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As perfect for the easy nights in as it is for the morning after the night before... read on
The year it all began.
DJ magazine is launched and promoters like Fantazia are
pulling in 10,000 people to their New Year's Eve rave. Spiral
Tribe start their run of legendary free parties. The rest of
the country did the Bartman and Bryan Adams did it all for you
for 16 weeks. Desert Storm kicks off, the USSR dissolves and
the Cold War comes to an end. Over in a converted bus garage
in Elephant & Castle, a little bit of New York lands in
London; James Palumbo, Justin Berkmann, Humphrey Waterhouse,
Graeme Park, Jeremy Healy and a fresh-faced Paul Oakenfold are
joined by the likes of Larry Levan, Bert Bevan and Kenny
Carpenter as the first real "dance club" in the UK (and it
really is a club, with rules and membership forms) is
The Royal Family suffer an "Annus Horribilis" as
Charles and Diana separate and the recession
continues to bite, with Black Wednesday neatly
coinciding with our birthday weekend and the
Conservatives win a record fourth term! Still no
alcohol licence for us but the line ups keep getting
stronger at the club. The Italians arrive en masse
as we bring Ralf, Claudio and Francesco over for the
first time and the booth moves down onto the main
floor. On a more serious note we mark Larry Levan's
passing, whilst Castlemorton and the first rumblings
of the Criminal Justice Bill signal the end of the
free party era. Cream and Renaissance open and take
over the mantle of historic club Shelleys in Stoke
and Quadrant Park in Liverpool as the bastion of
club culture up North. Mr C and The Shamen tell
clubland (and the country) that "'Eezer Goode,
'Eezer Goode, he's Ebeneezer Goode" and enjoy four
weeks at the top of the charts, and whilst Snap,
SL2, 2 Unlimited, Ce Ce Peniston and a new act
called The Prodigy (with everybody in the place) all
feature in the top ten, Shakespeare's Sister hold
the number one
Tribal Gathering takes place and there's widespread opposition to the Criminal Justice Bill as the likes of
Fantazia and Universe try to adjust to the rapidly emerging new world order. The very first
Gatecrasher event is held in a former canal pump engine house in Worcestershire. Our logo makes the news when
it's projected onto the side of the Houses of Parliament and Battersea Power Station ("no idea what you are
talking about officer..") to promote the launch of our first ever compilation album - Sessions Vol. 1 mixed by
Tony Humphries and our very own record label, Sound of Ministry.
Take That are rewarded for Praying with their first number one in July and their next two singles also reach
number one. 2 Unlimited are back again telling us there are No Limits, however with Mr Blobby making it to the
top spot twice and securing the honour of being 1993's Christmas number one, it would appear there was a
definite limit to some people's taste in music.
Michael Jackson is accused of child abuse, the
World Trade Centre is bombed, IRA bombing continues and whilst officially the recession is over, there's not
much to shout about as England fails to qualify for the World Cup (our very own football cards from last year
proving a lot more popular than the usual Panini specials...).
We put out that Maggie flyer, Rulin' gets rollin' and our twisted friends from Torture Garden come out to play. Despite two
years of protests the Criminal Justice Bill is passed as law by the Crown. The KLF burn £1 million in the name of Art.
Whigfield reassures us that Saturday Night's alright, and we certainly didn't need Marti Pellow and Wet Wet Wet to tell us that
Love Is All Around. East 17 and Jimmy Nail remind us why we're in the club dancing and not at home listening to the radio! The
Channel Tunnel opens, the Church of England ordains its first female priest, we all have a flutter on Saturday night as the
National Lottery launches, and Sundays stop being just about recovering as Sunday trading becomes law (and following a little
chat over dinner in Islington, Tony and Gordon agree that Tony should be the next leader of the Opposition).
