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"Around the World" is a song by the French electronic music duo Daft Punk. It appeared on the duo's debut album, Homework in 1997 and was released as a single the same year. It became a major club hit around the world and arrived at #1 in dance charts. The song is known for its only lyrics being "Around the World". It is also known for its music video, which 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]

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, while the bass line is in the A dorian mode.

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]

Music video Edit

Daft Punk - Around The World04:00

Daft Punk - Around The World

Michel Gondry's music video for the song features four robots walking around in a circle on a platform (which represents a vinyl record), 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 "record," 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 four 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 "itchy" 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."[4] 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 listing

12" single (V25D-38608)
No. Title Length
1. "Around the World" (radio edit) 3:11
2. "Around the World" (Tee's Frozen Sun mix) 7:56
3. "Around the World" (Motorbass Vice mix) 6:39
4. "Around the World" (album version) 7:07
Total length: 24:53
CD maxi single[5]
No. Title Length
1. "Around the World" (radio edit) 3:59
2. "Around the World" (album version) 7:07
3. "Teachers" (extended mix) 5:51
4. "Around the World" (Motorbass Vice mix) 6:39
Total length: 23:36

MediaEdit

"Around the World" was featured in one episode of first season of MTV animated series Daria.

It was also used in the video game Dance Central 3.

"Around the World" is mixed with Young MC's "Bust a Move" in the video game DJ Hero.

A cover version of "Around the World" was released in 2006 as "Around the World Again" by Nicky Van She and Dangerous Dan.[6]

Señor Coconut released a cover of "Around the World" on his 2008 album, Atom™ presents: Around the World with Señor Coconut and his Orchestra.

Sampled in Edit

  • "I Got It from My Mama (Remix)" by will.i.am featuring The Paradiso Girls[7]
  • "You Take Me (Around the World)" by JoJo.[7]
  • "Holiday On Ice" by Le Knight Club.[7]
  • "Play With Bootsy" by Bootsy Collins feat. Kelli Ali[7]
  • "Still Skinny (Remix)" by Mind Over Matter (Aus)[7]
  • "Pop Culture" by Madeon[7]
  • "Dixit" by Uppermost[7]
  • "Daft punk" by Pentatonix
  • "Around the World" by P.M.
  • The Rec Room by Jerry Goldsmith (Synth)

TriviaEdit

  • In the original version from "Homework", "Around the World" is spoken 144 times.
  • The remix of the song "I Got It from My Mama" by Will.i.am contains a sample of the song, even a music video was made before he had even gotten permission to use the song. However, Daft Punk did not approve the use of the sample and the remix was never released commercially. [8]
  • Elements of the video appear and are parodied in the video for the LCD Soundsystem song "Daft Punk is Playing at My House"  and the style of the video is replicated in the video for Freemason's "Rain Down Love" video.

Media Usage Edit

"Around the World" is used in trailers for Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. From Ubisoft

ReferencesEdit

  1. 150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years. Nme.Com. Retrieved on 2012-01-28.
  2. Torres, Andre (April 2013). "Quantum Leap"Wax Poetics (55).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The Work of Director Michel Gondry companion book (2003)
  4. "Around the World" director-file.com. Retrieved on October 17, 2006.
  5. "Daft Punk - Around the World". Spanish Charts (Hung Medien). Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  6. "Around the World Again" at Discogs. Retrieved on August 30, 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Daft Punk at Who Sampled
  8. Daft Punk to Will.i.am: Not from my Momma The Daily Swarm. Retrieved on September 27, 2007
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