Aren’t pop stars supposed to be sweet? Britney, Christina and Katy just wanted to love and be loved by you. Even Madonna’s early work was largely about thanking her lucky stars and wanting to dress you up in her love. But Gaga doesn’t want any of that. On the lead single from her second album, The Fame Monster, she pines for a destructive relationship that she knows will end in disaster. (Or, according to the music video, a singed bed and a corpse. Either/or.) She will play mind games. She will use you. “Bad Romance” is an infectiously catchy dance song about all of the crazy, messed-up feelings people have for one another.
(Browse the All-TIME 100 Songs and more than 100 other pop culture lists on TIME’s Populist iPad app)
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