"Get Lucky" is a disco and funk song with lyrics that, according to Williams, are about the fortune of connecting with someone, as well as sexual chemistry. After it leaked in mid-April, the single was released as a digital download on 19 April 2013. "Get Lucky" has since received acclaim from critics, and has spawned numerous cover versions and parodies. The single reached the top ten in the music charts of over 32 countries, and has sold more than 9.3 million copies. The song won awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, during which Stevie Wonder joined Daft Punk, Williams and Rodgers onstage to perform the song.
"Get Lucky" was completed over the course of approximately 18 months.Daft Punk first met Rodgers at a listening party in New York for the duo's 1997 debut album Homework, and became friends thereafter. The duo acknowledged Chic's influence in the song "Around the World" and had great respect for Rodgers. He noted however that a series of near misses and scheduling conflicts had delayed their chance of collaborating. The duo eventually invited Rodgers to the Random Access Memories sessions at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. This coincidentally was the studio where the first Chic single had been recorded, in the neighborhood in which Rodgers grew up.
After listening to Daft Punk's demo of what would become "Get Lucky", Rodgers asked that all of the elements except the drum track be muted so that he could create a suitable guitar part; he recalled that he experimented until the duo were visibly pleased. Once he completed his contribution, Daft Punk re-recorded the bass part with Nathan East to fit Rodgers' performance. Rodgers further elaborated that, "Everybody else wound up re-playing to me". Mixer and engineer Mick Guzauski recalled that the rhythm guitar fit easily into the production: "I experimented with balancing and other positioning, and working other stuff around it. He didn’t have to be processed – Nile just sounded great the way he is." The song as it appears on the album also features a synthesizer part by Daft Punk, keyboards by Chris Caswell and additional guitar performed by Paul Jackson, Jr.
Williams first heard about the project from Daft Punk "at a Madonna party" and offered his services for a collaboration. He had joked that, "If you just want me to play tambourine, I'll do it." The duo and Williams later met in Paris, where he shared some of his own material; Williams explained that he had been inspired by Rodgers, not knowing that Daft Punk had coincidentally been recording with him. Williams noted that the duo adopted a perfectionist approach during the recording of the vocals for "Get Lucky", as he was asked to perform several takes and multiple instances of specific phrases. As a member of The Neptunes production team, Williams had previously provided a remix of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" that appeared on the 2003 album Daft Club. Daft Punk also served as co-writers and producers for the 2010 single "Hypnotize U" by N.E.R.D, Williams' band.
"Get Lucky" is composed in B minor (Dorian mode—the sheet music has 3 sharps with a tonal centre of B). It runs at common time with a tempo of 116 BPM, and a chord structure of Bm-D-F#m-E followed throughout the song. Prior to Rodgers' involvement, the song existed in rough form that centered on Wurlitzer electric piano with Omar Hakim on drums and East performing bass guitar. Rodgers' presence on the completed song consists of two layered guitar parts: One layer features rhythm guitaring while the other is a melodic riff. Rodgers considered the minimal number of layers to be a characteristic of early Chic recordings due to the technical production limitations his band had at the time. Hakim demonstrated that the hi-hat pattern of "Get Lucky" was devised as a way to provide variety whilst maintaining a minimal four on the floor rhythm.
Williams noted that upon returning to the United States after his vocals were recorded, he had "forgotten everything" regarding the composition of "Get Lucky"; he attributed this to jet lag, but jokingly wondered if Daft Punk had tampered with his memory. The duo responded by explaining that Williams's lyrics and performance had come about in a very spontaneous way, which was the likely reason he had trouble recalling the song. Upon hearing "Get Lucky" later in its developed form, Williams remarked that the music evoked the sense of being on an exotic island during a "peachy color[ed]" sunrise. He elaborated that the title does not simply refer to a sexual act, but to the fortune of meeting with and immediately connecting to someone. Williams' vocal and Daft Punk's vocoder performance jointly span three octaves: D2-D5. Friend and occasional collaborator Chilly Gonzales also observed that Daft Punk had previously used the chord progression in "Around the World" and that the verse, bridge and chorus of "Get Lucky" are largely defined by the melodic phrasing of the vocal.
