The first band to use the TR-808 was the Japanese electronic music group Yellow Magic Orchestra, as soon as it was released in 1980. One of the earliest uses of the TR-808 for a live performance was by Yellow Magic Orchestra in December 1980 for the song “1000 Knives,” an electro rendition of member Ryuichi Sakamoto‘s “Thousand Knives” (1978). The hand-clap sound was later publicized by YMO’s innovative album BGM, which was released March 1981 in Japan; used again on “1000 Knives” and in “Music Plans,” another of Sakamoto’s songs.

The TR-808 would later be further popularized in 1982, with the release of the mainstream American hits “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye and “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa.

Join the conversation and tweet #THEBEAT to have your tweet featured on the Focus Forward website. Go to focusforwardfilms.com/films/32/all-hail-the-beat to see the discussion.

Other Projects | see all…

Sainsbury’s | 'Halloween'

OK, Show Me Scary! Delighted to be brought in to pitch on this little Halloween spot for Sainsbury’s. The track…
read more…

The Debrief | Pre-Roll

Working with the very cool Gravity Road, we’re very pleased to have sync’d F!NGERT!P$ with Bauer Media’s new online magazine…
read more…

Churchill | 'Audition'

We delivered many pieces for this series of eight Churchill Insurance adverts. Everything from Vocal House, Indian, a sound-alike for…
read more…