The Greatest Thing
by Cher

Album: not on an album (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • This duet with Lady Gaga was penned by the "Poker Face" star with her frequent collaborator RedOne during sessions for Born This Way.
  • The song samples German composer Johann Pachelbel's "Canon In D Major." The late 17th century work is amongst the most sampled of all classical pieces. Other pop and rock songs that have borrowed from it include Blues Traveller's "Hook," The Farm's "All Together Now" and Vitamin C's "Graduation (Friends Forever)." Its chord progression has also been adapted in many instances, including in Aerosmith's "Cryin'" and George Martin's baroque piano break for the Beatles' "In My Life."
  • Speaking to MTV News, RedOne said he and Gaga, "recorded the song a few years ago, and we were always in the studio enjoying that song. It's weird we never did anything with it." He went on to explain that his management and Cher's management were trying to get the pair together and he was enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting the iconic singer. When they met he "played her some songs, and I played her 'The Greatest Thing,' and she loved it. She said, 'This is my song,' I said, 'Yes, it's your song.'"

    RedOne informed Gaga and about a month later, he got a text back from her expressing a desire to record a duet version. "I cut the vocals with Cher first, and I was in Madrid and got a text from Gaga saying, 'I'm thinking about jumping on the song in the remix,' " he recalled. "I was like, 'No, you should jump on the original! Make it a duet.' She said, 'Oh yes, OK, absolutely,' and then I spoke to Cher, and it became a party."
  • RedOne described the song to MTV News as "timeless." He explained: "The beautiful thing about this song is, it's very uplifting, very uplifting. It's emotional, but it has dance on it, and it has a dance vibe on . It's just a timeless song. You can play it with the guitar, the piano, with whatever instrument you want. You can sing it a cappella, you know what I mean, it's that kind of song."
  • Originally slated for release in September 2011, the song never saw the light of day and didn't appear on Cher's Closer To The Truth album. It was Gaga's call not to release the song. "It's done and she doesn't like it, or want it to come out," Cher tweeted at the time.

    Speaking to Radio.com in late June 2013, Cher said the song needed updating musically, and that's part of why it wasn't released. "That's a weird one, but also it's the first one I actually recorded [for Closer To The Truth]," the singer said. "I was very excited about it, and I think the music needed to be updated because we did it two years ago. I think maybe that was a problem too, but she sounds great on it."

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