“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk
The title of this song (“Get Lucky”), as well as its chorus, will logically lead some to believe that it’s sexual in nature. You see, ‘getting lucky’ is a well-known colloquial term pointing to the idea of engaging in a sensual activity which one did not necessarily expect.
Also in said chorus, Pharrell Williams references a lady, apparently a romantic interest, who is “up all night to get some”, with he himself about to “get lucky” in the process. This is a narrative which he also apparently expounds upon in the second verse. So it doesn’t take any type of genius to put two and two together here.
But there is more going on in the lyrics than the idea of bedroom fun. For instance the first verse, which actually leads off the song, speaks to the concepts of creativity and acknowledgement of the forces of the universe (including theoretically love).
Moreover the pre-chorus doesn’t read as if it is related to anything amorous at all. Rather it features the singer encouraging the addressee to keep pushing forward in an unspecified endeavor they are engaged in. Indeed even beyond that, he is encouraging that they should celebrate the point they’ve gotten to thus far and instead of simply striving forward to “raise the bar”. By raising the bar, he means making an effort to achieve excellence, in the process.
Meanwhile the only part of the song which Daft Punk holds down vocally is the bridge. Here, as in the chorus, is this concept of being “up all night” heavily utilized (i.e. repeated).
But unlike the chorus, there is no female subject mentioned. Rather the way the concept of spending the night awake together is being presented this time around is as alluding to something musical, (i.e. “funky”). It is perhaps talking about dancing considering that Daft Punk specializes in such genres.
So basically what we have here is a dance song with a sexual undertone. That is to say that the amorous aspect of the lyrics, though serving as the primary narrative as relayed by Pharrell, is not overpowering to the point where “Get Lucky” comes off as a straight-up bedroom fun song.
In fact a listener may opt to disregard or not recognize that quality altogether and just focus on the dance element. Or they may consider this more of an inspirational tune. In this regard, they could interpret the titular ‘luck’ as pointing to the notion of good fortune in general – a notion that is also supported throughout.
Indeed considering how this song has been received, even by top-level politicians and relatively-stringent governments (as noted later in the article), one has to believe that the latter idea(s) is how most people have more or less deciphered it.
Writing Credits for “Get Lucky”
This song was written and produced by Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo). And writing credit also goes out to Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. Pharrell also serves as the lead vocalist of the tune. And whereas Rodgers is not involved vocally, he does also play guitar on the track.
When did “Get Lucky” come out?
Daft Punk is an electronic-music pair from France. This song is from what proved to be their last album, “Random Access Memories” (2013), with the duo eventually disbanding in 2021. And “Get Lucky”, which many fans consider to be their signature song, was officially issued by Columbia Records and Daft Life on 19 April 2013.
Daft Punk was not expecting this song to blow up as massively it did. Rather when they put it out as the lead single from “Random Access Memories”, they intended it to serve more or less as the lead-in to “Lose Yourself to Dance”, the second single from the album. And whereas Lose Yourself… did prove to be a notable hit, it wasn’t nearly as successful as this song was.
“Get Lucky” originally began as a Daft Punk project. Then Nile Rodgers, who they first met in 1997, got on board. And eventually Pharrell Williams, who heard about the tune via Daft Punk at a party for Madonna, also got involved. Meanwhile Daft Punk explicitly reached out to Rodgers to get down with the project.
Pharrell had worked with Daft Punk prior to this, though not as a soloist. Rather he and Chad Hugo (aka The Neptunes) had previously done a remix of Daft Punk’s 2001 track, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”. Additional Daft Punk helped compose “Hypnotize U” (which some say sounds similar to “Get Lucky”), a 2010 song by N.E.R.D., a musical act which Williams fronts.
Though he is more of a behind-the-scenes kind of musician, Nile Rodgers is well known in the music industry and is both a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame (partially due to the success of “Get Lucky”).
