Around the World (Daft Punk song)

"Around the World" is a song by the French electronic music duo Daft Punk. The song was written by the duo and released as the second single from their debut studio album, Homework (1997). It became a major club hit around the world and reached number one on the dance charts in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also peaked at number one in Iceland and Italy. The song's only lyrics are "around the world". The music video was directed by Michel Gondry and choreographed by Blanca Li. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 21 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[1]

"Around the World"
Aroundtheworld DaftPunk.jpg
Single by Daft Punk
from the album Homework
Released17 March 1997
Recorded1996
GenreFrench house
Length
  • 7:09 (album version)
  • 4:01 (radio edit)
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Daft Punk
Daft Punk singles chronology
"Indo Silver Club"
(1996)
"Around the World"
(1997)
"Burnin'"
(1997)
Music video
"Around the World" on YouTube
Audio sample
Daft Punk – "Around the World" (LP version)

CompositionEdit

The key hook is a steady bassline and a robotic voice singing "around the world" in continuous chains. Daft Punk recalled that the song "was like making a Chic record with a talk box and just playing the bass on the synthesizer".[2] The phrase occurs 144 times in the album version and 80 times in the radio edit. It is composed in the key of E minor.

Upon analysis of the song, Michel Gondry noted its distinctive structure: "I realized how genius and simple the music was. Only five different instruments, with very few patterns, each to create numerous possibilities of figures. Always using the repetition, and stopping just before it's too much." He also noted the similarity between the bassline of "Around the World" and that of the Chic song "Good Times".[3] In 2017, computer scientist Colin Morris analyzed 15,000 Billboard Hot 100 hits for repetitiveness, based on compression algorithms. "Around the World" was found to be the most repetitive of the songs analyzed.[4]

A cover version of "Around the World" was released in 2006 as "Around the World Again" by Nicky Van She and Dangerous Dan.[5] A remix of the will.i.am song "I Got It from My Mama" included a sample from "Around the World". Daft Punk did not approve use of the sample, however, and as such subsequently refused will.i.am permission to release the remix. A music video was produced with the sample included, however.[6] A song titled "Around the World" was released by rapper P.M. that contains a sample of "Around the World". Señor Coconut released a cover of "Around the World" on his 2008 album, Atom™ presents: Around the World with Señor Coconut and his Orchestra.

"Around the World" was featured in one episode of first season of MTV animated series Daria. It was also used in the video games Dance Central 3, NBA 2K13 and the trailers for Rayman Raving Rabbids 2.

Critical receptionEdit

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote that with this "tasty slice of disco/funk, dynamic electronica outfit Daft Punk looks well positioned to build upon the momentum generated by its recent breakthrough hit, "Da Funk"". He noted that the group "does an exemplary job of communicating a hum-along chorus without the aid of a vocalist, opting instead for a stream of caustic key-boards and blippy sound effects".[7]

Blender put "Around the World" at 172nd place on their list of "500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" in 2007. They wrote:

This bubblegum robo-disco mantra was the song that made LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy fantasize about Daft Punk playing at his house. "I liked how wimpy 'Around the World' was," he explains. "It was really everything I hated, and I couldn't resist it. What a fucking track." Recorded in a bedroom, and boosted by director Michel Gondry's freaky-dancing video clip, "Around the World" made Paris hip again and left house music hooked on retro."[8]

Complex stated that "its simplicity made it one of the most catchy". They noted the "unforgettable" music video, "with all kinds of creatures frolicking around a colorful stage."[9]

AccoladesEdit

Year Publisher Country Accolade Rank
2005 Blender United States "500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" 172
2007 Treblezine United States "Top 100 Singles of the ’90s"[10] 37
2011 MTV Dance United Kingdom "The 100 Biggest 90's Dance Anthems of All Time"[11] 7
2011 NME United Kingdom "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years" 21
2012 NME United Kingdom "100 Best Songs Of The 1990s"[12] 37
2012 Porcys Poland "100 Singli 1990-1999"[13] 11
2013 Complex United States "The 15 Best Songs From the Electronica Era" *
2013 Max Australia "1000 Greatest Songs of All Time"[14] 365
2013 Vibe United States "Before EDM: 30 Dance Tracks From The '90s That Changed The Game"[15] 1
2015 Robert Dimery United States "1,001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2015 Update)"[16] *
2017 BuzzFeed United States "The 101 Greatest Dance Songs Of the '90s"[17] 29
2018 Max Australia "1000 Greatest Songs of All Time"[18] 517

(*) indicates the list is unordered.