"Get Lucky" was first publicly revealed via two 15-second television advertisements on Saturday Night Live. Rodgers announced his contribution to the song shortly afterward, and noted that various fan remixes of the clips have appeared online since the airing. The third trailer, which was shown at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, officially announced Williams's involvement in the song and features Daft Punk, Rodgers, and Williams performing together. The promotional web series The Collaborators featured excerpts of "Get Lucky", culminating in the Williams-focused episode in which the song was first referred to by name.
Days prior to the single release, the song had been leaked and broadcast on various radio stations. In the United Kingdom the song joined the playlists of BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music. Upon the official release, Williams performed "Get Lucky" live for the first time at an HTC One launch party in Brooklyn.
Since the release of "Get Lucky", Daft Punk have encouraged the reworking of their latest musical works and a series of "Get Lucky" remixes have been released from acts such as PV Nova and TBM. A 12" vinyl single was released on 16 July 2013, featuring a ten-minute remix by Daft Punk, the album version and the radio edit. The Daft Punk remix was first released on Spotify and, as of June 27, 2013, was streamed 64 million times. In late June 2013, an unofficial remix album Daftside was released by Darkside, the musical partnership of producer Nicolas Jaar and musician Dave Harrington. Jaar has previously released remixes of Grizzly Bear and Brian Eno.
Rodgers stated in an interview with The Guardian that a video for "Get Lucky" was shot in March 2013 that is distinct from the Coachella trailer, featuring a group of dancing extras. In an interview with French music magazine Rock & Folk in April however, Daft Punk stated that a music video was not part of the immediate promotional plans for the single. A trailer for the official "Get Lucky" remix was released via the Columbia Records YouTube channel on 25 June 2013, featuring a group of dancers. Rodgers later stated that video footage for "Lose Yourself to Dance" had been shot simultaneously with footage for "Get Lucky".
"Get Lucky" received critical acclaim from media outlets and music critics. Michael Cragg from The Guardian said the song "eschews the crunching electronics of their last album and the vocoder-lead [sic] future-disco of Discovery", and it was the "best thing Pharrell Williams has been involved with for a long time".Pitchfork listed "Get Lucky" as a Best New Track, stating that the song's "real elegance lies in the hands of Nile Rodgers". Lewis Corner from Digital Spy gave the single 5 stars and said although Daft Punk's "creative methods may be unorthodox, the final result is a legal rush we can all enjoy".BBC Radio 1 host Annie Mac played "Get Lucky" on the day of its release, and gave it a positive review. She remarked that Daft Punk are not making electronic dance music, but rather "real music to dance to". Music critic Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker wrote that Rodgers' performance in the song was "as close to magic as pop comes."Rolling Stone reviewer Will Hermes giving the song a four-star rating out of five, described it as "an old-school disco jam" and called it "formidable". Amy Sciarretto of PopCrush also welcomed the song, she called it an "intoxicating track" and wrote it "represents all that’s right with electronic music."
Fellow musicians have also publicly commented on the song. British DJ and producer Norman Cook (better known as Fatboy Slim) expressed high praise for the song and stated in an interview with the Daily Star: "I'm so impressed by them. It's a breath of fresh old-skool air". Cook had felt that recent popular electronic dance music had started to become bland and that "Daft Punk have given us [electronic musicians] all a kick up the arse."
The song broke records with the highest number of plays of any song in a single day on music streaming application Spotify. British journalist Caitlin Moran has speculated that the song's attractiveness is due to its combination of minor chords and regular disco-type "up" beats throughout the song, with the former creating an unresolved feeling. "Get Lucky" was nominated for Best Song of the Summer at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The song received awards for both Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Record of the Year at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. "Get Lucky" was voted the number one song of 2013 in a Digital Spy reader poll. On January 26 2014, "Get Lucky" reached #3 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2013, the world's largest musical democracy.
"When I think how it happened, too, with people who I like a lot, that we just decided to go into the studio and do something... And then it turns out like this? It's absolutely remarkable, because no-one was prepared for this! [...] to have this ubiquitous record, that is a hit everywhere... It's amazing to me! I'm out on the road and I can hear it wherever I go. I'm flabbergasted!"
