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60 Songs That Explain the '90s

“Around the World”—Daft Punk

Wed Jul 12 2023
PodcastMusicRewatchablesBill SimmonsSongsStuck in HeadRepetitive SongsFat Boy SlimElectronic MusicDaft Punk


This episode of the podcast discusses the Rewatchables podcast, songs that get stuck in Bill Simmons' head, the most repetitive songs, Fat Boy Slim and electronic music, Daft Punk's origins and influence, Daft Punk's evolution and impact, the impact of Daft Punk's 'Around the World', Daft Punk's influence and legacy, appreciating Daft Punk's 'Homework', Daft Punk's impact on electronic music, and Daft Punk's unique style and influence.


Daft Punk's 'Around the World' video

The video for 'Around the World' is a choreographed extravaganza that assigns physical characteristics and dance moves to every element of the song, changing the way dance music is heard.

Daft Punk's influence on electronic music

Daft Punk's impact on electronic music can be seen in their evolution from rock disillusionment to embracing house music and disco, as well as their use of repetitive phrases in songs like 'Around the World'.

The legacy of Daft Punk

Daft Punk's influence can be seen in their impact on electronic music as a live experience, their iconic pyramid stage set, and their ability to be both famous and anonymous with their helmets.


  1. The Rewatchables podcast
  2. Songs stuck in Bill Simmons' head
  3. Most repetitive songs
  4. Fat Boy Slim and electronic music
  5. Daft Punk's origins and influence
  6. Daft Punk's evolution and impact
  7. The impact of Daft Punk's 'Around the World'
  8. Daft Punk's influence and legacy
  9. Appreciating Daft Punk's 'Homework'
  10. Daft Punk's impact on electronic music
  11. Daft Punk's unique style and influence

The Rewatchables podcast

00:01 - 08:15

  • The Rewatchables podcast, hosted by Bill Simmons, started in 2017 and focuses on discussing rewatchable movies.
  • The podcast uses categories like most rewatchable scene, movie Apex Mountain, and what age the best to structure its discussions.
  • The full archive of The Rewatchables can be found on Spotify for free.

Songs stuck in Bill Simmons' head

07:47 - 16:21

  • Listening to music is often accompanied by fixating on a specific part of a song and mentally looping it for hours or even weeks.
  • Having a song stuck in one's head feels natural and necessary for many people.
  • Bill Simmons has had songs stuck in his head since he was four years old, with James Taylor's 'Handy Man' being one of them.
  • 'Handy Man' by James Taylor was stuck in Bill Simmons' head when he was four years old, specifically the 'coma, coma, coma' part. He called it 'The Male Man Song'.
  • Bill Simmons also mentions the Jimmy Jones version of 'Handyman', which is different from James Taylor's version but still not about the mailman.
  • As a child growing up in the eighties, Bill Simmons actively tried to get songs stuck in his head. He mentions reciting Dr. Seuss at people's doors and having Culture Club's 'Karma Chameleon' stuck in his head at some point.
  • 'Karma Chameleon' video announces that it is set in Mississippi in 1870, which Bill finds strange and wonders whose idea it was.
  • Bill Simmons also brings up Boy George from Culture Club denying deliberately ripping off Handyman with their song lyrics.
  • At five years old, Bill Simmons would listen to The Cars' self-titled album while running around his living room holding the vinyl album sleeve, which he called 'cars paper'.
  • Bill Simmons mentions tearing the album sleeve and his parents buying another copy just for the sleeve.
  • Another song that got stuck in Bill Simmons' head as a kid was 'Major Tom (Coming Home)' by Peter Schilling. He recalls imagining himself in the music video while staring at his reflection in the car window at night.
  • The repetitive part of 'Major Tom (Coming Home)' is mentioned as an example of how songs can be super repetitive and get stuck in one's head.

Most repetitive songs

15:57 - 24:35

  • The song 'Major Tom' by David Bowie is super repetitive.
  • 'Got My Mind Set On You' by George Harrison is a repetitive song with the same line in the chorus repeated four times.
  • Weird Al Yankovic's song 'This Song Is Just Six Words Long' is only six words long if you use the contraction.
  • A data analysis project by Colin Morris for The Pudding found that pop lyrics were most repetitive in 2014, with DJ Snake and Lil Jon's 'Turn Down For What' being the most repetitive song of that year.
  • George Harrison's 'Got My Mind Set On You' is the third most repetitive song of the 1980s, followed by 'Funky Town' by Lips Incorporated at number two, and 'Pump Up The Jam' by Technotronic as the most repetitive pop song of the decade.
  • In the 1990s, Monifa's 'Touch It', David Bowie's 'I'm Afraid of Americans', and Rednex's 'Cotton Eye Joe' were mentioned as songs that may not be ultra-repetitive according to personal opinion.

Fat Boy Slim and electronic music

24:12 - 33:12

  • Fat Boy Slim's music is designed to appeal to rock and mainstream pop enthusiasts with little previous experience with dance music.
  • Norman Cook, aka Fat Boy Slim, prefers the term 'big beat' over 'electronica'.
  • Dance music can be rock and roll, punk rock, or jock jams for dance floors.
  • The propeller heads are an English duo known for their maximalist dance music.
  • The song 'You Want It Back' by the propeller heads featuring the jungle brothers is only on the American version of their album.
  • English electronic music often includes familiar American rock and rap stars as a way to pander to American audiences.
  • Electronic music stars like The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy are considered the new rock stars.
  • 'Blockrockin' Beats' by The Chemical Brothers and 'Setting Sun' by The Chemical Brothers featuring Noel Gallagher are popular songs in the genre.
  • 'It Doesn't Matter' is a song that may get stuck in your head if you become a casual fan of electronic music.

