With its earworm hook, thumping Europop beat and soaring chorus, Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance is an all-time classic.
But somewhat unbelievably, it’s now been 10 years since it was released here in the UK, at the height of pop’s resurgence in the late noughties.
The track dominated the radio airwaves and charts the world over, and cemented Gaga’s place in music history after she rocketed to fame with her debut album The Fame.
In honour of the song’s milestone anniversary, we’re uncovering all the things you probably never knew about it...
1. There are three Alfred Hitchcock film titles hidden in the lyrics
Gaga name checks three of the iconic British director’s most famous films (Psycho, Vertigo, and Rear Window) in the second verse, with the lyrics “I want your psycho, your vertigo shtick/Want you in my rear window, baby you’re sick”, referencing his films’ fascination with the relationship between sexuality and violence.
It isn’t the only time Gaga has referenced Hitchcock in her career either, as the Born This Way video opens with the theme from Vertigo.
2. That’s not the only apparent film reference Bad Romance makes
It’s been suggested the white latex suits in the video were a nod to the children’s book Where The Wild Things Are, being based on the design of the wolf costume worn by the character Max.
And here was us thinking it was a nod to Bart Simpson.
3. The video was originally going to be very different
We’re all familiar with the narrative of the video, which sees Gaga kidnapped by a group of supermodels who drug her and then sell her off to the Russian mafia for sexual slavery. However, Gaga’s original plans for it were even more OTT.
She had planned to shoot the video outside in New York City, with more elaborate sets, but she was forced to rethink due to budget constraints. It then ended up being shot in Los Angeles over a two-day period squeezed into Gaga’s ridiculously busy schedule.
The Bad Romance video was helmed by Francis Lawrence, while the Haus Of Gaga worked on the various creative elements, including some of the costumes.
In an interview with CBS in 2010, Francis explained why the story had such a high couture aesthetic, saying: “What we wanted to do is not be so literal about the story, but tell it like you would see a story told in an editorial spread in a fashion magazine.”
4. Gaga had an Alexander McQueen exclusive in the video
After Gaga sent late fashion designer Alexander McQueen an early version of Bad Romance to debut during his final runway show, he returned the favour by sending her all of his clothes from the Plato’s Atlantis collection to wear in the video before anyone else.
“They were all so beautiful. We couldn’t believe that he’d sent them to us so that was also a very strong dictator in this video,” she said in a 2015 interview.
Not all of the outfits in the video are McQueen though, but the look Gaga sports as the song builds to its final chorus has the designer written all over.
5. Gaga’s body was digitally edited in various scenes
You might have thought she was wearing contacts in the scene pictured above, but actually Gaga’s eyes were digitally altered to make them look bigger and bolder.
That’s not the only bit of editing to Gaga’s body that took place in the video either, as it was digitally altered to show her spine and decrease the size of her waist in a scene where she is showering.
6. Gaga set a UK chart record when she eventually reached number one
After Bad Romance eventually hit the UK top spot, Gaga became the first solo female artist to have three chart-toppers in a calendar year, with Just Dance and Poker Face also reaching #1 in 2009.
Bad Romance claimed the top spot nearly a month after its release, but was knocked off by Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name after only one week due to a campaign to keep the X Factor winner off the Christmas number one spot.
Joe McElderry’s The Climb claimed the first number one of 2010, with Bad Romance returning to the top spot the week after, where it stayed for another week.
7. Gaga wrote the song while in Norway on her tour bus
She penned it with long-time collaborator and producer RedOne. “I remember me and Gaga in a bus doing Bad Romance,” he said in a BBC interview in 2010. “We did it on a bus, with two pairs of headphones. And as soon as I heard that ‘woah-oh-oh-oh-oaahhh’ from the intro, I could just see a whole stadium singing it.”
Gaga had been inspired after spending a lot of time in Eastern Europe while on tour.
She said in an interview with Grazia India in 2010: “There is this amazing German house-techno music, so I wanted to make a pop experimental record. I kind of wanted to leave the ’80s a little bit, so the chorus is a ’90s melody, which is what the inspiration was. There was certainly some whisky involved in the writing of the record. It’s about being in love with your best friend.”
8. For a big seller, it’s notably absent on end-of-year and end-of-decade charts
While it has sold over 1 million copies in the UK overall, due to its end-of-year and end-of-decade release date, it features low down on the best-selling singles of 2009 and 2010 (#17 and #30 respectively).
It also does not feature on a list of the 40 best-selling songs of the 00s or 10s.
9. Bad Romance has been covered by a heap of stars
Perhaps the most famous cover of Bad Romance came courtesy of 30 Seconds To Mars, who performed it in the Radio 1 Live Lounge in 2010. Hollywood star Joesph Gordon Levitt also did a tongue-in-cheek rock version during a set at Manhattan’s Pianos in 2010.
10. It never hit the top spot in the US
Despite topping the charts in more than 20 countries, one place it didn’t manage it was in Gaga’s home country.
Bad Romance entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #9 upon its release, eventually climbing to #2, which became its peak position.
BONUS! Gaga sings the words ‘bad romance’ a lot
A whopping 28 times, to be precise.