With Get Lucky at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart this weekend, we look back at Daft Punk’s chart life, and reveal their biggest selling singles.
Formed in 1993, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter originally started life as an outfit called Darlin’ (also featuring Phoenix’ Laurent Brancowitz), and released a couple of tracks on Stereolab’s label Duophonic. After a less than flattering review of a show they played supporting Stereolab, where British music mag Melody Maker claimed Darlin’ played “a daft punky thrash”, inspired, the duo set about changing their name and style and were soon releasing tracks for influential dance label Soma Records.
They had disco nous and the pedigree to back it up as, in the late 1970s, Bangalter’s father, Daniel Vangarde, wrote massive hits for The Gibson Brothers (Cuba), Ottawan (D.I.S.C.O.) and Sheila B Devotion.
Daft Punk first hit the Official Singles Chart properly in 1997 with the release of singles Da Funk/Musique (their fifth biggest selling single to date), Around The World (their second biggest track). The duo’s debut album Homework followed, blending techno, acid and house. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential albums of the period.
During this time, Bangalter released a series of 12”s on his own Roulé label (French for ‘rolled’), by acts such as Together, Romanthony, Roy Davis Jr and Alan Braxe. The most popular of these however was Stardust’s (aka Bangalter and singer Benjamin Diamond) Music Sounds Better With You, which became a massive hit across Europe in Summer 1998, reaching Number 2 here. It has sold over 674,000 copies to date.
By the time they released their second album – 2001’s Discovery – the duo had transformed into their ‘robot’ alter ego, and their sound had taken on a slicker disco sheen. They also scored their biggest hit so far with One More Time, reaching Number 2 in 2000 and selling over 300,000 copies.
|1||ONE MORE TIME||DAFT PUNK|
|2||AROUND THE WORLD||DAFT PUNK|
|3||GET LUCKY||DAFT PUNK FT PHARRELL WILLIAMS|
|4||HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER||DAFT PUNK|
|5||DA FUNK||DAFT PUNK|
|6||DIGITAL LOVE||DAFT PUNK|
|8||ROBOT ROCK||DAFT PUNK|
|10||DA FUNK/MUSIQUE||DAFT PUNK|
© 2013 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
Discovery also made them stars on both sides of the Atlantic with tracks such as Digital Love (their fifth biggest selling single) and Harder Better Faster Stronger (their fourth biggest seller). The duo also created a bespoke website where fans with a – then innovative ‘Daft Card’ could access exclusive mixes, the best of which were compiled on the compilation Daft Club later that year.
The duo also moved into film-making, with Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (produced under the supervision of Manga / anime legend Leiji Matsumoto) and the “arty” affair (ie; plotless and story-free) electroma. The duo also made a brief appearance in the 2010 film Tron Legacy, which they also supplied the soundtrack for.
By 2005, their third album Human After All was released, and it eschewed the sleek synth sounds of Discovery in favour of repetitive and punishing tunes such as Robot Rock (Number 8) and Technologic (Number 6). The album didn’t reach the heights of their previous releases (it peaked at Number 10 on the Official Albums Chart), but worked well live as part of their immense pyramid live show, which toured the world in 2007, and won a Grammy for the accompanying live album, Alive 2007.
Now in 2013, comes Daft Punk’s hotly anticipated fourth studio album, Random Access Memories. It’s been over three years in the making, and features chart legends such as Together in Electric Dreams and I Feel Love producer Giorgio Moroder and Chic’s Nile Rodgers, as well as The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas and N.E.R.D.’s Pharrell Williams. If it follows the success of Get Lucky, it will not only be the band’s first UK Number 1 album, but also the first chart-topping album by a French act too!