Music videoEdit

Michel Gondry's music video for the song features five groups of characters on a platform representing a vinyl record: four robots walking around in a circle; four tall athletes (as described by Gondry)[3] wearing tracksuits with small prosthetic heads walking up and down stairs; four women dressed like synchronized swimmers (described by Gondry as "disco girls")[3] moving up and down another set of stairs; four skeletons dancing in the center of the platform; and four mummies dancing in time with the song's drum pattern.

This is meant to be a visual representation of the song; each group of characters represents a different instrument. According to Gondry's notes,[3] the robots represent the singing voice; the physicality and small-minded rapidity of the athletes symbolizes the ascending/descending bass guitar; the femininity of the disco girls represents the high-pitched keyboard; the skeletons dance to the guitar line; and the mummies represent the drum machine.

"Around the World" was Gondry's first attempt at bringing organized dancing to his music videos. "I was sick to see choreography being mistreated in videos like filler with fast cutting and fast editing, really shallow. I don't think choreography should be shot in close-ups."[19] The sequence, initially developed by Gondry, was further expanded and streamlined by choreographer Blanca Li. Costumes for the video were designed by Florence Fontaine, the mother of Gondry's son. The flashing lights were operated by the director's brother, Olivier "Twist" Gondry. As Michel Gondry stated, "It all came down to a family affair."[3]

Elements of the music video appear in the video for the LCD Soundsystem song "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House". The overall design has also been replicated for the Freemasons' "Rain Down Love" video.

Track listingEdit

  • 12" single (V25D-38608)
  1. "Around the World" (radio edit) — 4:01
  2. "Around the World" (Tee's Frozen Sun mix) — 7:56
  3. "Around the World" (Motorbass Vice mix) — 6:39 (Philippe Zdar (later of Cassius) and Étienne de Crécy)
  4. "Around the World" (album version) — 7:07
  1. "Around the World" (radio edit) — 4:01
  2. "Around the World" (album version) — 7:07
  3. "Teachers" (extended mix) — 5:51
  4. "Around the World" (Motorbass Vice mix) — 6:39 (Philippe Zdar (later of Cassius) and Étienne de Crécy)

Charts and certificationsEdit

Original versionEdit

Alive 2007 versionEdit

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[55] 47

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ Torres, Andre (April 2013). "Quantum Leap". Wax Poetics (55).
  3. ^ a b c d e The Work of Director Michel Gondry companion book (2003)
  4. ^ Colin Morris, Are Pop Lyrics Getting More Repetitive?, ThePudding
  5. ^ "Around the World Again" at Discogs. Retrieved on August 30, 2007.
  6. ^ Daft Punk to Will.i.am: Not from my Momma The Daily Swarm. Retrieved on September 27, 2007
  7. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. August 2, 1997. p. 79. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  8. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "The 15 Best Songs From the Electronica Era". Complex. August 5, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  10. ^ "Treble's Top 100 Singles of the '90s". Treblezine. July 30, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  11. ^ MTV Dance. December 27, 2011.
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  14. ^ "THE TOP 1,000 GREATEST SONGS OF ALL TIME – 2013". Max. 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
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  16. ^ Dimery, Robert (2010). 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. Cassell. ISBN 1-84403-684-7.
  17. ^ Stopera, Matt; Galindo, Brian (March 11, 2017). "The 101 Greatest Dance Songs of the '90s". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
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External linksEdit