The Fairlight was introduced in 1980 as the first true sampling keyboard. The first two models used a cool light pen, but they often broke so a graphics tablet was used in subsequent keyboards. They were expensive - $25,000 for the earliest models, sometimes over $100,000 for later ones. Components alone cost the manufacturers almost as much as the sticker price. Despite this, they didn't even have 16-bit sound (CD quality) until the mid-80's. Around this time, Ensoniq introduced the Mirage for $2000 (I bought mine used in 1990 for $400) signaling the end of Fairlight. Peter Gabriel was among the first two people to get his hands on it (the other being Stevie Wonder, the Rasta-Toad). This informative clip shows him collecting samples for his brilliant fourth album. and for an example of how you shouldn't overuse a gimmick, here's an enjoyable piece of detritus from Jean Michel Jarre. Lance introduced me to this, and it can best be described as "Fairlight rape": By my estimation, a used, functioning Fairlight sells for about 3% of its original price. Never buy digital equipment as an investment, folks.