Over the past 40 years, Electronic Dance Music has grown from its foreign roots into one of the most popular music genres and most electrifying social scenes in America. This timeline follows EDM through history on its path to greatness.
(Photo by Jake Setlak)
Kraftwerk, an influential electronic music band, appeared on Tomorrow's World in Germany to play Autobahn, their fourth album. They created the album in their studio, but then reprogrammed and recreated on stage.
Donna Summer's "I Feel Love"
July 2, 1977
Now considered a classic, this song was considered the sound of the future back in 1977. I Feel Love replaced disco sounds with the hypnotic sound of machines, making it one of the first records to utilize the potential of electronics.
The Roland TB-303 Bassline is Invented
Tadao Kikumoto invented the Roland TB-303 Bassline, making it one of the first boxes in music technology to define the sound of EDM. Production stopped in 1984.
The Hacienda Opens in Manchester
May 10, 1982
The Hacienda was a key establishment in the rise of acid house and rave music in England in the early 80s. It was intitially created to give Manchester a feel for a "New York-style club." In the 90s, it was named by Newsweek as the most famous night club in the world.
In the summer of 1987, Amnesia Night Club in Ibiza housed some of the biggest name British DJs of the time, including Paul Oakenfeld, Danny Rampling and Nicky Holloway. These DJs brought the new "anything goes" attitude back home with them, where acid house was then born.
K-Rave '93 at Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County Brings in 17,000 People
January 1, 1993
Gary Richards, a young promoter at the time, throws a rave at the Knott's Berry Farm Amusement Park in Orange County. Over 17,000 paying guests came to hear electronic dance music. There were six outdoor stages, dance floors lit with lasers, huge glowing TV monitors and shining beams in trees. The K-Rave '93 was the biggest recorded rave in the United States at the time. Here's an article from the LA Times about the K-Rave '93.
Moby's Album "Play" Becomes First in History to License Every Track
(Photo taken by David Price, adapted from Flickr)
Moby's fifth album, Play, was the first in history to license every track to an ad, movie or TV show. As his album quickly moved to #1 and sold 10 million copies, Moby set the precedent for advertisers and filmmakers to begin strategically incorporating EDM tracks into their campaigns and movies. Listen to the full album here
U.S. Senate passes the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act
April 10, 2003
Formerly the R.A.V.E. act of 2002, the US Senate and House passed the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act in 2003 in response to the increasingly problematic use of Ecstasy and raves. The act states that any property owner, business owner, or promoter can be sent to jail for up to 20 years if anyone if their customers are found committing a drug offense. This affects the whole club industry.
Tiesto DJs at the Athens Olympics Opening Ceremony
August 13, 2004
(Photo: MCP / Rex Features/RUA)
Tiesto was the first and only DJ to perform at an Olympic opening ceremony. His set was 90 minutes long, and it included the parade of 10,000 athletes, extravagant lights, and the lighting of the torch. Billions of TV viewers watched as he instigated the launch of his unparalleled popularity in the EDM world.
15-Year-Old Girl Dies of Ecstasy Overdose at Electric Daisy Carnival 2010
(Photo from Wiki Commons)
In 2010, Insomniac Events secured the LA Memorial Coliseum to hold Electric Daisy Carnival, a rising electronic music festival at the time. At the festival, a 15-year-old girl died of an ecstasy overdose, leading to national outcry about the event. While it was most certainly an example of negative publicity, this girl's death turned eyes toward a festival brought in 130,000 people without anyone knowing about it. America was starting to realize just how massive the EDM scene was becoming.
Panasonic Discontinues the Technics SL-1200
(Photo from David Walker, adapted from Flickr)
The Technics SL-1200 was the standard equipment used by DJs for since 1972. When there was an obvious decline in the market for vinyl and record players, Panasonic discontinued the SL-200's 38-year streak of excellence. In 2011, any DJ can download a fairly inexpensive turntable app on his phone.
Creation of the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM)