After making two convoluted, high-price, mini-movie-style music videos for songs from her latest album Born This Way, Lady Gaga has actually gone -- gasp! -- low-key for third clip "The Edge of Glory," which premiered in part last night on So You Think You Can Dance. The pop star simply sings and dances on the stoop and fire escape of a (fake) old New York City tenement apartment building on an extraordinarily foggy night alongside the E Street Band's Clarence Clemons, the saxophone legend who suffered a stroke earlier this week. There are no elaborate costumes, dramatic plots, or explosive pyrotechnics -- there isn't even a giant literal edge, which is a huge bummer -- but it appears that's because most of the fireworks went on behind the scenes.
Online chatter about who sculpted the vision for this video indicates the making of the clip was all edge and very little glory. On June 7th, Idolator picked up a story from fansite GagaDaily reporting accomplished director Joseph Kahn was going to oversee the video. The original post on GagaDaily has been removed, however, and on June 15th Kahn tweeted, "I did NOT direct Lady Gaga's 'Edge of Glory' video. Lady Gaga did." When the video premiered last night, Lady Gaga didn't take the credit, though -- "Directed By Haus of Gaga," she tweeted -- and one of her closest collaborators, choreographer Laurieann Gibson, put some distance between herself and the finished product, too, tweeting, "The EOG.. Video was not directed by me." That's a lot of buck-passing for one little five-minute video.
According to a casting notice spotted by E! in late May, Gaga was originally trying to fill several roles for the "Edge" video, including a "Puerto Rican or Dominican type badass ... willing to kiss Lady Gaga... Think Enrique Iglesias," male "Couture Doctors" who would be dressed in white smocks and black gloves ("Think Dr. 90210"), a TV reporter, and military men carrying M16 rifles.
Somewhere along the line, Gaga ditched the big concept and went with an idea more in line with the song's retro '80s aesthetic. (If the video looks familiar, you probably used to watch a lot of MTV between 1983 and 1987.) The final version has a charming Flashdance quality -- it's simple but striking, a love letter to New York and the spirit of letting a song take over your soul in the vein of dancing-on-my-own clips like Robyn's new "Call Your Girlfriend" or Madonna's "Give It 2 Me."
Our quibble: why so few shots of Clarence Clemons? His sax solo starts at the 3:03 mark, but after 3:08 the camera cuts away to Lady Gaga dancing (and, we must point out, fist-pumping like a Jersey Shore star) until 3:40, where we get a split-second glimpse of Clarence on the stoop. Out of his 47-second sax solo, Clemons scores a mere six seconds of solo screen time, which is simply not enough Big Man.
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- Lady Gaga
- Clarence Clemons