10 Great Songs Built Around the 808

Marvin Gaye — “Sexual Healing”

The first that most of the world heard of the humble TR-808 — “Sexual Healing” was the first big hit on which the machine appeared. The beat utilizes several of the 808’s signature sounds: the kickdrum, of course, but it’s the gloriously artificial handclaps and the echo-laden claves that really stand out from the intricate pattern. (If you’re interested, there’s a tutorial on YouTube here on how to program it — and of course, these days you don’t need to shell out for a real 808 in order to have fun replicating the beat, although purists will tell you loading samples into a DAW doesn’t sound quite the same.)