Rewind to 2013, it's summer and the jam du jour is Daft Punk's infectious "Get Lucky". Daft Punk is a legendary French electronica band who has never revealed their looks to the public. In fact, most casual listeners would write the group off as a bunch of poser musicians who lacked any skill in real composition and performance, but that could not be further from the truth.
The lead single "Get Lucky", went on to clean up shop at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, winning an insane FIVE trophies including Record of the Year! But before all that success and the infinite amount of times that song got stuck in your head, there was only a Daft Punk that was hard at work writing a new record with a vision to create something new; something different than they had ever done before.
What most of you may NOT know is that "Get Lucky" was not simply just Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams. While it may sound like a heavily sampled, synth-focused track full of vocoders and effects (as is typical for most electronica) this song, in addition to the whole album (Random Access Memories) was helmed by an all-star cast of real live musicians playing honest to goodness real instruments! Seriously! Check this out:
When Daft Punk was working on writing what would become "Random Access Memories", they quickly found themselves craving more than the usual palette of samples and synths.
"...the two of us would go in with a lot of keyboards, guitars, drums, and stuff and started to do demos for six, seven months." Daft Punk were pleased with the work in terms of composition, but were dissatisfied with the production aspect, as they relied on samples and loops of their own performances: "We could play some riffs and stuff but not keep it [up] for four minutes straight." (Torres, Andre. "Quantum Leap", Wax Poetics Issue 55 (Summer 2013)'
They soon found themselves craving real instruments in a real studio.
The idea was really having this desire for live drums, as well as questioning, really, why and what is the magic in samples? [...] It occurred to us it’s probably a collection of so many different parameters; of amazing performances, the studio, the place it was recorded, the performers, the craft, the hardware, recording engineers, mixing engineers, the whole production process of these records that took a lot of effort and time to make back then.
And so the duo enlisted some of the greatest studio musicians alive to perform the parts on this album. They sought out the legendary Nile Rodgers on guitar, Chilly Gonzales on pianos and keys, Paul Jackson Jr on additional guitars, Nathan East and James Genus for bass guitar, Omar Hakim and John JR Robinson on drums, and even Greg Leisz for pedal and lap steel guitar! If you didn't know these names, just Google any of them and see how deep their discographies go.
So we already know Nile Rodgers laid down the guitars for this track....
...leading many other musicians around the world to put their own spin on these amazing, hypnotizing four chords that make up "Get Lucky".
Take Igor Presnyakov, who takes pop songs and converts them to classical guitar renditions:
The funk is strong in this one!
And then in perhaps what may be the most "YouTube" cover of all, Andre Antunes has complied a video of what "Get Lucky" would sound like if it were taken over by ten OTHER legendary guitar players. Nile was obviously the man for the job, but what if Carlos Santana got involved? Andre nails the styles and tones perfectly, creating a very interesting piece of music combining aspects of "Get Lucky", plus original tune samples from all ten artists! Brilliant!