Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force* Music By Planet PatrolPlanet Rock

Label:Tommy Boy – TB 823
Vinyl, 12", 33 ⅓ RPM, Baby Blue Labels
Genre:Electronic, Hip Hop


A1Planet Rock (Vocal)6:25
A2Planet Rock (Bonus Beats I)1:15
BPlanet Rock (Instrumental)9:16

Companies, etc.



Comes (came) in a generic/company cover with the small Tommy Boy 'dancers' in one corner.

Center labels state:
BPM 130
Shakin' Baker Music, BMI
Engineered at Intergalactic Music
© Tommy Boy Music (Side A)
© ℗ Tommy Boy Music (Side B)
Distributed by Tommy Boy Music,223 East 85th St., New York, NY 10028

1. Soul Sonic Force is listed as a writer on the B side of this pressing.
2. The actual BPM's clock at ~127.
3. Planet Patrol performs the music on this (the same 24 track tape was used to make both Planet Rock and Planet Patrol - Play At Your Own Risk). The "Music By" credit is NOT a written-by type credit but is instead a performer credit.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Both Sides Runout): Mastering By Frankford/Wayne New York
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A): TB-823-A SMK Vinni Vini Herbie Jr Hi Angie and Winky "It's A Hi Powered Disco 12"
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B): TB-823-B SMK Vinni Vini Herbie Jr "Electric Breaks"

Other Versions (5 of 98)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Planet Rock (7", 45 RPM, Silver Label)21 Records, 21 RecordsPOSP 497, 2002173UK1982
Recently Edited
Planet Rock (12", 45 RPM)Tommy Boy0930.087Germany1982
Planet Rock (7", 45 RPM)Tommy BoyTB 823-7US1982
Recently Edited
Planet Rock (12", 45 RPM)Polydor, 21 RecordsPOSPX 497, 2141 610UK1982
Planet Rock (12")21 Records2.106Netherlands1982



  • rodrigobreak's avatar
    Edited 5 years ago
    It's hard to imagine drum machine music before "Planet Rock", just as it's hard to talk about Hip-Hop or Electro without mentioning this classic.

    In 1982, the group Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force, along with producers Arthur Baker and John Robie, released the song "Planet Rock". In fact, according to some reports, this song was made at the end of 1981, but was officially released on record in April 1982. The track, released on a 12 ", has a legendary status. Tr-808 - before them, only the (japanese) Yellow Magic Orchestra group had used this electronic drums - and composite melodies through the Fairlight synthesizer, the single left behind the notion that a song should have only one source point , because in this range, what is heard is a hybrid mixture of musical references.

    On the one hand, it is known by many the influence of the german electronic group Kraftwerk in the design of this track - which has the tune of "Trans Europe Express" incorporated in "Planet Rock", as well as the hit "Numbers." On the other hand, other tracks served as inspiration for the creation of this classic: "Super Sporm" by Captain Sky, plus "The Mexican" by Babe Ruth - in this song,guitar solo was incorporated into the melody of " Planet Rock "being repaginated through a synthesizer solo designed by Arthur Baker; is not a sample, but a faithful reconstruction of this stretch of the track, just as they did not sample "Trans Europe Express", but reconstructed from the synthesizer.

    Certainly, although there are no samples in this track, "Planet Rock" marks the moment when the music begins to be decontextualized from its moment of production and that begins an obsession of popular music by its past. And that results in the sample boom of the following years, as young American ghettos begin to tinker more and more into the record boxes of previous decades and collect pieces of music that could serve as a basis for new productions, original sound would be cropped, reassembled and digitally removed from its historical context.In a sense, this song also came to break the notion of temporality on the musical scale, for after hearing so many sounds that brought elements or samples of this incredible music in the following years, it was difficult to understand that this sound was made in 1982, or that this sound was the matrix (or one of the matrices) of so many other sounds.

