back to Michael Jackson’s “Black & White.” It’s just Lady Gaga, dancing. Like they used to do in the ’80s/’90s before music videos had plots and shit. I was wondering if something was gonna happen and then I realized, nope, the only thing that’s gonna occur is this dude’s saxophone solo. I was expecting Paula Abdul to jump out at any moment.

If you wanna know what my recurring Gaga dreams are like, its basically like this. Except I follow her into her bedroom at the end, duh.


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Cofounder and Design Director of Autostraddle. Professional web/graphic designer. Whiskey enthusiast. Drumming hobbyist. A past speaker at the 2010 BlogHer Conference ("Good Blog Design: The Role of Layout in an Online Medium"), 2013 Salon LGBTQ Conference ("Innovative Best Practices for Brand-Blogger Campaigns") and featured in the Los Angeles Edition of Refinery29's 30 Under 30 in 2013. Co-owns and manages Tully's Training, a dog training company in Los Angeles. Twitter: @a_ex Instagram: alexxxvegaaa

Alex has written 100 articles for us.


  1. I have mixed emotions about this video. I like the fact that the video was solely focused on her and there weren’t any flashing lights and dancers. But also I didn’t like the fact that the entire video was basically two scenes. Fire escape, sidewalk, fire escape, sidewalk. I’ll just stick with Judas.

  2. Guys, I was so upset when I sat through almost all of SYTYCD to see this, and then they CUT IT OFF with commercals before it was over. #firstworldproblems

  3. Even after reading your comment, I still found myself looking for something to happen. Or like the guy playing the sax man to be the Sexy Sax guy…

  4. This makes me strangely happy.

    Also, the fist bumping in the saxophone solo? It made me realise that that’s how I imagine you dancing sometimes, a;ex. Till that moment, I never even consciously had that though.

  5. According to random folks on my Twitter feed, 2/3rds of the video was cut because of “creative differences” with the director.

    I like it. Gaga looks great, especially her hair! It feels just like you said; a throwback to the early days of MTV or something.

  6. I have mixed feelings too. Like Sara said, I like that it was just focused on her, because it stripped away any of the extra stuff that might distract from the point of the video…but on the other hand I’m not ENTIRELY sure what the point of the video was.

    My gut reaction was that with this interpretation, the entire song is about masturbation, because that’s what the video sort of was: Gaga masturbating in front of a camera. I think that’s both good and bad, because if that’s really what the point of it was, then it totally came across. I saw this because there were only a few scenes, and they all had Gaga, but it felt like different personae of Gaga, rather than the same one. Being able to dance alone like that and be totally comfortable is dancing by yourself, but another way of putting it is dancing ‘with’ yourself, in other words masturbating.

    This is from watching it a total of ONE times though, so this is just a gut reaction. *lol*

      • i seriously thought that’s what the whole song was about! and then i read mkr’s post and i don’t know what emotion to insert

    • I’m pretty sure I read an interview in which she states it was inspired by her grandfather and his death. And now after reading about the creative differences that may have caused the majority of this video to be canned, that might explain some of the flatness of this video and Po’s response below about it not being bare bones enough if it’s going to be in that direction.

      I like the song, I liked Judas too. And I like that she didn’t make a follow up album trying to duplicate fame/monster even if some songs may not be as catchy. And thanks for this A;ex, I was dreading this morning in terms of going to very stressful workplace, it helped.

  7. I think she looked amazing, first of all. And her dancing made me really happy. But Lady Gaga videos have established themselves as iconic, I think, and this just doesn’t measure up at all – and it’s not bare-bones enough to be like “making a statement” about the video just focusing on her as a singer. And I love this song! It could have been so good! I’m kind of really disappointed.

    Also side note, her dancing on the fire escape scenario reminds me of Rent a little bit.

    • Yes, Rent. But then, Marry the Night’s bridge reminds me of the bridge in Out Tonight, so maybe I’m just a little too familiar with Rent for my own good.

    • Oh my god I was wondering if anyone else was reminded me of Rent. Certain parts also reminded me of the scene in Fame when everyone is dancing in the street/on cars.

