Discovery (Daft Punk album)
|Studio album by Daft Punk|
|Released||12 March 2001|
Daft House, Paris
|Genre||House, French house|
|Daft Punk chronology|
|Singles from Discovery|
Discovery is the second studio album by the French house duo Daft Punk, released in March 2001. It marks a shift in the sound from Chicago house, which they were previously known for, to disco, post-disco, garage house and synthpop-inspired house. The album provided itself as a soundtrack to the anime film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, which was a collaboration between the creators of the album, Leiji Matsumoto, and Toei Animation.
All of the music videos for the tracks on the album are segments of the film, which follows a story of a kidnapped extraterrestrial band. Discovery is recognized as a concept album in reviews by New Musical Express and Spin magazines. Early versions of the album included a "Daft Club" membership card. The card included a code which granted access to an online music service, which featured tracks later released on the album of the same name and Alive 1997.
According to an interview with Remix Magazine Online, Thomas Bangalter stated:
This album has a lot to do with our childhood and the memories of the state we were in at that stage of our lives. It's about our personal relationship to that time. It's less of a tribute to the music from 1975 to 1985 as an era and more about focusing on the time when we were zero to ten years old. When you're a child you don't judge or analyze music. You just like it because you like it. You're not concerned with whether it's cool or not. Sometimes you might relate to just one thing in a song, such as the guitar sound. This album takes a playful, fun, and colorful look at music. It's about the idea of looking at something with an open mind and not asking too many questions. It's about the true, simple, and honest relationship you have with music when you're open to your own feelings.
Bangalter compared the stylistic approach of the album to that of their previous effort. "Homework [...] was a way to say to the rock kids, like, 'Electronic music is cool'. Discovery was the opposite, of saying to the electronic kids, 'Rock is cool, you know? You can like that.'"
Leiji Matsumoto supervised the creation of several music videos for Discovery. The videos later appeared as scenes in the feature-length film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. It was created as a collaboration between Matsumoto, Daft Punk, Cédric Hervet and Toei Animation. The film features the entire album as its soundtrack. Regarding the album from the perspective of animation, Daft Punk stated that, "We think the music we made on Discovery has been done in a cinematic way in our minds. We were visually seeing the music and trying to find ideas that were appealing to people's imagination. An animation fan would find this mixture of elements and story in our music."
A significant amount of sampling is present on the album. Rather than simply creating new music out of the samples, Daft Punk worked with them by writing and adding instrumental performance. The Discovery liner notes specify permitted use of samples for four tracks on the album: Part of George Duke's "I Love You More" is featured in "Digital Love"; Edwin Birdsong's "Cola Bottle Baby" was sampled for "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"; The Imperials song "Can You Imagine" is used for "Crescendolls"; Barry Manilow's "Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed" is credited for "Superheroes".
Several websites list many other samples present on the album, but Bangalter has stated that half of the samples he had seen listed are not true. He also stated the sampling they do is legitimately done, not something they try to hide. Bangalter elaborated that the newly-recorded elements were implemented in a way that was equivalent to "creating fake samples [...] where people think there are samples from disco records or funk records." Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo estimated that half of the sampled material on Discovery was played live by the duo:
|“||I play more guitar usually, and Thomas plays more keyboards and bass. There's no ego involved. We don't argue about who's playing what. You can get the sound of a guitar with a keyboard, or the opposite. We don't really care about who's doing what as long as it's well-done. At the same time, when you use samples, you don't have this problem. When you use a sampler, nobody plays on it, so the problem of the ego of the musician is not really there. For everything that we do, no matter how you get to the results, the important thing is the result.||”|
Featured artists 
|“||We met Romanthony at the 1996 Winter Music Conference and became friends. Before that, we mentioned his name on “Teachers,” thanking him for his influences. We wanted to invite him to sing with us because he makes emotional music. What's odd is that Romanthony and Todd Edwards are not big in the United States at all. Their music had a big effect on us. The sound of their productions, the compression, the sound of the kick drum, and Romanthony's voice... The emotion and soul is part of how we sound today. Because they mean something to us, it was much more important for us to work with them than with other big stars.||”|