Dance music makes itself felt across the board and we unleash Volume 1 of The Annual compilation series, mixed by Pete Tong and
Boy George. Muzik magazine launches, Glastonbury introduces the "official" Dance Tent, and Manchester brothers Mike and Andy
take Manumission to Ibiza. Even though 1995 was seen by many as the year of Britpop, with Blur and Oasis slugging
it out in the charts, it wasn't all guitars and haircuts. From selling almost 2 million singles to Extreme Fishing on Channel
5, Robson Greene has done it all, and 1995 was the year he and Jerome Flynn made the move from the small screen (Soldier,
Soldier) to the studio and spent eleven weeks of the year at number one. Nick Leeson takes a rather larger gamble than most of
us would feel comfortable with and brings the UK's oldest merchant bank to its knees as he loses 1.4 billion dollars. Damon
Hill gets fined £350 for being clocked at 165mph on the M40, whilst Eric Cantona is fined £20,000 and sentenced to fourteen
days in prison with a six month ban from football for that kick...
Charles and Diana get divorced, and we celebrate our 5th birthday with another one of those stunts, this time at the Palace
(and manage not to get nicked in the process!). Things get a little Frisky down the club, ex-Housemartin Norman Cook introduces
the world to Fatboy Slim, Godskitchen pulls in 1,500 a week and after three years of partying in various locations around
Yorkshire and the West Midlands, Gatecrasher moves to a permanent home at The Republic in Sheffield with Judge Jules in
residence, heralding the dawn of the euphoric era of trance. We all shouted "Lager, Lager, Lager" thanks to
Trainspotting and Underworld and Drum & Bass arrived at the club with the launch of Logical Progression, whilst the rest of the
country was listening to Spice Girls and Oasis and worrying about Take That splitting up. Todd Terry and Roger Sanchez
celebrated NYE with us and Florence from The Magic Roundabout made it onto a flyer. We rounded off the musical year with the
second volume of The Annual, with Messrs. Tong and George taking the mix credits again, shifting an unprecedented 700,000
Junior Vasquez played his first ever London show at the club. It all gets a little bit glamorous in
Elephant & Castle as Pushca comes to stay, we get our first taste of feather boas and Jason Brooks and we
hit the headlines with our hard hitting ad campaign for Use Your Vote. Carl Cox is crowned number one in DJ
Magazine's first ever top 100, Godskitchen move to Milton Keynes and sell out 4,000 in a single night,
whilst at Turweston Airfield glowsticks still rule as Helter Skelter pull in 10,000. Oasis
kick Blur into touch as Be Here Now becomes the fastest selling album in UK history, Spice Mania continues
to sweep the country as they enjoy three number ones and Spiceworld: The Movie appears in cinemas. Richard
Ashcroft tries to convince us that the Drugs Don't Work (and Brian Harvey tells the world Ecstasy is safe
and is sacked from East 17 for it), whilst the Prodigy are enjoying living off the Fat of the Land (and
playing their biggest ever gig in Moscow's Red Square to a reported half a million people).
Dolly gets a twin as the world's first cloned animal is born. The Conservatives lose to a landslide Labour
victory and things really can only get better (thanks Prof. Brian Cox) as we win the Eurovision Song
Contest for the first time in over fifteen years. Diana's death brings the nation to a standstill and over
in Miami, Versace is killed outside his home in South Beach.
Deep Dish join us for New Year's Eve; FSUK finds its stride, as the likes of Freestylers and Bentley Rhythm Ace introduce a new
sound to the scene. Super clubbing in a field as Creamfields launches outside Winchester, with corporate investment flooding in
from PlayStation and Red Bull and we team up with Gatecrasher at Lotherton Hall in Leeds for Radio 1. Paul Oakenfold is crowned
number one for the first of two years running in the DJ mag top 100 (only seven years ago he was warming up for Graeme Park and
Jeremy Healy for us on Friday nights!). We launch our own magazine, giving the UK a total of four dedicated dance music
monthlies. Thanks to Spike Jonze's magic touch, the Fatboy gives us a truly original dance music video and scores his first
number one record with Praise You. All Saints edge The Spice Girls out of the charts as Sporty, Scary, Baby, Posh
and Ginger start thinking about their solo careers (all together now, ahhhhh). The country gets to grips with a whole host of
girl groups and boy bands from B*witched to Westlife, Boyzone to Cleopatra and whilst Stardust is one of the biggest tracks of
the summer, the foundations for some of the greatest moments in music video history are set as Geordie Gunter stars in
Spacedust's Gym and Tonic. The Good Friday Agreement marks the beginning of the end of the armed struggles in
Ireland. We make it through to the second round of the World Cup (having failed to qualify last time) and Spice Mania stages
one last push as someone pays £41,320 for Geri's Union Jack dress.
