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"Robot Rock" is the third track and the first single from Daft Punk's third studio album Human After All. It was released on April 11, 2005.

The song is built around a sample of "Release the Beast" by Breakwater, intertwined with a robotic voice chanting "Rock. Robot Rock."

A mix made by Daft Punk themselves was released for the album Human After All: Remixes, entitled "Robot Rock (Maximum Overdrive) in which the original song is heavily looped. Conceding with the release of the album, a music video for the remix was created as well.

The 12" vinyl single release came with a track called "Rockapella", which has a non-stop repetitive lyrics of the song without instruments, made for music producers to remix it.[1][2]

The track was also used as the opening of the Alive 2006/2007 tour, alongside the Homework track, "Oh Yeah".

CompositionEdit

"Robot Rock" contains a sample of the Breakwater song "Release the Beast".[3] The sample features a synthesizer riff with an oscillator sync timbre, as well as percussion and power chords on an electric guitar. Daft Punk incorporated a vocoder[4] into the production, repeating the title phrase of "Robot Rock". Aside from the sampling, Thomas Bangalter noted that the duo used a Moog synthesizer with guitar pedals for the song.[5]

The Breakwater sample is credited on the single's sleeve and on the liner notes of the parent Human After All album.[3][6] Bangalter explained that on his Roulé label, "we've been doing records that are 9 minutes with only [a single] one-second loop, with even less foundation than there is on 'Robot Rock'. It's always been a way to reinterpret things—sometimes it's using [an] element from the past, or sometimes recreating them and fooling the eyes or the ears, which is just a fun thing to do."[7] He elaborated that the song "is a tribute to the power of heavy rock chords. In a way I think we were exploring if you can take the essence of rock—that power—and mix it with dance. But to take a riff and loop it is to explore the core of rock."[8]

The Breakwater synthesizer riff is absent from the "Maximum Overdrive" remix of "Robot Rock", which consists of the song's other elements for a duration of nearly six minutes. A music video for this remix has been shot and included on the Daft Punk Musique Vol. 1 (1993-2005) compilation CD and DVD. "Robot Rock" was later used in the film Iron Man 2, in a scene where James Rhodes fights Tony Stark while both wearing versions of the Iron Man suit. The song is also featured on the game DJ Hero mixed with band Queen's "We Will Rock You" and is called "We Will (Robot) Rock You".

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by Daft Punk themselves, features Daft Punk performing the song on a heavily lit stage, with various televisions emblazoned with the Daft Punk logo surrounding them. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo plays the drums, while Thomas Bangalter plays the double-necked guitar featured on the "Robot Rock" single cover.

Robot Rock (Maximum Overdrive Daft Punk mix)Edit

A music video was also made for the Daft Punk remix of the song.

The video features Daft Punk themselves, with the same instruments, playing instruments in front of a green screen while video "echo" effects are in the background. The entire video is in black and white

TracklistEdit

CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Robot Rock" (Radio Edit)  
2. "Robot Rock" (Soulwax Remix)  
3. "Robot Rock" (Maximum Overdrive)  
4. "Robot Rock"  
12" single
No. Title Length
1. "Robot Rock"  
2. "Robot Rock" (Soulwax Remix)  
3. "Robot Rock" (Maximum Overdrive)  
4. "Rockapella"  

Samples usedEdit

  • "Release the Beast" by Breakwater

Reception Edit

"Robot Rock" had moderate success on the UK and U.S. dance charts, (Number 1 in the UK Dance Charts) but it did receive some criticism. Rolling Stone declared "nothing builds to achieve the prior glories of 'Da Funk' or 'One More Time'"[9] and Pitchfork Media noted that the single "is a poor man's 'Aerodynamic'."[10] However, a Sputnikmusic review noted that "although annoying in nature, [it] is also very rewarding to listen to."[11]

Other media Edit

The song was indirectly sampled in the song "Rock It" by Sub Focus.

It was used in the movie Iron Man 2, when DJ AM drops the song during a fight scene.

The song is also featured on the game DJ Hero mixed with band Queen's "We Will Rock You" and Hashim's "Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)"

References Edit

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named discogs
  2. "Robot Rock Acapella". Thread created by username Robot Rocker. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Robot Rock" (liner notes). Daft Punk. Virgin Records, a division of Universal Music Group. 2005.
  4. Doris, Jesse (May 21, 2011). Robocall: A Conversation with Daft Punk. Time. entertainment.time.com. Retrieved on June 8, 2013.
  5. "Technology cannot be trusted". February 21, 2008. thedaftclub.com. Retrieved 2 April 2008.
  6. Human After All (liner notes). Daft Punk. Virgin Records, a division of Universal Music Group. 2005.
  7. Nadeau, Cheyne and Nies, Jennifer (July–August 2013). "The Work of Art Is Controlling You". Anthem (29): 36–37. http://anthemmagazine.com/the-work-of-art-is-controlling-you/. 
  8. "A Round with Daft Punk". Q, issue 257 (December 2007).
  9. Barry Walters, Human After All review Rolling Stone (April 7, 2005)
  10. Mark Pytlik, Human After All review Pitchfork Media (March 15, 2005)
  11. Daniel Incognito, Human After All reviewSputnikmusic. Retrieved on June 26, 2007.
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