Giving his take on working with Romanthony and Edwards, Bangalter stated:
|“||We wanted to work with Romanthony and Todd Edwards on our first album. They didn't know who we were at the time, so it was very difficult to convince them. When we met Romanthony in Miami, he told us he was very into what we were doing, which made us very happy. They are the house producers who were the biggest influence on us. Working with them was a way for us to close the circle. It was very important for us to do that, because they are part of what we do. Now that we've worked with them, we are free to explore other areas. It will be interesting to see what we'll do next. Now we can work with other people.||”|
DJ Sneak also discussed working with Daft Punk on the album:
|“||I went to Paris on one trip, got together with the boys and had a private party at the loft house where Thomas had just moved into [...] in a rare form of musical display we decided to make beats in front of a few guests. The next few days we continued to work on the music and I sat back and wrote the lyrics to "Digital Love". I had written other things but this song was very special from the get-go. I also co-produced the music and they polished it and finished a masterpiece.||”|
Critical reception 
Discovery received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 74, based on 19 reviews. Allmusic's John Bush said that, with their comprehensive productions and loops of manifold elements, Daft Punk develop a sound that is "worthy of bygone electro-pop technicians from Giorgio Moroder to Todd Rundgren to Steve Miller." Q magazine wrote that the album is vigorous and innovative in its exploration of "old questions and spent ideals", and hailed it as "a towering, persuasive tour de force" that "transcends the dance label" and never lacks ideas, humor, or "brilliance". Joshua Clover, writing in Spin, dubbed Discovery disco's "latest triumph" and said that, although it "flags a bit" before the end, the opening stretch of songs is on-par with albums such as Sign "O" the Times (1987) and Nevermind (1991). Stephen Dalton of NME found its pop art ideas enthralling and credited Daft Punk for "re-inventing the mid-'80s as the coolest pop era ever." In his review for Entertainment Weekly, Will Hermes wrote that the "beat editing and EQ wizardry" still excite after Homework, despite the newly imbued sense of humor. Mixmag called Discovery "the perfect non-pop pop album" and credited Daft Punk for "altering the course of dance music for the second time".
In a mixed review, Ben Ratliff of Rolling Stone criticized that few songs on the album are on-par with the grandiosity of "One More Time" and instead become "muddled - not only in the spectrum between serious and jokey but in its sense of an identity." In his review for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis felt that Daft Punk's attempt to "salvage" older musical references resembles Homework, but is less coherent and successful. Pitchfork Media's Ryan Schreiber found their "prog and disco" hybrid "relatively harmless" and claimed that it was not "meant to be judged on its lyrics", which he dismissed as amateurish and commonplace. Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice, facetiously said that the album may appeal to young enthusiasts of Berlin techno and computing, but it is too "French" and "spirituel" for American tastes.
Discovery was ranked number 12 on Pitchfork Media's Top 100 Albums of 2000–04 and number three on their Top 200 Albums of the 2000s. In 2009, Rhapsody placed the album at number twelve on its 100 Best Albums of the Decade list. It was also named the fourth best album of the decade by Resident Advisor. In 2012, Rolling Stone included Discovery at number eight on their list of The 30 Greatest EDM Albums of All Time.
Sales and impact 
The album peaked at number two in the United Kingdom and number forty-four in the United States. Discovery has sold at least 2.6 million copies as of 2005. The album was certified triple platinum in France (in 2007) for shipments denoting 600,000 copies. As a result of sales, Discovery was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 11 October 2010. Two cult hits were spawned from this album: "One More Time" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". The song "Face to Face" (featuring Todd Edwards) reached number one on the Billboard dance chart in 2004. The album also was included on BBC Radio 1's Masterpieces in December 2009 presented by Zane Lowe, further highlighting the increased reception of the album over the decade. As of May 2013, the album has sold 792,000 copies in the US.
Several songs from the album would later be sampled by other artists. Kanye West's song "Stronger" from the album Graduation features a vocal sample of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". "Stronger" was later performed live at the 2008 Grammy Awards with Daft Punk in their trademark pyramid while Kanye West was on stage rapping. Lil B's song "Basedgod Fucked My Bitches" from his mixtape "White Flame" heavily samples "One More Time". Wiley's song "Summertime" from the album See Clear Now features a sample of "Aerodynamic". Jazmine Sullivan's song "Dream Big" from the album Fearless features a sample of "Veridis Quo".
