Don’t get mad, get lucky

Now with a lyric video, as if anyone needs reminding of the words to this song. It’s four years ago this week since it was originally released as a download. Nile Rodgers will tell you that the focus of the Daft Punk album Random Access Memories had actually always been “Lose yourself to dance” while they were working on it and that this track hit the big, big, time was a complete shock to them.

I become somewhat obsessive with particular songs…early in 2013 I happened to hear the delightful guitar tones of Nile Rodgers coming from the radio my daughter was playing in the kitchen, I thought, ooh new Chic..after all these years, but then Pharrell’s voice kicked in and it was obviously something entirely new, and as we all presumably now know it was Daft Punk and their smash hit of that year “Get Lucky”. I recorded an acoustic cover version and sang it at gigs with the band that would eventually become C5. Then, having beaten that song to death, I moved on.

The current incarnation of C5 were asking if we could have a go at it recently, so not wishing to disappoint, I recorded a new cover demo following a MIDI drum track and playing and singing at pitch…ah, but therein lies the rub, I really cannot get that high. (We’d sung it in Gm instead of the record’s Bm back in 2013, with Simon Oliver on a crazy falsetto for the choruses). So, not wishing to rip Simon’s vocal folds again, I recruited my daughter to do the high melody part and mixed it all down. It sounded fine. But, ever the perfectionist, the problems I’d been having with my Fender Telecaster were showing through and I don’t think I was even playing the 16ths of Nile’s style in quite as funky or driving a way as he does. So off to PMT Cambridge for a restring, a setup and a replacement toggle switch and within a couple of days guitar surgeon Nathan at the shop had remedied the issues. The Tele was sounding better and cleaner than ever. So, I hit record and redid the guitar part completely, funking it as hard as I could. UPDATE: As of April 2017, a couple of extra layers of Telecaster and a new mix.

Back then, I added a funking heavy guitar solo to the end and some little fills to the intro. I’ve also remixed our vocals to make them tighter, they felt a bit spaced out in the stereo for some reason. And, I just ad libbed a little bit of Corona’s 1993 song “The Rhythm of the Night” (not to be confused with the deBarge 1985 song that lacks the “The”) on vocal before that guitar solo. I hope listeners will spot the instrumental allusion to Tears for Fears’ Mad World from 1982 (made famous a second time by Gary Jules in 2001).

If you’re wondering about the chord progression for Get Lucky and how that relates to Mad World, I’ve done a Classic Chord on that.