Depeche Mode, studio group portrait, Berlin, July 1984, clockwise from top left Dave Gahan, Alan Wilder, Andrew Fletcher, Mar
Michael Putland

In the early '60s, Robert Moog (rhymes with “vogue”) invented the Moog synthesizer. Within a few years, it became a staple of the prog rock movement, used by artists like Yes and Emerson Lake & Palmer. 

By the '80s, the synthesizer was arguably the most important instrument for success on the pop charts. And while bands pulled back from its mechanized sounds in the '90s, it's still prominently utilized in everything from pop to indie to techno.

To honor our favorite frequently cheesy, always enjoyable instrument, listen to the Ultimate Synthesizer Playlist below. You’ll hear recognizable synth riffs from Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough," M83’s “Midnight City,” Europe’s “The Final Countdown” and many more.