Daft Punk cemented their status as dance-music demigods on Sunday when their fourth album, Random Access Memories, shot to No 1 of the UK album chart, becoming the fastest-selling album this year.
The French electronic duo’s fourth studio album shifted 165,000 copies during its first week and is thought to be outselling the rest of the top 10 combined. The album’s lead anthem, “Get Lucky”, featuring N.E.R.D’s Pharrell Williams and Chic’s Nile Rodgers, has already spent four weeks at No 1.
As well as beating the likes of David Bowie and Justin Timberlake, the album has smashed the previous record set by Michael Bublé, whose album, To Be Loved, clocked 121,000 sales last month.
Daft Punk’s latest triumph marks something of a turnaround for the helmet-headed duo whose last album eight years ago failed to produce a single top-10 hit. But Daft Punk appears to have caught the zeitgeist with critics pronouncing it “disco’s renaissance”. The album’s 13 songs, many modelled on the easygoing groove of late-1970s pop and disco, have been enough to resonate among a generation of new listeners.
That became more evident last night as it emerged that the album was on track to have the biggest first week of streaming in the digital music service Spotify’s history. It has already set records for the most-streamed first days in the US, UK, France, Norway, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico.
Nick Coleman, a music critic, said: “Disco has become fashionable again and Daft Punk is leading that revival with a fresh, sparkly and chic sound rewritten for the 21st century. It has all the inbuilt virtues of sounds crafted between 1974 and the end of the decade: infectious tunes, an inbuilt bass line, thumping energy and arrangements played by humans.
“After 20 years of mechanised beats, their music is sounding fresh and exciting. In the climate where pop has no centre ground, provinces are being reinvestigated and right now, it just happens to be the turn of disco.”
“Get Lucky”, the single that propelled Daft Punk to the top of the chart for four weeks, was knocked off the top spot by “La La La”, by Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith. That single clocked up sales of over 145,000 copies during its first calendar week on sale, according to the Official Chart Company. The artist, real name Shahid Khan, has worked with the likes of Cheryl Cole, Leona Lewis and Professor Green.
- KUNAL DUTTA