Happy 40th birthday to Roland's revolutionary TR-808 drum machine.
The iconic 'Rhythm Composer' was one of the first drum machines to allow users to program rhythms instead of using preset patterns. A commercial failure at the time of release, over the course of the 1980s, the 808 would go on to gain a now legendary cult status.
Helping spawn more music genres and hit records that any other instrument, the 808 become integral to the birth and grow of electro, hip-hop, bass, with it's successor the 909, having the same effect on house and techno. Timeless records from Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, Run-DMC and Egyptian Lover (pictured), to Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing and Whitney's I Wanna Dance With Somebody, right up to modern day hits such from Kayne West and Outkast have relied on the 808. In fact, Kayne used the machine on every track on his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak. A truly crucial piece of equipment in the history of modern music.
Listen to our 808 YouTube playlists here:
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