In this article I will rank in order the Top 5 Best Daft Punk Albums. I will not include remixes, live performances or soundtracks, with one notable exclusion: Alive 2007. I have decided not to include Alive 1997 as the album is technically incomplete, missing the full set from the Daftendirektour. I feel it would not be fair to rank an incomplete work or excerpt from a live show as it were in this case.
Daft Punk are one of my all-time favourite bands and I believe they need no introduction. If you’re reading this, then you most likely already know who they are. With a big collection of hits, five Grammy Awards, and over 7 million albums sold world-wide, Daft Punk are mainstream global success. Any Dance/House/EDM track you’ve listened to in the past twenty years, can most likely trace its roots or influence back to them. As someone who grew up listening to their music, (sometimes without actually realising it) they shaped my preference for music and what I enjoy listening to now.
I first discovered Daft Punk from Television. As a child, everyday afterschool I would often watch anime cartoons on Cartoon Network. They had a programming block called: Toonami. The block was hosted by a CGI animated Robot and they would show action/anime cartoons, review video games, and occasionally have artists/music videos on the programme. Daft Punk was one the bands they had on the show. Here are a few examples (However I would much later realise that my first Daft Punk experience was even before this).
5. Human After All Album Review
Human After All was a very misunderstood album. Upon purchasing it, I was expecting more dance/house type of music. Something Daft Punk had pioneered and had crafted uniquely. Well, I was wrong. I think a lot of us were. By the year 2005 most people had categorized Daft Punk into a certain kind of genre. In my opinion this was them deliberately saying they will not be defined so easily. With rumours the album was only created in 2 weeks and the repetitive nature of it, the album didn’t seem like it would be destined to become a classic.
Thomas Bangalter stated “we felt like the third album was about this feeling of either fear or paranoia… [The record is] not something intended to make you feel good”. At the time I didn’t understand this… I was wanting Discovery again. Upon listening back to it, it’s become clearer to me that Daft Punk was making a statement about technology and the media, and its role in our environment. These cold, electrical, mechanical machines/devices that we use to function in our everyday lives have become unavoidable now. Instead of communicating to one another Face to Face, we could all do it digitally. In a way we are dependent upon them, and I think they were expressing that in this album.
I have ranked this at Number 5 in the Best Daft Punk Albums, not because it is the worst one, but rather it being the darkest album. It is still very much worth listening to again, especially in the current age of Social Media (or what I like to call The Brainwasher). Something that this album has predicted, arguably.
4. Homework Album Review
I had stated earlier that I had discovered Daft Punk from television, well that wasn’t quite correct. Many years earlier as a young child, I heard Around the World playing on a local radio station. At the time I had no idea it was Daft Punk, but the catchy bass line was stuck in my head for months. It wasn’t until much later in my life, through the Internet and searching about Daft Punk, I realised I loved this band before I even knew them.
Homework is the first Album from Daft Punk. They had created some rare demos and unofficial tracks in the past and had remixed songs, but this was their big launch on an official record label. There are lot of good tracks in here (Da Funk, Rollin’ & Scratchin’, Revolution 909 and Alive being a few great examples) but there are equally some included that are just silly in all honesty.
I have given this the Number 4 slot on the Best Daft Punk Albums rankings, because it is a pivotal album that lets you hear the Daft Punk sound being crafted. You can hear their styles and sense of humour in the tracks. It also had a big influence on the house genre and the French house scene itself. You might say they were totally Fresh.
3. Random Access Memories Album Review
While not being my favorite album, this is one that I keep coming back to. It’s grown on me significantly since it was released in 2013. Waiting for this album to release was like waiting for Aliens to make Contact… something that just seems impossible.
With Random Access Memories, Daft Punk created their own style of tribute, to music from the 70’s/80’s Disco scene. Going as far as to collaborate with artists who helped define music from that generation. While I myself may not be able to relate to music from that era, (also not being Alive at the time) I can still respect the work that carried us forward to where we are today. Daft Punk showcased what influenced their music with this Album.
It’s at Number 3 spot in the Best Daft Punk Albums, not their best album for me, but well worthy of recognition. This album is one biggest digital selling albums of all-time, a winner of 5 Grammy awards and a contender for other award nominations, all of it is deservedly so. Daft Punk were definitely Doin’ it Right.
2. Alive 2007 Album Review
When I laid out the rules earlier in the article, I said I wouldn’t include Live Performances with one notable exception… so why I did include this Non-Studio Album? Why did I make a special rule for this particular work? Why not include the others? Because this album breaks the rules, this is their best live performance and this is the ultimate Daft Punk celebration.
Alive 2007 was essentially a playlist of every Daft Punk studio album up until this point. However it wasn’t just a collection of tracks, it was a complete audio/visual production. They played in a big pyramid that synced up with the music, displayed text/images and even instructed the audience to participate, to make them a part of the performance too.
I have listened to this Album more times than I could possibly count. It easily earns the Number 2 position on the Best Daft Punk Albums list. I wish I could have seen it live, as I feel it was a “once in a generation” type of experience. Working a poor paying part time job, and studying at the time, just didn’t make it possible. Going through recorded phone footage of the event, just doesn’t do it justice. In many ways I feel this is the end of an era for Daft Punk. They managed to include all three Studio Albums in a significant way, and even make Human After All seem like a classic work (let’s be honest they all are). I would give it Number 1 but, I feel that none of this would be possible without the following album.
1. Discovery Album Review
My first Daft Punk Album. My favourite Daft Punk Album. The first album I had ever listened through entirely, and then listened to it One More Time all the way through again. The album I can always put on and immediately be put into a good mood. This is what made me love them and this entire genre of music.
Discovery encompasses all different kinds of music into its tracks, and playfully bounces and shifts through them without feeling dis-jointed or going on for Too Long. It is upbeat and happy when it needs to be (One More Time, Crescendolls, Superheros, High Life) but also moodier and emotional when it needs to be, (Something About Us, Veridis Quo, Digital Love). It just all works together in a way that I really can’t describe. The Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem anime is a perfect companion piece to the album, and I highly recommend checking it out. It tells a story through animation and music, which is really unique and interesting idea.
This is the Best Daft Punk Album to me. I will never grow tired of it, and it is a complete and utter classic in my opinion. It is Number 1 without question in my mind. Will it ever be topped? Who knows? If anyone could surprise us though, it would be Daft Punk!
Do you feel the same way? Do you share similar feelings? Do you disagree with me? Let your thoughts and your rankings be seen in the comments below!
My name is Rob, and I’m a music/technology enthusiast. I love Dance/Electronic Music and many of its genres! I’ve even attempted making my own Amateur Music in the past, with often hilarious results. Some of my favourite bands would include: Daft Punk, The Prodigy, Deadmau5 (To name just a few, otherwise this list would never end). I build PC’s for myself and friends when money/time allows and enjoy keeping up with the latest in technology. Grew up in the United States, currently residing in Australia.