The Roland TR-808 Drum Machine
Drum machines became especially popular in rock music during the 1980s, but they never fully replaced the live session drummer.
Prince and one-hit wonders Men Without Hats
used the Linn LM-1; the first drum machine to incorporate digital samples, it cost about $5000.
Roland also produced the analog TR-808, which cost $1000. Though the TR-808 didn't see much action during its initial 1980-1984 run, its price plummeted as newer drum machines came out, making it perfect for budding but budget-minded hip-hop artists like the Beastie Boys
in their 1986 debut album "Licensed To Ill". The TR-808's sound lives on today in albums such as Kanye West's
808s and Heartbreak.
Photo: Courtesy of Eriq