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House Music - 1980s Origins...

House music was a brand new dance music genre which originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. House was influenced by Disco, just as Disco was influenced by soul, funk, etc.

So, how did "House" get its name? There are several answers to that!


Was it named after Frankie Knuckles' disco, The Warehouse? The Warehouse played Disco music, but in the early 1980s some patrons were apparently referring to the Disco music heard there as "house", simply because it was heard at the WareHOUSE! Did this name then pin itself on to the new Chicago music, the first true House sounds?

Was it thus named because some people were producing these new sounds using machines in their own homes?

There are other theories, but it's really of no consequence. The origins of the name are actually quite blurred, and perhaps the "House" tag originated from more than one source.

Blasting out of early '80s Chicago (the Channel 4 documentary Pump Up The Volume cites 1983 as "Year Zero" for the House music genre), the new sound became increasingly prevalant and popular. The first House track to chart in the UK was Jack Your Body by Steve "Silk" Hurley in 1986. 

Some music pundits attempted to dismiss House as simply a new form of Disco. Disco was considered to be pretty naff in mainstream pop culture after about 1980, so linking mid-to-late '80s House to it in this way was not designed to encourage enjoyment.

But House was far too varied, far too innovative, far too "of the moment" to be logically dismissed in such a way.

Every generation is beset by killjoys.


In writing the history of House music, things can get rather warped as many people hate to give credit where it's due when something good is proven to have come from the 1980s - the decade the "great and the good" enjoy slating because it was the Thatcher/Reagan era.

But, despite the best efforts of some to rewrite history, there was no House music before the 1980s.
Indeed, the creation and development of House music is closely linked to the new and affordable technology on which music could be made in the early-to-mid 1980s!

So, good things did come from the decade so many people like to priggishly revile!

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