I wanted to find the best cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” on YouTube, but it turns out that’s not as easy as it sounds. Since I last discussed my fondness these sorts of videos, the whole genre has clearly become more of A Thing. Also, “Get Lucky” is immensely fun, popular, and catchy, so approximately 600 million people have covered it. To sift through this mess, I developed a Nate Silver-like analytical model called Daft Crunch that ranks each cover on its originality, virtuosity, charisma, production value, and adherence to Asimov’s Laws of Robotics, then yields a single number that determines its overall quality.
Just kidding; I actually watched like twenty pages of covers, arbitrarily ignored the most technically proficient of them, and chose my favorites because of tiny details only I care about. Here we go!
Get Lucky // George Barnett
I feel obligated to include this one because it’s by far the most popular cover of the song, to the point that the cover itself has been remixed. And it’s a very good cover. I love how the woo-ooo-ooos add another earworm to an already hook-laden song, and the low, dirty synth is an especially groovy touch. Most importantly, it takes an upbeat song and makes it even more energetic, which is almost always a good idea, unless you’re covering drum and bass, I guess.
I do not, however, think it’s the best “Get Lucky” cover. (And let’s not even get into the commenters who say it’s is better than the original. Just no.) This one’s a ton of fun, but for a song that appeals so widely to both music snob and mass-market tastes, I think we can find something a little more creative.
Daft Punk-Get Lucky cover (Electronic vs. Live Instruments) by KNOWER
Now we’re talking. I’m a big “A for effort” kind of guy, and it’s hard to top a band who makes ridiculous costumes and visual effects for a cover. Hell, they even made a whole new song. The “electronic” part of this video is such a blisteringly awesome composition that I don’t care that it doesn’t sound anything like “Get Lucky.” It’s just a shame that “instruments” doesn’t put up more of a fight.
Get Lucky – Violin x Magic Cover
This one has a lot going for it. It’s one of the best purely instrumental versions I watched, particularly when the violin plays in harmony. The “magic” trope held my interest long enough to get sucked into the song (a big plus when you’re watching like 50 of these), and the cinematography is well done throughout. But I’m really including it because of the delightful treat right at the three-minute mark. If you’re a longtime Daft Punk fan, play it through to that point. I promise it’s worth it.
Daft Punk – Get Lucky – LIVE LOOPING by Matt Mulholland
I think this is the best “Get Lucky” cover on YouTube; it’s a dead heat between this one and the other awesome looped version. I’m going with Mulholland’s because skewing towards humor and irreverence is a better fit for the material. He also gets bonus points for the Muse-style falsetto harmony towards the end.
Now, I watch so many covers because I like to see new facets of great songs, and nobody does it better than these loop makers (or as I call them with a term I made up, “loopers”). Their videos are basically dissections of songs; they hold each piece up to the light, then show you how they all fit back together. There’s also a nice element of suspense that makes the performances extra fun to watch. You don’t know if you’re watching some idiot screwing around with their fancy new toy, or if they have an actually plan to build melody out of a wall of noise. When they pull it off, it’s like a ritual has been completed, and something magical appears. And that’s a pretty great trick since you can see every little bit of how it works.
Others Receiving Votes
I’d link to this just for the outfit (my god, the shoes), but it’s actually a pretty excellent piano version, too.
Yes, this exists, and yes, it’s hilarious.
There’s one of these for pretty much every song now, but let’s not act like that’s a bad thing. It suits “Get Lucky” especially well.
Yo dawg I herd you like covers…