Twenty years ago today: Homework

This day in 1997, the French electronica duo entitled Daft Punk released their debut album Homework. The album received high praise as a revive house music, which is a form of electronic music. The album played a significant role toward future electronic groups all across Europe as it revolutionized the overall sound, and even gave the stereotypical notion of German house music.

The album had a fair first-week success, charting at number three on the French album charts while charting at number one hundred and fifty on the Billboards. Homework is a relatively long album as it is nearly an hour and a half long (most albums are in the thirty to forty minute range), because it was mostly an album full of singles that were released periodically over the course of three years.

The composition of the album also played a part as to why this album was revolutionary. Some songs were politically-charged anthems, such as “Revolution 909,” about the French government’s stance on music. The song “Da Funk” is what the song name suggest for it mixes funk and coined “acid music.” The rest of the album was noted for its infusion of 1970’s Africana-soul music and modern-1990’s electronic music.

Homework received enormous praise among critics, many proclaiming that it was one of the catchiest albums of the year. In the book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, the French duo’s debut release is listed as one of the most important, and is even regarded as their best album by fans. Today, the album has sold more than 605,000 albums in the United States and 2,000,000 worldwide.

When comparing Homework to Random Access Memories (Daft Punk’s latest release in 2013), it is interesting to point out some similarities and differences. Much like writing for their debut, Daft Punk had no clear idea of what they wanted to create.

The writing process began in 2008 and the duo spent seven months recording demos and trying various techniques and creating beats, but could not find the sound they wanted, so they temporarily abandoned the project. In 2010, Daft Punk teamed up with Pharrell Williams as their sound engineer to progress with the album, and William’s would even provide vocals for the song “Get Lucky.” Upon release, it was one of the most successful albums of the year, and the

– Colt Pierce

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