Few places in space and time can have been more fantastical and inspiring than Ibiza in the early 1980s.
In that period, the island was home to three of the most important nightclubs in the world. Ku was the world's largest outdoor discotheque, built around an Olympic sized swimming pool. Amnesia was the late night/early morning club where DJ Alfredo played Beethoven, Kate Bush and whatever he liked until the sun came up. Pacha was the boutique discotheque that became a global superbrand.
Ibiza had long been an island of freedom. It was a haven for liberal and alternative Spaniards during Franco's rule. In the early seventies it was a key point on a global hippie trail. In the early eighties it was both a favourite destination of the Club 18-30 holidayers as well as Europe's yachting fraternity. Ibiza was Europe's most treasured ‘pleasure island.'
In 1987 four British DJs, including Danny Rampling and Paul Oakenfold, visited the island and were entranced by the Balearic beats. They were so inspired that on their return to London they launched the club nights Shoom and Spectrum, put the acid into house, and went a long way to creating the dance music industry as we now know it.
When New Order recorded part of their Technique album in Ibiza, in 1989, Ibiza was not only fashionable, but the Mecca of hedonism, the chosen destination to celebrate life between music, dance and drugs. The emotional synth-pop of the then legendary Manchester quartet was already a blockbuster with songs like Bizarre Love Triangle or the Blue Monday anthem.
By then, the 'second summer of love' in Britain had already taken place, in 1988. The explosion of marriage between designer drugs such as ecstasy and acid-house music had generated parties in which time seemed to stop.
The peaceful island was the place of welcome of European and Spanish hippies in the 60s, before forging its most VIP image. But little by little, the paradisiacal island was filled with people hungry for more traditionally mercantile parties, millionaires with free time and business owners willing to make a profit. Large nightclubs arose that every night were filled with people usually wealthy but liberal-minded: Pacha, Es Paradís or Ku.