Recorded in New York, produced by Arthur Baker, 1982′s “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force (Tommy Boy) blends synthesizer sounds, vocoders, the Roland TR-808 programmable drum machine with breakbeats to create Bambaataa’s breakthrough track. In Jim Fricke and Charlie Ahearn’s Yes Yes Y’All, Bambaataa is quoted as saying, “when we got into the Electro-Funk style of hip-hop, we was really trying to reach the black, Latino, and the punk rock whites.”
They did. “Planet Rock” gave impetus to the ongoing creation of new dance sounds nationwide, including Chicago house music, Detroit techo, Miami bass, and more. And it sounds as good today as it did then.