It's all about New York, baby - from David Morales to Ray Roc, Rulin' brings London a little closer to true
house music on a Saturday night (though we do make a detour to Rimini every now and again for Rulin'
Italia) and we score our first ever number one single on our new trance label, Data Records, with ATB's 9PM
('Til I Come). James and Darren split, Creamfields goes home to Liverpool, London gets a new "super club"
on Leicester Square in Home and Homelands launches in the UK and Ireland with the support of brands like
Ericsson and Bacardi. Before Life on Mars, John Simm was also helping bring our weekends to the silver
screen as one of the stars of Human Traffic. Even legend-in-waiting Mr Oizo and his fluffy
yellow friend Flat Eric, Fatboy Slim, Chicane and the Wamdue Project can't do anything to halt the advance
of Europop in the charts as the Vengaboys score 5 hit singles in a year and make sure everyone knows
they're on their way to Ibiza (little did we suspect the doors to the White Isle's best clubs could be
thrown quite so far open!). The new Scottish Parliament and the Welsh National Assembly sit for the first
time. The Euro is launched, and back home the London Eye and the Millennium Dome open and
unemployment falls to a 20 year low. Down on the Lizard Peninsula it's 1991 all over again as 50,000 turn
up for an Eclipse Party.
Move becomes S'moove as we start the new millennium (and everything still works, thank f***) and just how far club culture has
evolved becomes clear to all. From underground to overground, Kevin and Perry Go Large makes it official - dance music is
mainstream. Back home it all gets a little bit progressive as Sasha knocks Paul Oakenfold into second place in the 2000 edition
of the DJ mag top 100. With Sonique, Groovejet and Modjo all flying the flag for dance music in the charts and downloads
starting to really make themselves felt, 2000 sees over 43 records charting at number one and the likes of Eminem and Dr Dre
all making an appearance in the charts and on our playlists. In a sign of things to come the Royal Bank of Scotland takes over
NatWest and becomes one of the biggest banks in the UK. The Millennium Bridge opens, and then rapidly shuts again. The Queen
Mum makes it to 100, Madonna marries Guy and goes a little cockney and Ewan Blair has a little bit too much to drink, so we
invite him along to join us for a few more down at The Dome as we see in 2001 with a rave for 16,000.
Things get a little bit punchy for Labour's John Prescott, 9-11 changes our lives forever and pop takes over the charts, with S
Club 7, Atomic Kitten, Blue, Hear'Say and Westlife dominating the airwaves, though we manage to squeeze in a number two hit
with iio's Rapture and shift half a million copies of our first Chillout Session album. Meanwhile we bring a bit of Ministry of
Sound magic to the festival circuit with 35,000 at Knebworth, our friends over at Godskitchen launch Global Gathering, Norman
invites everyone down to Brighton for a beach party and the first Big Beach Boutique. We're all still going at 9am on a Sunday
thanks to Rulin', whilst Smoove celebrates its first birthday and we let Trevor Nelson look after the club for us on New Year's
Eve as we round off the year by taking over The Dome with 55,000 partygoers turning Tony Blair's white elephant into a proper
palace of rave - a truly unforgettable night and our biggest ever event.
Cream closes its doors up in Liverpool and a quarter of a million people turn up on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend to party with
Norman Cook down in Brighton (that'll be the end of that then...). The Dutch start to flex their muscles as Tiësto knocks Digweed
off the number one slot in the DJ mag Top 100. Dave Pearce gives us all a glimpse of things to come with Euphoria and Future,
whilst Smoove goes from strength to strength. Tribalism brings a taste of the underground to our Saturday nights and Soul
Heaven and Rulin' remind us of our roots. The Queen Mum passes, there's a party at the Palace (not related, it's the Golden
Jubilee) and we only make it to the quarter finals of the World Cup thanks to the sort of Brazilian no one likes...
