Release date: Nov. 23, 2009
Photography: Hedi Slimane
Art direction: Julian Peploe Studio
Labels: Streamline, Konlive, Cherrytree, Interscope

As conceptual as Gaga got on her debut full-length album, The Fame, she was out to make an even stronger counterpoint with the follow-up EP, The Fame Monster. By the time the EP was released less than a year after the full-length, Gaga's force in the pop marketplace was unmistakable, and yet she still had to fight for the look on the cover of this album—her label thought it was too gothic. Fusing the styling of renowned editor Nicola Formichetti and the unmistakable photography of Hedi Slimane, both covers of The Fame Monster are alluring and gorgeous. "You don't know what pop is, because everyone was telling me I wasn't pop last year," she told Rolling Stone in 2009, "and now look—so don't tell me what pop is, I know what pop is." It is a look that would be followed up by countless artists in the years to come. —Dale Eisinger