Daft Punk's origins and influence

32:43 - 41:00

  • The Low Fidelity All-Star and Orbital were part of a three-band bill at a concert in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Crystal Method, a band from Las Vegas, had an impressive stage setup with bendy keyboard stands.
  • The reviewer questions whether Daft Punk is part of the same lineage as Crystal Method, Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Prodigy, and Fatboy Slim.
  • Darlin', a Parisian rock trio that later became Phoenix, received a dismissive review in Melody Maker.
  • Guy Manuel and Tomas formed Daft Punk after Darlin' broke up.
  • Daft Punk's musical background was mildly abrasive and influenced by Primal Scream's album 'Scream Adelica'.
  • 'Scream Adelica' mixed chill psychedelic rock with house music and acid house.

Daft Punk's evolution and impact

40:30 - 49:01

  • Death Punk grew disillusioned with rock music in their early years.
  • They were influenced by house music and disco in Paris during the early to mid-90s.
  • Their single 'Dafunk' was influenced by gangster rap but not compared to hip hop.
  • 'Defunk' had elements of rock, pop, and stadium anthems, with French touch DJ style.
  • The song 'Rollin' and Scratching' is a personal favorite of the host.
  • 'Around the World' from their debut album 'Homework' consists mostly of the phrase repeated multiple times.
  • The music video for 'Around the World' directed by Michel Gondry features various dancers representing different elements of the song.

The impact of Daft Punk's 'Around the World'

48:32 - 57:02

  • The Around the World video is a choreographed extravaganza with various groups of dancers representing different elements of the song.
  • The video can change the way you hear all dance music going forward, assigning physical characteristics and dance moves to every element of every song.
  • Homework, the album that includes Around the World, is harsher and noisier than the single suggests.
  • Music Sounds Better with You by Stardust is considered one of the best songs from a one-song band.
  • The song was widely interpreted as a love song to ecstasy (E).
  • Around the World opened up a new universe of loops in electronic music for the speaker.
  • Ryan Dombel, features editor of Pitchfork and creator of Over Under, is a Daphunk scholar and guest on this episode.

Daft Punk's influence and legacy

56:35 - 1:04:00

  • The value of the daff punks around the world Cascingle has decreased from $150 to $40 on discogs.
  • There may have been some death punk news that caused the price drop.
  • The first piece of electronic music purchased by the speaker was around the world by death punk.
  • The music video for around the world was a significant factor in discovering death punk.
  • During that time, Spike Jones, Michelle Gondry, and Chris Cunningham were creating groundbreaking music videos.
  • The MTV show '12 Angry Viewers' introduced the speaker to music criticism and featured videos by Bjork, Apex Twin, and death punk.
  • Death punk was seen as part of the electronic craze at that time rather than specifically French touch.
  • 'Teachers' is a song by death punk that pays homage to their influences.
  • After discovering death punk, the speaker explored other popular electronic artists like chemical brothers and fat boys slim.
  • 'Setting Sun' by chemical brothers featuring Noel Gallagher opened up many people's minds to electronic music including the speaker's.
  • 'Dig Your Own Hole' is an album from that era that still holds up well today according to the speaker.
  • Upon hearing homework in its entirety for the first time, the speaker may have felt somewhat disappointed.

Appreciating Daft Punk's 'Homework'

1:03:41 - 1:11:05

  • The speaker was initially disappointed with the album 'Homework' because it was grittier and less poppy than expected.
  • The speaker's favorite songs from the album are the singles, like 'Around the World'.
  • The speaker appreciates the conceptual aspect of Daft Punk's music and their mythological image.
  • 'Music Sounds Better with You' is the speaker's favorite Daft Punk affiliated song.
  • The accomplishments of Daft Punk after 'Homework' make the album feel more modest but still consistent with their style.
  • Daft Punk's philosophy of paying tribute to their influences runs through all their albums.
  • 'Homework' didn't have a million-dollar sound, but it is still considered a great record.
  • Daft Punk holds 'Homework' dear and has performed its tracks during live shows.

Daft Punk's impact on electronic music

1:10:40 - 1:17:59

  • The first artist the speaker bought on Cascingle became a huge success
  • The speaker felt validated and like a genius for recognizing their talent early on
  • Pitchfork gave Discovery a bad review, but the speaker knew it would be regretted
  • The concert with LCD Soundsystem was an amazing experience and one of the best shows the speaker has ever seen
  • The pyramid stage set by Daft Punk is considered a famous moment in concert history
  • The speaker confirms that it was actually an awesome show and not just a cliche
  • Daft Punk's interview revealed that they were normal without their helmets, but also engaged and theoretical
  • Electronic music as a live experience evolved from DJs not being the star to Daft Punk becoming the star with their pyramid show
  • The helmets served as a reflection of the audience being the star, while still allowing Daft Punk to be famous and anonymous at the same time

Daft Punk's unique style and influence

1:17:33 - 1:23:43

  • Daft Punk's early ambitions grew over the course of a decade, allowing them to be both pop stars and anonymous.
  • The video for 'Around the World' showcases Daft Punk's unique spin on disco with synchronized swimmers and a DIY aesthetic.
  • The video physically demonstrates how the music works, making it feel more real and human.
  • 'Around the World' still feels special and revolutionary, even though disco keeps coming back in different forms.
  • During college, 'Around the World' stood out as cool and different among other songs on radio.
  • The relatively low-budget video gained traction on MTV during an era of expensive music videos.
  • Using a cassette Walkman was preferred over CD Walkmans due to skipping issues while moving.