The charts become obsessed with reality TV shows, as a new show called Pop Idol opens the proverbial Pandora's Box and paves
the way for Gareth Gates and Will Young. Westlife score their tenth number one (as many as Madonna at the time!). Only Junkie
XL and his Elvis Mash up of A Little Less Conversation provides any respite from the onslaught. Once again, we
take to The Dome for New Year's Eve, this time with Mauro Picotto, Judge Jules and Groove Armada leading the charge in the main
arena and Rulin', Smoove , Drum & Bass Arena and the Bacardi BBar making sure the punters dance 'til dawn in the world's
biggest 'dance tent'.
Tiësto's still the number one DJ in the world according to DJ magazine. Muzik magazine publishes its last issue, Ibiza comes to
Elephant & Castle as legendary night Circoloco starts its Ministry of Sound residency, and Smoove is officially recognized (by
us) as "purveyors of the finest urban music by appointment to the UK's most discerning clubbers". The age of supersonic travel
comes to an end as Concorde is grounded, we enjoy one of the hottest summers on record, Dirty Den is back on our screens, and
the oligarchs start making themselves felt as Abramovich buys Chelsea for £150M and ushers in a new era of Premier League
football. Whilst Black Eyed Peas managed six weeks at number one in the charts, selling over 500,000 copies, The
Darkness & Fatman Scoop and two school girls from Russia brought a few surprises, as did the use of power tools in our
memorable video for Benny Benassi's number two hit Satisfaction. The power of the movie soundtrack started to make itself felt
with number ones from Donnie Darko and Austin Power's Goldmember.
Tiësto's still at number one, making it three years in a row and the longest ever run in the DJ mag charts; he also ends
up playing a 90 minute set at the Athens Olympics and seals his place in history (with nine golds, nine silvers and twelve
bronzes; we didn't do too badly either). Back at the club, Kenny and Louie keep things soulful and very heavenly, Defected's
most definitely In The House with Martin Solveig and Dimitri from Paris keeping everything very glamorous, and Smoove
celebrates its fourth birthday.
Piers Morgan is sacked from The Mirror (and somewhere in the heavens the fate of TV is changed forever), London gets the
Gherkin and all over the country foxes breathe a sigh of relief as hunting is banned...
We get another taste of chart success with five weeks at number one for Eric Prydz with that video; and the pop onslaught of
Britney, Brian McFadden, Girls Aloud, Peter Andre and McFly is further staved off with a little help from the only other dance
track to make it to number one, from The Shapeshifters.
Finally Tiësto's grip on the readers of DJ mag relaxes and Gallery favourite Paul van Dyk makes it to the top of the pile.
Another Ibiza institution gets introduced to London thanks to Ministry of Sound, as David and Cathy Guetta bring their F*** Me
I'm Famous party to the club, and we swap Smoove for Switch and add the likes of Grandmaster Flash and Killa Kela into the mix.
Meanwhile back on the White Isle, the Manumission boys continue to ensure that Ibiza Rocks. Between Tony Christie
(with a little help from Peter Kay), that bloody Frog and a right James Blunt, musically it all seems to go out of the window,
despite the best efforts of the Gorillaz and Arctic Monkeys. Prince Harry takes things a goosestep too far at a
party, Charles remarries, 24 hour licences are introduced and the war on terror creeps ever closer to home as the 7th July
bombings claim the lives of more than fifty people in London.
Borat introduces the world to the mankini, the Hamster stacks it and we turn 15!
