Calling them punk rock may have been daft, because it’s hard to think of anyone more important to electronic music in the past two decades than the fellows in Daft Punk. Today we’re ranking the French duo’s albums in order of awesomeness.

School chums that found their way into an unremarkable rock band, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo were inspired to create techno after attending a Parisian rave. The pair began fusing elements of Chicago house, hip-hop, rock and pop in Bangalter’s bedroom – hence the literal title of the duo’s debut, Homework. Spiked with “Da Funk” and “Around the World,” the album came out in 1997, a big year for electronic music that saw not just Daft Punk, but also the Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers embraced by rock fans.

And yet, as the other acts began to fade in the new millennium, Daft Punk only became harder, better, faster and stronger, as they boarded the disco spaceship Discovery in 2001. That masterpiece displayed incredible growth in songwriting and sound manipulation, plus it cemented Daft Punk as Captain Hook, lord of the irresistible pop chorus, as shown in “Face to Face” and “One More Time.” If 2005’s Human After All was a backslide into stiff beats and occasionally dull minimalism, the duo proved many of the tracks’ hidden charms in concert in ’06 and ’07.

After collaborating on the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, Daft Punk’s biggest leap forward came with the almost universally beloved Random Access Memories, which deservedly won the 2014 Grammy for Album of the Year. Drawing on guest stars, employing traditional instruments and spotlighting emotional songwriting, two robots made a pop gem. As pop, rock and hip-hop have increasingly embraced electronic music, the world has caught up with Daft Punk. Let’s take a journey through the studio albums that brought them, and us, here.

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