Steve Reich ‎– Music For 18 Musicians

ECM Records ‎– ECM 1129, ECM Records ‎– 2301 129
Vinyl, LP, Album


A Pulse - Sections I - IV 26:55
B Sections V - X - Pulse 32:00

Companies, etc.



The World Premiere was presented April 1976 at Town Hall, NYC, the European Premiere, October 1976 at the Metamusik Festival, Berlin.
Cover Drawing: "Weaver's Notation" (1976)
℗ 1978 ECM Records GmbH
Manufactured under license from Polydor International GmbH
© 1978 Steve Reich
Made in W. Germany

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Rights Society: GEMA
  • Label Code: LC 2516
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A (variant 1)): 2563 931 = 3 S1 320
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B (variant 1)): 2563 931 S2 = 4 320
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A (variant 2)): 2563 931 = 3 S 1 3 20 Q(horizontal) 1(reversed)
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B (variant 2)): 2563 931 = 3 S 2 3 20 1(reversed) K(horizontal)
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A (variant 3)): 2563 931 S1 = 5 320 1 P [sideways]
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B (variant 3)): 2563 931 S2 = 4 320 1A U [sideways]
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A (variant 4)): 2563 931 = 3 S 1 3 20 1(reversed) M(horizontal)
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B (variant 4)): 2563 931 = 3 S 2 3 20 1(reversed) M(horizontal)
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A (variant 5)): 2563 931 = 3 S 1 3 20 1[inverted] G[sideways]
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B (variant 5)): 2563 931 = 3 S 2 3 20 1[inverted] I[sideways]
  • Matrix / Runout (Print Label A): 2563 931 S 1
  • Matrix / Runout (Print Label B): 2563 931 S 2
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A stamped (Variant 5)): 2563 931 = 3 S 1 320 D[sideways] 1[inverted]
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B stamped (Variant 5)): 2563 931 S 2 = 4 320 1[inverted] D [sideways]

Other Versions (5 of 34) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
ECM 1-1129 Steve Reich Music For 18 Musicians(LP, Album) ECM Records ECM 1-1129 US 1978 Sell This Version
none Steve Reich Music For 18 Musicians(Cass, Album, Unofficial) Not On Label none Europe 1978 Sell This Version
ECM 1129, 2301 129 Steve Reich Music For 18 Musicians(LP, Album, RP) ECM Records, ECM Records, ECM New Series, ECM New Series ECM 1129, 2301 129 Germany Unknown Sell This Version
ECM 1129, 821 417-2 Steve Reich Music For 18 Musicians(CD, Album, RE) ECM Records, ECM Records ECM 1129, 821 417-2 Germany Unknown Sell This Version
ECM 1129, PAC-2055 Steve Reich Music For 18 Musicians(LP, Album) ECM Records, Trio Records ECM 1129, PAC-2055 Japan 1978 Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 14 Reviews

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January 31, 2019
edited about 1 year ago
Dear EmekaNweze
No, there's nothing quite like it really. Reich's masterpiece and loads better live, than on a recording, if you ever get a chance - quite unlikely given the forces it needs! It's on in the UK in February played by the London Sinfonietta who manage to get to Birmingham but no further North.
For scale, you might want to try Canto Ostinato by Dutch composer Simon ten Holt. At 1' 11'' it's not for the fainthearted and is on YouTube at:
Of course there is always Philip Glass" Music in 12 Parts" but that divides people into enthusiasts and detractors. Personally I don't warm to him but having said that, listening to the whole of this work sort of won me round to it.
Happy listening and exploring.


January 10, 2019
Hello Bradx,

I don't think you have strange tastes at all. I personally found your review of this album quite beautiful.

Please, do you know of any works that equal this one in conception (i.e genius) and beauty?

Warm Regards.


December 22, 2014

absolutely incredible. those who don't know it check out some of the live performances on youtube (there's a good Vic Firth one).


August 7, 2014

mindblowing stuff


August 1, 2013
edited over 7 years ago

This will blow out your mind. Its hard to describe this special kind of hypnotizing mood in it. Its like if your tired it gets you up and opposite. Stunning!

This album is like a spaceship!

A brilliant masterpiece!


January 19, 2011

Reich's very early compositions were truly minimalist. He used only small ensembles.... sometimes just clapping, drumming or phasing tape loops. In 1974 he started work on this piece. It took nearly 4 years to complete. The sound was a giant leap for Reich, as he says in the sleeve notes; "there is more harmonic movement in the first 5 minutes of 18 Musicians than in any other complete work of mine to date". Violin, cello, clarinets, women's voices, pianos, marimbas and metallophone all combine to create an intricate, interwoven, phased-out beauty of a piece. For me this is the zenith of his work. He went on to make many more records exploring similar themes and ideas but this is the one that works for me.... melodically it is fabulous, conceptually it is genius. Highly recommended for fans of minimalism.... whether that is in the classical zone or techno. Reich's 60s and early 70s work is less polished (a good thing) and also comes highly recommended.


May 4, 2005
edited over 15 years ago

It's quite a shame that the music doesn't fit on one side of the record. The piece is composed by combining musical loops, performed by 18 musicians on acoustical instruments. The way these loops interact results in a deeply mesmerizing soundscape. Having to turn the record in the middle of the performance may be quite annoying. My advice would be to get it on cd.

Due to the nature of the composition the piece may be of particular interest to those who are into deep loopy techno.