The mid-1990s was a prosperous time for aspiring dance artists, as big beats graced TV commercials and briefly invaded the charts. But the album-length statement of genius remained an elusive quest. That's what made Homework, the debut album from the mysterious French duo of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, so absorbing. Rather than a collection of singles — massive though they were — Homework managed to capture a feeling of discovery and exploration.
So there were the era-defining hits "Around the World" and "Da Funk," as well as throbbing club wonders like "Phoenix," "Revolution 909" and "Indo Silver Club." But there were also occasions for reflection and nostalgic pauses, like the ethereal, cresting "Fresh" and the noisome funk of "Oh Yeah," or skits like "Daftendirekt" and "WDPK 83.7 FM," a tribute to the teachers broadcasting daily along the FM dial. As the name suggested, Homework resulted from years of careful study of the finest house, techno, electro and hip-hop records. Perhaps this appreciation for musical history is what compelled Daft Punk to even greater heights in the years to follow. Despite the mystery around their true identities, this is a debt they were never above repaying, from the elaborate, reference-filled Homework album sleeve to "Teachers," a roll call of the duo's personal heroes.