195. Daft Punk – ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ (2001)

“Our work is never over”

Taken from the album Discovery

Also released on Daft Club, Musique: Vol. 1 1993-2005 and Alive 2007

UK #25, AUS #43

The best Daft Punk song builds on everything that makes them great: interesting and unpredictable samples, relentless beats, and that feeling of euphoria. Euphoria really sums up Daft Punk for me, even on sad songs like ‘Digital Love’ they still have that sense that everything is better than alright. If they ever release some sort of comprehensive box set or whatever it should definitely be called Euphoria: The Definitive Daft Punk.

‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ twists and turns and jumps and flips between the beats and the vocals, like a machine that has been given the elixir of life and become overtly animated. The lyric are chopped and simple but take us on a journey, eventually evolving as the words become more powerful and the lyrics become more involved. The band like to pretend there is nothing human about them (well they did until Human After All) but the need and feeling of freedom that comes with dance is a most human pursuit indeed.

The song was sort of an underground dance anthem until 2007, when two seperate releases brought the song crashing into the mainstream. First of all, Kanye West sampled the track liberally for his massive hit ‘Stronger’, which was basically Kanye rapping over the original song. On top of this, the live version of ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ from the live album Alive 2007 was released a single and also became a hit – quite annoyingly winning the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording over four amazing records that were actually from the past year: ‘Disturbia’, ‘Give It 2 Me’, ‘Black And Gold’ and ‘Ready For The Floor’. ‘Just Dance’ was also nominated. But I guess that’s another example of Grammy Guilt not awarding an artist back when they really deserved it, and at least it meant ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ got the recognition it deserved.


Alive 2007:

Daft Hands:

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