Track listing 
|1.||"One More Time"||Bangalter, de Homem-Christo, Anthony Moore||5:20|
|3.||"Digital Love"||Bangalter, de Homem-Christo, Carlos Sosa, George Duke||4:58|
|4.||"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"||Bangalter, de Homem-Christo, Edwin Birdsong||3:45|
|7.||"Superheroes"||Bangalter, de Homem-Christo, Barry Manilow, Marty Panzer||3:57|
|9.||"Something About Us"||3:51|
|13.||"Face to Face"||Bangalter, de Homem-Christo, Todd Imperatrice||3:58|
|14.||"Too Long"||Bangalter, de Homem-Christo, Anthony Moore||10:00|
- Daft Punk – sequencers, samples, synthesizers, guitars, bass, vocals ("Digital Love", "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", "Something About Us"), vocoders, Wurlitzer electric piano, drum machines, programming, production, concept, art direction
- Romanthony – lyrics, vocals on "One More Time" and lyrics, vocals, co-production on "Too Long"
- DJ Sneak – lyrics on "Digital Love"
- Todd Edwards – lyrics, vocals and co-production on "Face to Face"
- Nilesh Patel – mastering
- Alex & Martin – concept, art direction
- Cedric Hervet – concept, art direction
- Gildas Loaëc – concept, art direction
- Simon Scott – concept, art direction
- Daniel Vangarde – concept, art direction
- Pedro Winter – concept, art direction
- Mitchell Feinberg – liquid metal photos
- Luis Sanchis – piano photo
- Tony Gardner & Alterian – bionics engineering
- Tamiyuki "Spike" Sugiyama – Tokyo connector
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||7|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||6|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||1|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||3|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||2|
|Danish Albums (Hitlisten)||12|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||11|
|Finnish Albums (Musiikkituottajat)||16|
|French Albums (SNEP)||1|
|Italian Albums (FIMI)||8|
|New Zealand Albums (RIANZ)||8|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||3|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||7|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||6|
|UK Albums (OCC)||2|
|US Billboard 200||44|
|US Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)||3|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- (2001) CMJ New Music Monthly - Best New Music - Daft Punk (Discovery): "Although it's only fair to credit Chicago with the post-disco dance style's paternal rights, the French [Daft Punk] have (at the very least) earned covered weekend privilegies." Publisher: CMJ Network, Inc. No. 93. p. 71. ISSN 1074-6978
- Bush, John. "Discovery - Daft Punk". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Dalton, Stephen (10 March 2001). "Daft Punk : Discovery". NME (London): 31. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Clover, Joshua (June 2001). "Review: Discovery". Spin (New York): 145. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Chris Gill, "ROBOPOP - An Interview with Daft Punk". Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- Baron, Zach (May 2013). "Daft Punk Is (Finally!) Playing at Our House". GQ 83 (5): 76–82.
- Daft Punk Interview cartoonnetwork.com, archived from 27 June 2004. Retrieved on 16 September 2007.
- Bryan Reesman, Interview at mixonline.com
- Daft Punk speak out on sample sources: 'half of this list is not true' Retrieved on 18 July 2007.
- Nadeau, Cheyne and Nies, Jennifer (July/August 2013). "The Work of Art Is Controlling You". Anthem (29): 36–37.
- Daft Punk
- DJ SNEAK aka Carlos Sosa Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
- Christgau, Robert (20 November 2001). "Turkey Shoot 2001". The Village Voice (New York). Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Hermes, Will (30 March 2001). "Discovery Review". Entertainment Weekly (New York) (589). Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Petridis, Alexis (8 March 2001). "CD of the week: Daft Punk: Discovery". The Guardian (London). Friday Review section, p. 16. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Review: Discovery". Mixmag (London): 163. April 2001.
- Schreiber, Ryan (13 March 2001). "Daft Punk: Discovery". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Review: Discovery". Q (London): 97. April 2001.
- Ratliff, Ben (29 March 2001). "Daft Punk: Discovery". Rolling Stone (New York): 59–60. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013.
- "Discovery Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "The Top 100 Albums of 2000-04". Pitchfork Media. 7 February 2005. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
- "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 20-1". Pitchfork Media. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
- "100 Best Albums of the Decade, 11-20". Rhapsody. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
- "Top 100 albums of the '00s". Resident Advisor. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- Dolan, Jon; Matos, Michaelangelo (2 August 2012). "The 30 Greatest EDM Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- Daft Punk Embraces Universal Themes... PR Newswire. Retrieved on 25 July 2007.
- "SNEP". Retrieved 23 December 2009.
- Zane's Masterpieces - Daft Punk: Discovery. BBC Radio 1. 03 December 2009. Retrieved on 06 May 2013.
- "Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' Heading For Big Sales, Aiming For No. 1". Billboard.com. May 17, 2013.
- Daft Punk Make Surprise Grammy Appearance with Kanye West. NME. IPC Media. Retrieved on 10 February 2008.
- Grime Music Cleans Up in the Charts. The Independent. Retrieved on 21 August 2008.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk - Discovery" (In German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery" (In Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery" (In French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Daft Punk. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Italiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk – Discovery". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Daft Punk Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Daft Punk. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Daft Punk Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums for Daft Punk. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "French album certifications – Daft Punk – Discovery" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
- "British album certifications – Daft Punk – Discovery". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 23 December 2012. Enter Discovery in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- "American album certifications – Daft Punk – Discovery". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- Discovery at Discogs
- Virgin Records Daft Punk official website for Discovery
- Interview video about Discovery
- "Daft Punk and the Music Machine" by The New York Times