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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: Daft Punk's 10 greatest moments

August Brown, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

The French duo of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, known worldwide as Daft Punk, was already beloved before they took the stage at Coachella in 2006. It had three acclaimed studio albums, a decade of semiregular touring and the esteem of dance music and pop sophisticates alike.

Starting in the '90s, Bangalter and de Homem-Christo hid their faces under gold and silver robot masks, rarely breaking character, but became recognizable pop stars in their own right.

But when the lights went on over their gigantic pyramid in Indio and a tent full of neophyte young ravers felt the disco thrash of "Robot Rock," a whole EDM industry was shot into the stratosphere, remaking festival culture in the U.S. for a generation.

"No one had seen anything like that," dance music historian Michaelangelo Matos said in the 2015 documentary "Daft Punk Unchained." "No one had seen that level of production. Everybody who was in the tent was texting everybody else: 'You are missing this! This is the greatest thing I've ever seen! You're missing the greatest performance of all time.'"

With the release of a video exploding their robot bodies forever, the French duo announced on Monday that they would retire, 28 years after forming and seven years after their smash "Get Lucky" propelled an album of the year win at the Grammys for "Random Access Memories".

With a catalog packed with club bangers, film scores, Kanye West and the Weeknd collaborations and dance chart No. 1s, Daft Punk enjoyed what was arguably the most influential and accomplished career in modern electronic music.

 

Here are 10 essential moments from its career.

1. 'Da Funk' (1995)

The duo's first hit single in its new guise after a brief indie-rock career set the template for its music to come — a hot-grease synthesizer lick, perfectly chopped samples and a Spike Jonze-directed video with a man-dog in a trench coat that became a staple of the MTV era.

2. 'Around the World' (1997)

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