The keyboard most predominant during the 80s is identifiable by a bright orange, glowing power switch located near its moniker: Roland.
Dave Gale, in his MusicTech article called Vintage Rewind from 2016, explains that the Roland Jupiter-8 is as much a desired object today as it was in 1981. “The value of the 40-year-old instrument remains high, currently auctioning for around $20,000.”
Roland’s classic synthesizer allows you too play several sounds at once (polyphony) and sustain notes or arpeggios indefinitely. The Jupiter 8 represents a major milestone in the history of popular music and creates the recognizable “sound of the 80s.”
Many artists cite the Roland Jupiter 8 as their favorite instrument, including Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones.
Some memorable tracks featuring the Jupiter, or JP-8 include:
- Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran
- Thriller - Michael Jackson
- Stand Back - Stevie Nicks
- Radio Ga Ga - Queen
- I Am the City - ABBA
- The Celts - Enya
- The Sun Always Shines on TV - a-ha
…just to name a few.
My latest album “Not That I’m Crazy” features the Roland Jupiter-8 and other sounds from the 80s.