Vinyl Review: Daft Punk – Get Lucky 12″ Single
Remixes have always been a part of dance music, but it seems like they matter now more than they ever did before.
It’s always the remix that gets played at the club. It’s the remix that takes a summer festival crowd by storm. It’s the remix that charts at Beatport. If the modern ‘EDM’ scene has proven one thing, it’s that if you want your track to really take off and get that crossover appeal, you better be ready to hand it off to every DJ and producer in the world to let them dismantle and reconstruct it in their own image (especially if that image is “sick dubstep“).
So when Daft Punk announced that they would be handling all the remixes for the singles from Random Access Memories, a lot of people were taken aback. Still, it kind of made sense. For whatever reason, most remixes of Daft Punk tracks tend to fall flat. They always seem to strip away what makes the original tracks unique, and instead just transform them into standard, boring club tunes (Glitch Mob excluded).
But even if Daft Punk had given “Get Lucky” to a thousand producers, DJs and other artists to remix “Get Lucky” to their heart’s content, it’s safe to say that none of them would have taken the track and done what Daft Punk did with it, which is hardly anything at all.
Although that’s not really a bad thing.
Daft Punk’s remix of “Get Lucky” is, in a lot of ways, just as much a retro throwback as the song itself. When a track is remixed today, it many times has little in common with the original version. Beats are pumped up, entirely new elements are added, and sometimes even the vocals are replaced by “guest” rappers and singers.
But back in the 70s and 80s, remixes were a simpler affair, aimed mostly at making the songs longer and easier to dance to. And that’s what Daft Punk do to “Get Lucky” with this remix. They stretch the tune out to 10 minutes in length, add some more vodoced “We’re up all night to get lucky” choruses, and…well…that’s about it.
Truth be told, they barely touch the tune. The only really noticeable new element I heard in the track was a bit of extra keyboards that mostly just show up during the first minute or so. After that, this is basically just “Get Lucky” edited to be about four minutes longer.
But is there anything really wrong with that?
“Get Lucky” is a phenomenal song. A true pop classic for the ages. So why mess with perfection? Any attempts to ‘juice’ the song, to add more beats or ‘EDM’-friendly synths and snares, would have been a disaster. “Get Lucky’ is a unique tune, a throwback disco classic that works so well because it doesn’t sound like anything else. I can’t imagine anyway it could be improved via a remix, so it was probably best that they leaved well enough alone. It actually reminds me of the extended remix of George Clinton’s immortal “Atomic Dog,” which also barely did anything but extend the track out to infinity and beyond by looping the hook over and over again. When a song is damn near-perfect, the best thing you can do with it is make the perfection last even longer.
The single also includes the album version of the tune, as well as the shorter radio edit, but nothing else. That wouldn’t bug me too much if I was just buying this digitally, but since the vinyl copy cost me nearly $12, I was hoping for a little more. Maybe a dub or instrumental version or a B-side would have been nice.
What’s here though sure does sound great. While the single does spin at 33 RPM (odd for a 12″), it was pressed wonderfully and clean. No surface noise, no hiss, even plenty of space given in the run out groove to avoid inner-groove distortion. As an added (and unexpected) bonus, the single comes with a download card (320kpbs MP3s) for all three tracks. They’re a bit loud, but not bad enough to cause distortion or ear fatigue.
As much as I like this remix, I understand that there’s really no reason to own it on vinyl, especially at the price they’re asking. If you like “Get Lucky” and are looking for an even longer version of it,’ then this remix is worth the $1.29 they’re asking for on Amazon’s MP3 store, and not much more.
You should only go after the vinyl copy if you’re insane like me. Or if you really, really like that cover.