Grammy voters broke from tradition and awarded record of the year to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” making it the rare dance song to win one of the most coveted of Grammy trophies. The project of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” was inescapable in 2013, a modern-era homage to dance trends of the '70s and '80s.
The single from “Random Access Memories,” which is nominated for album of the year, has sold more than 3 million downloads in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. With assists from songwriter-producer Pharrell Williams and Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, “Get Lucky” slyly connects generations (Williams also had a hand in fellow record of the year nominee “Blurred Lines” from Robin Thicke).
The song, like many on “Random Access Memories,” was recorded heavily with hand-designed electronics like modular synthesizers and vocoders, all in an attempt to create a synthetic feel that felt rather human. One of the bigger hits of 2013, it was also critically adored.
“The song lopes along in a soft disco thump, seductive but not ecstatic,” wrote music critic Sasha Frere-Jones in the New Yorker. “Rodgers plays immaculate, clean upstrokes on electric guitar, voicing chords that feel airy but never seek attention. It is as close to magic as pop comes.”
While record of the year is an award given to performers and studio technicians, “Get Lucky” likely wasn’t the favorite, at least if one were judging by past Grammy trends. Voters have shied away from giving record of the year to songs that emphasized production smarts over more traditional songwriting touches. Last year the prize went to minimalist pop hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” from Gotye and the previous year saw the award given to Adele’s soulful “Rolling in the Deep.”
This year’s record of the year field spanned the gamut from disco-era grooves to hip-hop-inspired songwriting from a teenage newcomer. “Get Lucky” bested a crop that included Lorde’s “Royals,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.”
The Grammys are determined by about 13,000 voting members. The eligibility period for nominated recordings was Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013. The 56th awards are being held at the Staples Center and telecast on CBS. They are broadcast live except for viewers on the West Coast. The latest headlines and any breaking news will be posted here on Pop &; Hiss.
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