The melody of the song resembles much of the musical works of Bruce Springsteen, and contains several qualities similar to that of electro rock and synthpop musical works. It is notable for the incorporation of a saxophone solo, performed by saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who was a prominent member of The E Street Band shortly before his death. Contemporary critics praised "The Edge of Glory", with many deeming the song as an album highlight. Much of the praise went to the song's chorus and the musical production. Critics also complimented Gaga's vocals, describing it as "soulful". The song charted on the top-ten in several major music markets, including Canada, Belgium, Norway, Spain, and New Zealand. In the United States, it debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Gaga's tenth consecutive top-ten single in the United States.
Lady Gaga "The Edge Of Glory" Song
A music video for the song was filmed in late May, co-directed by Gaga and the Haus of Gaga. The video is notably simplistic in contrast to much of Gaga's previous work. Such dramatic differences include the lack of intricate choreography, lack of back-up dancers, and the use of only one outfit designed by Versace. Critics commended the simplicity of the video, while several music critics went on to compare the music video of "The Edge of Glory" with the works of Michael Jackson and Madonna, notably "Billie Jean" and "Papa Don't Preach", respectively. "The Edge of Glory" was written by Lady Gaga, Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow, and it was produced by Gaga and Garibay. The origins of the song first came about in January 2011, when Gaga teased the fans with a preview of the lyrics. Stephen Hill, the Music Programming VP of BET, later followed suit in regards to the song in the form of a tweet. Hill regarded the song as "crazy" and "phenomenal" when first heard. More information in regards to "The Edge of Glory" was revealed by Gaga, in an interview with Google. She stated that the song is "about your last moment on earth, the moment of truth, the moment before you leave earth." In the same interview Gaga stated that she wrote "The Edge of Glory" after the death of her grandfather.
The resulting video is considerably more simplistic than Gaga's previous work. Her wardrobe throughout the entire video primarily consists of only one outfit which was designed by Versace, and only adding a few accessories depending on where she was in the video. Also notable is the absence of back-up dancers, elaborate choreography, or a symbolic plot: components that have all been predominant in Gaga's other music videos. Aside from Gaga herself, Clarence Clemons is the only other person to appear in the video. It begins with Lady Gaga slowly appearing from behind a building on a deserted street corner in New York City, while a bright pink smoke obscures the city background. When the first verse of the song begins, Gaga emerges from a bright pink-lit window of an apartment onto the fire escape while smoke begins to billow out of the window. The video is mostly interchanging shots of Gaga dancing and singing on the street, on the fire escape, and on the steps in front of the apartment building with Clarence Clemons. Near the end of the video, after Clemons's saxophone solo, Gaga crouches in front of the building's steps and kisses the sidewalk. The video concludes with Gaga reentering the window into her smokey apartment.
Entertainment Weekly described the video as a "one-woman ‘80s revue" and expressed surprise at the "relatively small, but perhaps more intimate, scope of [Gaga's] vision". They considered that the video contained references to Michael Jackson and Madonna and concluded that "all the references in “The Edge of Glory” are so overt, there’s no way it could be shameless cribbing. It has to be a winking homage to the artists, songs, and videos that meant a lot to Gaga growing up—like a college-student who brings his action figures to his dorm." MTV News compared the video to "Papa Don't Preach" and "Billie Jean," and complimented the simplicity of the video, opposed to her previous ones. "Edge' is little more than five-and-a-half minutes of classic pop, brimming with imagery, style (and moves) that could've been lifted from millions of videos in the pop heyday of the 1980s." MTV also made similarities between the video and the musicals Rent and West Side Story.
Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine gave the video a positive review, calling it a "visual triumph," with "breathtaking" art direction, and a "gray-blue-black color palette carefully calibrated by Gaga's vibrant lipstick and nail polish, a red painted stripe on the curb, and the gold of her jewelry and the studs on her leather, not to mention Clarence Clemons's brass." The video was compared to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," Janet Jackson's "When I Think of You," and "The Pleasure Principle," as well as Crimes of Passion, all iconic 1980s videos and films. He did, however, criticize Gaga's "half-convincing" lip-synching, which "adds to the proceedings' deliberate air of artifice." Sarah Anne Hughes of The Washington Post called the video "shockingly simple...a solo Gaga dances up and down a fire escape and a city street. And that’s pretty much it. No egg. No meat dress. No live birth to a gold liquid."
Rolling Stone gave a mixed review of the video, calling the song "over-the-top" with a "lackluster" and "understated" video. The magazine complimented the 1980s visual feel to the video, but criticized that "there's not much more to the video [besides from the 1980s, New York scenery], which spends far too much time lingering on shots of Gaga dancing around on a fire escape and prancing down the street." Clarence Clemons's limited role in the video was also criticized, especially since "Gaga and her fans clearly love Clemons." Peter Robinson of Popjustice gave the video a negative review, stating that it was "complete shit" and that "we just need to accept that Gaga has released an awful video." Dose magazine's Leah Collins was more neutral in her review, questioning if Gaga was simply "swooning with nostalgia for other pop culture nuggets that have featured the same NYC backdrop of fire escapes and brown-stone steps" or just attempting to "be saving a metric buttload on the budget."