      • YES is it weird that i’ve never seen fame but when she was dancing around that telephone pole thingy i was like, “this is soooo fame.” but then i wasn’t sure if it was, or just my projection of fame lol

    • haha i thought the whole thing was a shout out to Out Tonight, it’s just so similar to what I remember seeing on stage…

    • word, the entire time i was like, ‘CAT SCRATCH CLUBBBBBB WHERE’S THE CAT SCRATCH CLUBBBBB’

  8. thought 1: i’m pretty sure that is the set from sesame street.

    thought 2: lady gaga looks like riese’s doppleganger here, not that i’m complaining.

    • i also was thinking she looked like riese! but i’m not sure if the pic of riese in my head is what riese really looks like exactly. so. i’m glad this is verified by a third party

      • I also thought she looks like Riese from the Hav and Riese vlog days, short haircut period. I am embarrassed that I know this. Probably Gaga also watched those and took notes, though.

    • Get out of my brain! Sesame Street and Riese were my only two lingering thoughts at the end.

  9. While watching this video I did the following:

    -Put it on mute because I do not care for this song
    -Played Fall out Boy “Sugar, We’re going down swinging”(don’t judge)
    -Been drinking

    I did this and for some reason this is the best thing I have done in the past two days.

  10. Of all her videos, this one feels the most personal. Probably because it’s mostly just her. But at the same time, also because of where she is… It feels like the set is a throwback to where she grew up, in NYC. I like it for its simplicity. And I like the fact that she seems to do whatever the featherduster she wants. She does her.

    • I’m co-opting “featherduster” as a part of the workplace-appropriate version of my normal vocabulary. Thank you.

    • Perfect. Both the response and the baller replacement expletive. This video felt deeply intimate, like she was looking right at me. Plus it had plenty of t&a, so that was a huge bonus ;)

  11. Guys, that dude who plays the saxo is Clarence Clemons, who had a stroke recently. No one mentioned him, so I thought I should do it myself. lol

    About the video, it’s VERY 80’s, isn’t it? It goes with the song, which is very 80’s too. BUT I kinda expected more… The song is so fucking inspiring, so powerful, that maybe the video is too simple for it. I understand why she chose to keep it simple, though. Sometimes, simplicity is what conveys expressiveness better, right? ;-)

    The visuals are beautiful, she looks amazing, and then there’s Clarence too… But I don’t know, she could have kept it simple and make it more epic at the same time.

    There has been a HUGE fight between Laurieann Gibson and Little Monsters on Twitter. It seems that Gaga fired Khan (the director) and decided to go solo. Laurieann provided the coreography for the first version, but Gaga didn’t use it. Laurieann seems very bitter over that fact, and she’s actually throwing nasty comments about Lady Gaga. Of course, she’s also attacking Little Monsters. I think that behavior is really unprofessional, but oh well… Laurie has never been very professional, has she?

    Does someone remember if Gibson had his title as Creative Director of the Haus of Gaga on his Twitter profile? Because I seem to recall she had it, but now it’s gone. I personally think Gaga fired her, but who knows…

    • I had no idea that there was all this drama.
      No wonder that the video is poorly made. There are shadows on the wall, the lip synch is weird, seems like there’s no real choreography…
      I wish she had just expanded on the Google chrome concept and mixed more videos of Little Monsters singing Edge of Glory with this “Gaga strutting around the NYC Set” footage.

      • I also think the google chrome ad was soo much better–and I never thing about videos for more than a short time, and that one keeps coming up in my head. Gaga needs her fans so much, and so her tribute to them made more sense than this apparently botched tribute to Clarence Clemmons and the E Street band/Born in the USA Era/80s Music Scene sort of reference. Too bad. Not to spoil A;ex’s fantasy or anything…

    • APPARENTLY the original concept involved mermaids, and when things went to shit, all the footage they had to work with was this. At least that’s what it sounds like.

      • Some other collaborator said in Twitter that they shooted the mermaid footage first, then the one of Gaga alone, and then Gaga fired everyone and erased the mermaid stuff. Don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what that man said.

    • I’m glad you mentioned that the Sax player had a stroke as they had mentioned on SYTYCD. Hoping he is resting a recovering well. I think it’s kind of nice to see a stripped down music video from Gaga that isn’t full of inuendo and crazy concepts that result in a bit of a “mind fuck” at first before you work it out in your head. Anywho, I always love Gaga no matter what comes out of her creative, artistic mind.

