The Starting point Chicago early to mid 80's
House was first and foremost a direct descendant of dance. Dance had already been going for about 10 years. But the underground scene was beginning to develop a new style that was deeper, rawer and designed to make people dance. Dance had already produced the first records to be aimed specifically at DJs with extended 12" versions that included long percussion breaks for mixing purposes and the early eighties proved a vital turning point.
But it wasn't just American music laying the groundwork for house. European music, spanning English electronic pop like Depeche Mode and Soft Cell. One of the reasons for their popularity was two clubs that had broken the barriers, two clubs that were to pass on into dance music legend - Chicago's Warehouse and New York's Paradise Garage. when the Warehouse, opened in 1977 and presided over by Frankie Knuckles and the Garage where Larry Levan spun, the emphasis was on the music. The music was as varied as the people - r'n'b based Black dance music and disco mixed with things as different as rock. For most people, these were the places that acted as breeding grounds for the music that eventually came to be known after the clubs - house and garage.
The British connection: late 1980s - early 1990s
In Britain the growth of house can be divided around the "Summer of Love" in 1988. House had a presence in Britain almost as early as it appeared in Chicago; however there was a strong divide between the House music as part of the gay scene and 'straight' music. House grew in northern England, especially Manchester, as an extension of the 'Northern Soul' genre. The key English club was the Hacienda in Manchester, founded in 1982 by Factory Records. But until 1986 the club was a financial disaster, the crowds only started to grow when the resident DJs (Pickering, Park and Da Silva) started to play House music. House was boosted by the tour in the same year of Knuckles, Jefferson, Fingers Inc. (Heard) and Adonis as the DJ International Tour. Amusingly, one of the early anthemic tunes, "Promised Land" by Joe Smooth, was covered and charted within a week by the Style Council. The first English House tune came out in 1986 - "Carino" by T-Coy. Europeans embraced House music, and began booking legendary American House DJs to play at the big clubs, such as Miss Moneypenny's and Ministry of Sound, whose resident, DJ Harvey brought in Larry Levan.
The combination of house and techno came to Britain and gave House a phenomenal boost. A few clubs began to feature specialist House nights - the Hacienda had "Hots" on Wednesday from July 1988, 2,500 people could enjoy the British take on the Ibiza scene, the classic "Voodoo Ray" by A Guy Called Gerald (Gerald Simpson) was designed for the Hacienda and Madchester. Factory boss Tony Wilson also promoted acid house culture on his weekly TV show. The Midlands also embraced the late 80s House scene with many underground venues such as multi storey car parks and more legal dance stations such as the Birmingham Institute (now Sundissencial's 'The Sanctuary').
Social aspects of raves
Rather than be confined in the clubs ambitious promoters took the music to large temporary sites such as fields, handling up to 30,000 people in a single illegal event, called a rave. Promoters like Sunrise, Energy, Biology, Fantasia and World Dance held massive events in defiance of the police and music industry. Unlike many nightclubs they were open to all ages and races.
The press lead the general public to believe that the events were shaped solely by the consumption of ecstasy, but others pointed out the music was refreshing and intoxicating enough without consumption of drugs. The British tabloid press helped publicize the scene, generally portraying rave parties in a negative light, which tended to alarm institutions such as the government and the police. Many tunes became hits from these events such as "Everything Starts with a E" by the E-Zee Possee," which was created by a savvy music producer rather than a band, "The Trip" by S'Express and "NRG" by Adamski who became the first rave superstar.