Along with Fedde Le Grand, we invited the whole country to "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit", scoring us another chart-topping
number one and it all went a little bit Crazy with Danger Mouse and Cee Lo as we battled with The X Factor factor. In the club
it all went veryveryverywrongindeed with Mr C and Tim Sheridan, we got a little bit rock and roll with XFM and Switch crossing
over, and Sander Kleinenberg started his residency, the year "This Is" was born. Soul Heaven draws to a close and everyone from
Deep Dish to Osunlade and Wally Lopez helped remind us why we started the club in the first place.
We lose the Ashes, Wembley reopens ("budget, what budget?" we hear them say) and the smoking ban is introduced across the
country. Tony steps aside to let Gordon have a play with his train set, and no one pays the slightest bit of attention as some
guy called Nick Clegg is made leader of the Liberal Democrats. Daft Punk blow our minds with the sort of visuals
and high-end production (a pyramid!) that is now expected of every big artist with their Alive tour and headline in Hyde Park
at Wireless. Remember where you saw it first... Detroit's finest, Derrick May and DJ Rolando, return to the club
to deliver a dose of Hi-Tek Soul and Pete Tong's Wonderland lands (tassels and all). All downloads count towards
the singles chart (finally) and The Proclaimers are back. Rihanna and that bloody Umbrella burst onto the scene, whilst yawn,
yawn, The X Factor continues to dominate the charts as Leona Lewis manages a total of 9 weeks at the top of the charts. We
release our first compilation in the Anthems series, which turns into one of our biggest ever albums, shifting over 650,000
copies, proving there's still a lotta love for 90's club classics.
Cream may no longer be open every week up on Parr Street but Liverpool is made the European City of Culture. The hangover from
the Noughties finally begins to kick in as Northern Rock is nationalised and everyone asks where the f*** has the money gone.
Boris kicks Red Ken into touch and the UK manage the biggest haul of gold in 100 years at the Olympics (just a shame Gordon
sold most of the stash we had at home years ago). Utah Saints make it back into the charts (thanks to us) and
Dizzee and Calvin are the sound of summer (and some Scandinavian bloke named Basshunter knocks Coldplay off the top of the
album chart). Sander Kleinenberg's This Is keeps things a little edgy, and the S Man is invited back again (17 years after he
first played at the club!). However, perhaps most importantly of all, Clerkenwell's loss is our gain as Turnmills closes its
doors and The Gallery makes its way south of the river. Friday nights will never be the same again.
Wonderland continues to deliver glamour and glitz (and the occasional gimp). Renaissance hosts a couple of amazing events at Gaunt Street and things get a little bit cheeky (as you would hope) on our 18th birthday. We're invited back to the Dome (well, the O2 Arena now) with the biggest dance artist of the year, Deadmau5.
The recession (and the weather) continue to bite when it all gets made official and the Office of National Statistics confirms the UK is in recession for the first time since 1991. All in all, between the driving snow, running out of cash and the fact that it's an X Factor start and finish to the year as usual (with the exception of a rather severe Poker Faced young lady bursting on to the scene), it's not the greatest of years for most...
Danny Tenaglia goes buck wild at our 19th birthday bash (just check out the photos); Fedde forgets about Detroit and
concentrates on taking over London whilst we hook up with We Love and set our sights on getting back onto the White Isle and
kick off the year with Sidney Samson's Tupac-sampling anthem Riverside, Motherf***er reaching number two in the charts. Only a couple of weeks into the year and thanks to freezing snow the country's brought to a standstill. Fast forward a
couple of months and just as we thought things were getting back to normal, a volcano with a name we couldn't pronounce, in a
place we never thought about, f***ed everything up again. Finally its "bye bye, Brown", as the promise of power proves too much
for Clegg, as he gives Ravey Dave (did you see that video?) the support he needs to take power. Meanwhile the
charts get rapped up with Roll Deep, Dizzee, Professor Green, Plan B, our own label signing Example, and man-of-the-moment
Tinie Tempah waking the country up to the sound of the streets but still nothing can stop the inevitable Cowell comeback (not
even Cee-Lo literally saying F*** You, or a Take That reunion) as Matt Cardle, this year's X Factor winner, sells nearly
750,000 singles in 2 weeks!