And he attributes this particular song to a resurgence in his career, in that it encouraged him to once again “be in the studio with people”, as opposed to working virtually for instance. And just to note, he was also one of the recipients of the Album of the Year Grammy Award which “Random Access Memories” took home in 2014.
Nile went on to reveal that at the time he helped put this song together, he was inspired by an “extremely aggressive” prostate cancer diagnosis he received. (And for the record, he did go on to beat the disease.)
Meanwhile Pharrell’s memories of participating on this track had completely left his mind. He attributed this phenomenon to suffering from jet lag. However, according to a music executive who was involved in its creation, on top of being jetlagged Daft Punk also hit Pharrell with “some crazy elixir”. And after Williams “went into the studio… knocked it out and just went on his way”.
Promotion and Success
This track was promoted heavily before its official release, via Saturday Night Live as well as the Coachella Music Festival. It was even promoted on a web series known as The Collaborators (which was a front to promote “Random Access Memories”).
In fact there was a whole elaborate and creative marketing campaign involved in generating buzz for “Get Lucky”. And overall these efforts proved successful, as the tune caught on with fans early. In fact it was even leaked onto BBC Radio before its proper issuance.
This song proved to be a major hit amongst critics and fans alike. For instance, Digital Spy, Spin and The Village Voice dubbed it the top song of 2013. It was also held in similar regards by the likes of Triple J and Acclaimed Music. Furthermore, at the 2014 BMI London Awards it earned the distinction of being awarded Song of the Year.
And the tune actually took home two Grammy Awards in 2014, one for Record of the Year. The other was for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
During that same Grammy ceremony Daft Punk was given the opportunity to perform this song live, doing so with full crew on board, i.e. Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and even Stevie Wonder in the mix. In fact they used to moment to not only render “Get Lucky” but also the aforementioned “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” as well as the following tracks:
- “Le Freak” by Chic (a band led by Nile Rodgers, 1978)
- “Another Star” (1976) by Stevie Wonder
And it can be said that the song was an even greater success chart-wise than it was in terms of accolades received. For instance, Wikipedia has it listed as topping music charts in nearly 40 countries, which is a very rare feat.
In fact it even did so in nations as diverse as the following:
- South Korea
- South Africa
In achieving this feat, it established itself as a true global hit. And even more importantly in terms of its number ones, it topped the UK Singles Chart. And whereas it peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, it did best the following Billboard charts:
- Dance Club Songs
- Dance/Mix Show Airplay
- Hot Dance/Electronic Songs
Indeed Billboard even referred to it as one of the 100 “songs that defined the decade”.
At the time of its release, “Get Lucky” also broke the Spotify single-day streaming record and went on to earn the distinction of the most-streamed single in its history. In fact within four months of being released, it exceeded 100,000,000 streams on the platform.
And of course a hit of this magnitude has been certified multi-platinum in a number of countries, nearly a dozen of them to be exact. Most notably it’s gone sextuple-platinum in Australia. It also achieved quintuple-platinum status in Canada. In the United States, it earned a quadruple-platinum status. In the UK, it went triple-platinum. As of early-2017, the song is on record as having close to 10 million units globally.
Famous Appearances and Covers of “Get Lucky”
“Get Lucky” has been used on an episode of “The Simpsons”. It also made its way onto the videogames “Just Dance 2014” and “NBA 2K14”.
There have been a wide array of covers and remixes of this hit. In fact the latter was actually encouraged by Daft Punk. Some notable artists who have covered the song include Skylar Grey, The Roots and Weird Al Yankovic.
And it has even been performed by the choir of the Russian Interior Ministry. The choir performed it as part of the 2014 Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony.
It is worth noting that this song contributed to Pharrell Williams earning the distinction of Hitmaker of the Year, as deemed by GQ. This was not only due to success of “Get Lucky” but also other tracks he participated on in 2013 that proved to be mega hits. These tracks include Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” as well as Pharrell’s own quintessential solo tune, “Happy”.