Five years to record at a cost of more than $1 million. Those figures are impressive enough, but what really makes Daft Punk's Random Access Memories one of the all-time landmarks in the history of dance music is the host of other records the funk-tastic disc from the anonymous French duo is smashing on its way to an expected #1 Billboard debut on Wednesday.
With sales predicted in the 300,000-350,000 range, it would mark the best debut of their career and cap a splashy, months-long teaser campaign spearheaded by their new major-label home, Columbia Records. The group's 1997 debut, Homework, peaked at #150 on the U.S. charts, while the 2001 follow up, Discovery, topped out at #44 and 2005's Human After All got as high as #98. Their 2010 soundtrack for TRON: Legacy peaked at #4.
The album's first single, "Get Lucky," is also their top-charting single to date, peaking at #10 so far, with more than 350,000 downloads to date, plus another 710,000 in England. It is also the fastest-selling album in the UK so far this year.
Not counting electronic-influenced pop discs by the likes of Madonna (who hit #1 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic albums chart in 2012 with MDNA), Lady Gaga or the more rock-oriented Nine Inch Nails, Random Access Memories is also the first pure dance album from a duo or group to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 since Prodigy's 1997 smash The Fat of the Land.
Among the other records set by Memories:
» According to Billboard, the duo's fourth disc has beaten Mumford & Sons' Babel as the most-streamed album in its first week of release in the U.S. Babel crossed the eight million stream mark during its first week of release in October.
And though Spotify would not reveal how many streams Memories has logged, it did say it had leap-frogged Mumford and that it set a one-day record for streams in its debut week and is on track to have he biggest first week of any album since Spotify launched in 2008. The only number the service did provide was that "Get Lucky" has posted more than 27 million streams so far.
» HITS reported last week that Memories is also on track to put up the best debut on vinyl in the modern download era, surpassing the 10,000 mark to overtake Vampire Weekend's recent record-setter, Modern Vampires of the City (9,700).
» Lastly, but most Daft Punk-ishly, they must have set some sort of record for the most bizarre, random place to debut a highly anticipated new album by hosting the global premiere of Memories in the remote city of Wee Waa in New South Wales, Australia. Because, of course they did.