In France, "Get Lucky" debuted at number one on the French Singles Chart on 24 April 2013, becoming Daft Punk first chart-topping single in their home country since "One More Time". The song sold 38,887 copies in three days, making "Get Lucky" the best-selling digital single in a one-week period. In Belgium, where two independent official charts are published weekly (one for Flanders, one for Wallonia), "Get Lucky" entered in the top position on both charts, making it Daft Punk's highest Belgian chart entry ever and their first No. 1 song in the country.
In the United Kingdom, "Get Lucky" entered the UK Singles Chart at number three on 21 April 2013―only 48 hours after its release—selling more than 50,000 copies and becoming Daft Punk's first top ten hit in the UK since "One More Time" in 2000. The song then peaked at number one the following week, with sales of over 155,000 copies, and became Daft Punk's first ever No. 1 single in Britain. The song remained in the top position during the following week, selling over 163,000. "Get Lucky" remained atop the chart for a third and fourth consecutive week, selling over 100,000 copies within each of them. By late May 2013, over 600,000 copies of the song had been sold in just over four weeks and sales had exceeded those of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop", making "Get Lucky" the country's best-selling single of the year thus far. On 27 June, the Official Charts Company announced that "Get Lucky" had sold over a million copies in the UK; only the 136th single and first released in 2013 to do so. The song was the first involving Daft Punk, Williams or Rodgers to achieve this feat as well as being the second by a French act (after David Guetta's "Titanium"). Both Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, and Rodgers were impressed by the quick time (69 days) the single took to cross the million sales barrier. It is the second best-selling song in the UK in 2013 with sales of 1,308,007 copies for the year and the most streamed track of 2013 in the UK.
In the United States, the song debuted at number five on the BillboardDance/Electronic Songs chart for the week ending 4 May 2013. By the week ending 25 May, the song had reached the No. 2 position and its peak position of No. 1 was eventually reached during the week ending 1 June 2013 remaining on top for 13 weeks. The song debuted at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the 24 April 2013, selling 113,000 downloads—this placement resulted in the song becoming the duo's first ever (and, to date, only) top 40 hit on the chart. "Get Lucky" eventually peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, behind Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" featuring T.I. and Williams. Since both songs feature Williams, he became the first artist to simultaneously occupy the top two slots of the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 2009, when The Black Eyed Peas achieved the same feat. "Get Lucky" also reached the No. 1 position on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, their first song to achieve this feat since "Face to Face" in 2004. As of April 2014, the song has sold over 3,475,000 copies in the United States, the most for any Daft Punk song.
In Australia, "Get Lucky" debuted at number two on the ARIA Singles Chart on the week ending 5 May 2013. The song is Daft Punk's highest-placing entry on the chart since "One More Time" peaked at number 10 in April 2001. The song attained the top position on the ARIA chart in the second week after its release. The song dropped back down to No. 2 on the week ending 19 May and remained at the position for two extra weeks. Besides appearing at 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Daft Punk, Williams, and Rodgers were nominated for Best Song of the Summer, but lost by a very large margin to One Direction's "Best Song Ever".
^Weiner, Jonah (13 April 2013). "Exclusive: Daft Punk Reveal Secrets of New Album". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 13 April 2013. Without warning, a nearly two-minute video popped up on jumbotron screens flanking the festival's various stages, in which Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and the Daft Punk robots rock out in heavily sequined getups to 'Get Lucky'
^ abBeta, Andy (19 April 2013). "Daft Punk: "Get Lucky" [ft. Pharrell]". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 April 2013. (...) "Get Lucky"'s real elegance lies in the hands of Nile Rodgers, which is no doubt the Robots' intent. (...) The vocodered break from Daft Punk thrills as well, but Rodgers is the reason that ten seconds of "Get Lucky" could dilate into minutes and hours of pleasure without tedium ever settling in.
^"Good Times" with Nile Rodgers, Part 1, Good Day New York. myfoxny.com. Retrieved on August 6, 2013. "08:28 - the way that 'Get Lucky' happened was [...] they asked me specifically, 'How did you make Chic records in the old days?' [...] In those days [...] we were limited by technology. So I said, 'I do this part first [guitar melody] and then I play the other part on top of it.' [guitar strumming gesture]"