From today's featured article
The Roland TR-808 is a drum machine introduced by the Roland Corporation in 1980. Discontinued in 1983, it remains in use around the world. Launched at a time when electronic music had yet to become mainstream, the 808 was a commercial failure, but attracted a cult following for its affordability, ease of use, and idiosyncratic sounds, particularly its deep, booming bass drum. It became a cornerstone of the emerging electronic, dance, and hip hop genres, popularized by early hits such as Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" (1982) and Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock" (1982). The 808 is completely analog, meaning its sounds are generated by hardware rather than prerecorded. Only around 12,000 units were built, but the 808 was eventually used on more hit records than any other drum machine. Its popularity with hip hop artists in particular has made it one of the most influential inventions in popular music, comparable to the Fender Stratocaster and its influence on rock. (Full article...)
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