Oct 13, 2020
It has been 19 years since Daft Punk released “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” as a post-album single following the release of their sophomore album, Discovery. While the LP landed in February of 2001, the Robots gave an emphasized push behind “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” with a re-release of the song months later on October 13, 2001. Easily one of Daft Punk’s most beloved standouts, the track has endured as a timeless electronic icon, and has since gone on to take a number of different forms across pop culture.
Originally interpolated from funk artist Edwin Birdsong’s 1979 track “Cola Bottle Baby,” the sample was discovered by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s as two young, hungry crate diggers. In an interview in 2017, Birdsong remarked,
“I recorded it 30 years ago, and here come some guys from France. I asked them, ‘Where did you find the music?’ And they said, ‘I was going through bins and it popped out.’
The song would go on to receive an official live edit in October of 2007, which would eventually go on to win the Grammy for Best Dance Recording in 2009. Kanye West also famously laid his own spin on the track with his chart-dominating “Stronger,” which would also win a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance.
With multiple iterations and interpretations of the track standing as some of the most memorable musical moments—across multiple genres—in the last two decades, there may not be a better time to revisit Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” 19 years since the track’s release, 11 since the live version’s Grammy win, and it still sounds as fresh and contemporary as ever. Enjoy.