      • They say it was touch and go for a while, but he’s better now. I hope he gets well soon… He has a hell of a recovery ahead of him, though… :-(

    • Ugh, thank you, I was getting all depressed at the comments referring to “the sax guy”. IT’S THE BIG MAN, WHY IS EVERYONE SO DETERMINED TO MAKE ME SAD, I HAVE TO GO LOOK AT THE PICTURES OF HIM AND BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN KISSING ONSTAGE TO CALM DOWN.

      …it’s possible I am as irrationally overinvested in the E Street Band as my ex is in Gaga, so.

      • “it’s possible I am as irrationally overinvested in the E Street Band”

        omg…we should be friends!

  12. Glad to see that Gaga finally came up with something simple but I think that the Google Chrome commercial is a much better video for “The Edfe of Glory” than the official one.

    • Yeah, the Google Chrome commercial gave me chills… That was amazing, and so inspiring. Like the song. ;-)

      • Totally. I just went on YouTube to see what you guys were talking about, and I love love love that concept way more. So many of the little monsters made me smile because they’ve got passion in their dance. I didn’t feel that “oomf” with Gaga in the actual video.

  13. The “sax guy” is Clarence Clemons – a very famous sax player, Springsteen’s sax player and he had a stroke about a week ago. That’s actually him in the video as well as playing on the song.

    Most of you are too young to know that so I thought I’d give you a little musical history so you know he’s not some random sax dude and very New York.

      • Aww, don’t worry, it happens to me too.

        By the way, I’m pretty young (23), and I knew about Bruce, the E Street Band and the Big Man. I don’t think it’s a matter of youth, just of musical preferences. ;-)

        Random thought: My favourite Bruce song is Thunder Road. :-D Sorry, I had to say it. lol

        • 24 y/o massive Bruce & E Street fan here. I’m pretty sure that at least 85% of the reason this is the only time I’ve loved a Gaga song without drunkenly dancing to it in a gay bar (yet) is because I knew Clarence was going to be playing on it.(Also, Thunder Road is phenomenal. Some of the live recordings of it from 1975 are actually The Best Thing.)

    • I totally knew that but had some sort of mental block while making my comment. I hope he’s doing better.

  14. I got bored about 50 seconds in and opened other tabs, before realizing that I was supposed to bet watching the video in order to adequately comment. This happened about four times. Maybe it’s 2 am talking, but I was just bored. I’m all for simplicity, but this just… didn’t work for me.

  15. Basically I loved every single moment of it. I’m with you, Alex. You and me.. we get it.

    (I do not get tired of that song. I just don’t.)

  16. I liked this a hundred times more than Judas.
    Also, I want what she’s wearing, an outside stairway and a saxophone. Thank you.

  17. I’ve had a thing for them Lower East Side fire escapes ever since I saw Rent. I’d also now like a pink lightbulb and a smoke machine in my bedroom so I could perform the Lady Gaga seductive window emerge.

    My one improvement is that at the end I think she should jump off the railings and explode into magic Gaga glitter.

  18. Love this song and video! The music is so 80’s, yet the vocals are so now. I mean, since when so we still use saxophone in pop music? Oh yeah, since Clarence Clemons played sax for Springsteen haha.

    When I first heard the song, my head exploded a little, then I fell in love. Anyone getting down on this video for low production values isn’t understanding the 80’s vibe correctly. 80’s videos were a ridiculous hot mess. There were tons of videos where people would walk city streets that were obviously left over sets from some movie or tv show.

    For someone so young, Gaga has an amazing understanding of music and video. I’m really impressed with her this time around.

    • Clarence Clemons was still playing with Bruce and the E Street Band. ;-) He “didn’t play” for Springsteen (as in past tense), he was still playing for him prior the stroke. ;-)

    • Saxophone is legitimately making a comeback as a pop instrument. No joke. It makes me afraid, very afraid.

        • No, I agree. As a former member of the ‘saxophone section’ in marching band (I played mellophone, which is a totally different story) I have a healthy respect for it.

          I’m mostly afraid of what it means for the future of music. Are we truly destined to relive the 80s all over again? And does that mean that we’re going to back to the 90s? Are parachute pants going to be a thing again?