    Then, from 1982, the dominant force on the hip-hop horizon became Electro, with a portal to a time when everything seemed (or sounded) modern. In a way, electronic music was a direct challenge to every tradition of music itself. Electronic music was, according to traditional musicians, viewed as "machine music," not as human-made music. Somehow it was an invalid song, it was a form of "not music," and in the eyes of the critics it lacked a certain validity. The Kraftwerk, as well as the groups influenced by them, had no commitment like musical authenticity. Electro, Synth Pop and Techno - and much of the music that would emerge in the clubs in the next few moments - was focused especially on the sonority. It was not music aimed at the traditional sense, but music with a more minimalist approach.

    In the following years, "Planet Rock" gave way to a string of brilliant sounds designed by Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force, with the help of the brilliant producers Arthur Baker and John Robie. And among them, I highlight "Looking For The Perfect Beat", "Renegades Of Funk" and "Frantic Situation". In my opinion, the first two - "Looking For The Perfect Beat" and "Renegades Of Funk" - have the essence of "Planet Rock", whether in musical design or aesthetics. I think they also gather some of the energy of this classic, and striking elements as their uptempo beats. From my point of view, after 1984, Afrika Bambaataa could no longer achieve such great successes. In a way, we have to consider Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force as an important connection link; without Soul Sonic Force, Afrika Bambaataa might not have a built classics like "Planet Rock", just as without the Afrika Bambaataa the group Soul Sonic Force might not have the same impact and meaning.

    At the time, this sound was new and clean, and the electronic drum kit 808 was not yet known in clubs and parties. Let's add to this the special metric of this song, designed by MC Globe and by the emcees of the group Soul Sonic Force - Pow Wow and Mr. Biggs; besides the innovative 808 timbres, oscillating at 130 bpm, the Rap of this song is innovative, imaginative and very special; and he distances himself from what was done up until that moment. Of course, this song is Electro's ground zero, and served as a watershed in the hip-hop landscape: if, until 1982, the sound was focused on productions that emulated, in full, Disco Music classics, after "Planet Rock "the sound was based on drum machines and synthesizers. Without a doubt, many artists began to accelerate the beats to try to sound like "Planet Rock"; and this pattern of electronic drums exploded as a viral and served as inspiration for the emerging Electro scene in several US cities; Pretty Tony / Freestyle with "Dont Stop The Rock" in Miami; "Twilight 22 with" Electric Kingdom "and" Siberian Nights "in San Francisco, California - just to cite two examples used uptempo beats.

    Over the years, this song has echoed in many places, and exerted influence in a varied range of styles like Miami Bass, Guettotech, Funk Carioca (Brazilian Bass) and, today, in the emergent scene of Trap. It is difficult to speak in Miami Bass without remembering the influence of Electro and without remembering the impact of "Planet Rock". If, in 1985, hip-hop in New York took other directions and musical precepts because of the advent of the sample, in Miami a new musical style emerged following the musical premises of this song. Obviously, Electro was not dead, just changed name and address, echoing in other music scenes.

    Before Miami Bass was born in 1985, Florida dee jays - Jam Pony Express, Ghetto Style Dj, for example - played songs like "Planet Rock" and other New York electro classics, emphasizing the bass, that is, applying the bass parts of the songs.The legendary Mr. Mixx, dj from the pioneering group of Miami Bass, 2 Live Crew, remembers that when he first heard this song, as well as "Looking For The Perfect Beat," he really liked the electronic drums and bass drum pattern devised through the 808. However , he thought about the possibility of leaving the bass drum stronger, dry and prolonged and therefore, in the following years, began to leave the bass drum in his productions, which became an element within the musical aesthetics of the Miami Bass. No doubt, many Miami Bass dee jays have used "Planet Rock" elements to compose their songs as the musical basis of their raps, whether in samples or collages.This sound appears in productions by differents artists - Dynamix II, DJ Magic Mike, 2 Live Crew, Mc A.D.E, and others. James Brown may be the most sampled artist in the world, but undoubtedly the classic "Planet Rock" is one of the most sampled music.
    • djsid86's avatar
      Without a doubt the most influential single in the history of dance music. The multiple styles that the record blends is pretty remarkable. Kraftwerk & the early '80s electro movement was the beginning of the modern dance music in my opinion.

