Daft Punk is a French electronic music duo consisting of musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. Daft Punk reached significant popularity in the late 1990s house movement in France and met with continued success in the years following, combining elements of house with synthpop. The duo’s songs are considered essential in the French house scene. The group was managed from 1996 to 2008 by Pedro Winter (Busy P), the head of Ed Banger Records. Early in the group’s career, the band members were influenced by groups including The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones.
Daft Punk seem like improbable inclusions on this list, that’s only because they’re not strictly DJs. Extremely sporadic appearances aside, the French duo barely even played a live show this side of 2013, with their much hoped-for festival gigs (particularly at Coachella and Glastonbury) ultimately failing to materialise. Even so, it’s testament to Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter’s unwavering popularity that they continue to make an impression in the Top 100, and even by their own lofty standards, they still enjoyed a pretty spectacular past year.
2013, of course, was the year when Daft Punk’s popularity — quite aptly in their case — reached stratospheric levels. Much of that was attributable to the success of ‘Random Access Memories’, their fourth studio album proper (not including the Tron Legacy soundtrack) that was finally unleashed on the world back in May.
While the LP’s accompanying reviews veered between the inspired to the mundane, it still made use of one of the most inspired marketing campaigns in recent musical history (the public were drip-fed tidbits of music samples and information from as far back as 2008), and — for the most part at least — it also had the goods to back up such grandiose promotion, with its lead single, ‘Get Lucky’, very much indicative of the fact.
The track (a bonafide pop gem that married the brilliance of Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams), soon became the feel-good, crossover anthem of summer 2013, and it’s only in the past few weeks that the recent hysteria surrounding the duo has begun to subside. Even so, the facts speak for themselves: 7.3 million copies sold, Top 10 in over 32 countries, 200 million YouTube plays.
And that’s just some of the statistics surrounding ‘Get Lucky’, never mind ‘Random Access Memories’. The smart money would be on the duo touring in 2014, but as always with Daft Punk, they’re sure to keep us guessing for some time yet. What is indisputable, however, is their continuing influence on the electronic music scene. And for that reason alone, they’re more than deserving of their spot in the Top 100.