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Roger Linn's legendary instrument was the first programmable drum machine to play samples of real drums. Its stellar sound and inimitable shuffle helped to redefine and reshape the music of the 1980s and beyond.
Before Linn, most drum machines were preset analogue accompaniment devices. Even professional units like Roland's CR-78 sounded, at best, like clockwork crickets spitting out hissing, sputtering roller-rink rhumbas. You could practice to 'em, but they posed little threat to session drummers.
That all changed with the LM-1. Though PAIA had beaten Linn to programmability, the LM-1's inclusion of a dozen sampled drum sounds made it a favourite of professionals, and its intended role as accompaniment tool was soon forgotten as it found its way onto hit after hit.
It wasn't just the samples that made it a winner. The Linn's oft-emulated 'shuffle' function imparted an irresistible groove. Add to that the fact that the drums could be individually tuned and routed to discrete outputs round the back and it was an ideal session player.
There were only around 700 LM-1s produced between 1980 and 1983, when it would be supplanted by its cheaper successor, the LinnDrum. The new version ditched most of the tuning but added cymbals and trigger inputs. Later still, Linn would produce the troubled Linn 9000 before the company folded, after which Akai's headhunters recruited Mr Linn to help design another legendary beatbox, the MPC60.
The legacy of Linn's drum machines cannot be understated, inspiring as they did countless classic tracks like those we've selected here. A mere sampling - if you'll pardon the pun - of what they could be made to do when put in the hands of talented producers.