      This record changed the way Billboard tracked singles. This was the first record to sell >1 million copies with virtually no radio airplay. Before this record Billboard based their charts on airplay more than sales. I remember seeing an interview with the former head of charts at Billboard in 1986 on a show called Night Flight on the old USA Network (before Viacom destroyed it) and he talked about the growing influence of dance music tracks in the late '70s & early '80s.
      • rev11twocoming's avatar
        This song came out when I was at Okeechobee Dozier school prison for boys ..I was at the second one not the first one were they found 50 body's ..many fights with this song ..a lot of d battery's flying
        • mastic's avatar
          PLANET ROCK,122 BPM,ELECTRIC KINGDOM,FIX IT IN THE MIX,EGYPTIAN LOVER,FUNKY LITTLE BEAT,RECKLESS ETC,ETC,ETC,ETC owe Kraftwerk for a slu of jam's you could mix for a never ending tape or CD. To me 81-88 were the best years for good time forget about the shit in the street music. It is good to be up on the times but we need to have a good time also. I love this music I make old skool mixes all the time ,I will take every mix that I I listened to back in the day that I felt should have had this jam mixed in or that Jam mixed in but the DJ just didn't feel it or something and mix it the way I would have . Most sound great.:-) Later. Mastic
          • DJ.Monty's avatar
            The main melody of "Planet Rock" is borrowed from the title track of Kraftwerk's influential album Trans Europe Express, while the drum pattern is based on the song "Numbers" from the Kraftwerk album Computer World.I will add myself that this style of music Electro/Techno was invented in Germany by Kraftwerk in the seventies they was so ahead of there time as this tune proves it,but this is an absolute classic and still sounds fantastic to this day!

            • the_architech's avatar
              Edited 17 years ago
              Although the term "hip-hop" had been invented and used within the founding members of this scene (Keith Cowboy, Grandmaster Flash, The Sugar Hill Gang, etc.), Afrika Bambaataa is credited with using the term to describe the genre and subculture when this track hit the scene. A little ironic since I consider this track to be more electro than hip-hop, but maybe I'm splitting hairs. Both are very similar genres that greatly influenced each other somewhat equally.
              • PappaWheelie's avatar
                Edited 17 years ago
                Everyone cites the Kraftwerk melodies, but they seem to consistantly ignore that Bambaataa also had Robie replay a melody form Babe Ruth's, er, Ennio Morricone's "The Mexican" in this track too. Both Trans Europe Express and The Mexican were 70s breaks used by Bam, Flash, and other bronx breakbeat pioneers.
                • djfrankiebones's avatar
                  Edited 18 years ago
                  I was 15 1/2 years old when this record was released. I had just become friends with the local record store buyer and would go with him into Manhattan to I.D.R.C record pool to pick up his weekly lot of promos. Usually I would sit in his illegally parked car and waited but the week "Planet Rock" was released in early April 1982, I went up there with him and it was playing and everyone was listening in awe. Jellybean was there talking about how this was 'the one'. And it was. I don't recall there ever being such an instant response for any one record ever except for "Rappers Delight". The thing with "Planet Rock" is that they pressed enough copies to allow mega sales from day one. "Planet Rock" was the essential DJ track which had everyone in the clubs and the streets locked into its grooves. Kraftwerk should have gotten writers credits but since John Robie actually replayed the parts, no samples were used however we all know the real story. Without Kraftwerk? No "Planet Rock". The only flaw I can think of is in Trenton, New Jersey. Trenton did'nt really rock to the "Planet Rock". At least from what I have been told.
                  • polko's avatar
                    Planet Rock was first laid on vinyl during 1982 and uses heavily cut down samples & beats from Kraftwerk's Trans Europe Express. The bassline is taken from Captain Sky's Super Sporm, track 2 on his 'Adventures of Captain Sky' LP released in 1978 - itself a very rare LP as there are two releases, Super Sporm is only found on the first blue label copy which never got produced in large numbers. Found it? Keep it!!
                    • Jairinho's avatar
                      Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy founder and co-producer of this classic said that Pow Wow, one of Soulsonic Force MC's, forgot the words and he went "Zuh-zuh-zuh, zuh-zuh-zuh". He said "keep it, that's great". Little things that made it a classic.


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