          I just feel that the sax is just a leading indicator of all of this..

  19. I actually really liked the simplicity of it.
    Plus stepping out on to her balcony to have a little dance by herself seems like something Lady Gaga would genuinely do ‘in real life’.

  20. That was so underwhelming…I’m disappointed.

    What Gaga’s doing in the video hardly counts as “dancing”. Lying on the ground with one’s back arched, climbing up a fire escape route, and gyrating one’s pelvis against a wall do not a dancer make. Gaga isn’t a strong enough dancer to release a video focusing solely on her “dance moves”.

    Oh well. Is there going to be a music video for “Hair”?

  21. Huh. Well, this wasn’t what I envisioned for this song. I expected more fist-pumping, but that may be because that’s the only dance move I have for this one.

    Plus, why did she kiss the ground? I mean, really?

  22. I saw Mimi Marquez in this video! “OUUUUUTTTTT TONIGHT!” Both such sexy women :)

  23. Not available in Germany. Poop. :( FOR THIS REASON ONLY, NOW I WANT TO GO BACK TO AMERICA.

    Just kidding, not really. #deutschlandmachtspaß

  24. I kinda like that I don’t have to analyse this video into a thousand different theories.
    Clear the slate and start again Gaga – I’m right behind you.

  25. i was all “meh” at first, but honestly? totally about private fire escape dance parties, so i’m pretty much fine with it.

  26. Am I the only one that thought it somewhat resembled Rents – Take Me Out Tonight sequence with Mimi? Interesting…

  27. Come on, you guys!

    This video clearly picks up where Judas left off. She was obviously wearing this outfit under her big white dress, her eye liner just got smudged into one set of lines instead of two (like her love for Judas and Jesus combining), and someone cut her hair while she was passed out on the street corner.

    It is now night and Mary Magdalene is “On the Edge of Glory,” thinking about whether or not she deserves to be in Heaven. The sax player has taken over the role as keeper of the gate, chillin’ on the stairway to Heaven, and Jesus is inside in his Judas hot tub, lettin’ all the steam out the window. Gaga has to find a back way in because the gatekeeper won’t let her in no matter how many times she kneels before him.

    I mean, seriously, 4:07, she goes into a perfect S Curve crucifixion pose, reminiscent of the great masters Giotto and Cimabue.

    And if you’re saying, “But El, in the beginning, Gaga is clearly leaving your so-called Hot Tub Heaven,” then let me say to you: Have you learned nothing from Judas? Fire escape Gaga is clearly the continuing symbolic representation of the side of Gaga still in love with Judas.

    I mean, seriously, must I explain everything? ;)

  28. I think it’s pretty clear that this is about an apartment building called Glory and the consequences of an unattended stove fire.

  29. Definitely reminds me of “Out Tonight.” Now to figure out where I placed that DVD… Serious RENT craving happening now, thanks GaGa.

  30. I kinda….love it? I don’t know why. I just started dancing. What is this power she has over me.

  31. My first response was “Booooring.” But then I found myself going back to watch it again. And again. There’s something mesmerizing about it, and I definitely appreciate the simplicity.

    My interpretation: Gaga sort of recreating/reliving her life before success, hanging out on the balcony outside of her old apartment in NYC. She was on the “Edge of Glory” – right before her career took off. I think the kissing the ground moment is showing her love for New York, which she has expressed over and over again, and maybe appreciating where she has come from?

  32. Oh my God… Big Man Clarence Clemons (the man that plays the saxo in the song/video) just died… His last live performance was with Gaga at the American Idol finale, the last song he recorded was The Edge of Glory, and the last images we have of him are those in the video.
    He just went over the edge of glory.
    R.I.P., Clarence. You’ll be missed.

  33. this video is so fucking horrible. if she wants us to watch her dance she should learn how to. like, is this on loop? it feels like it’s on loop.

    love this song, though.

  34. this is how this just went down:

    me-“Hey jess, new lady gaga video”
    jess-“ok” *pauses family guy*
    me-“she looks kinda like a dominatrix, yeah?”
    me-“like, i kinda want her to tie me to this couch and have her way with me”

    and then I enjoyed the rest of the video watching lady gaga dance all hot and stuff. and i was trying to figure out if that’s a square on her face and why. and how to do this cruella hair thing.

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