He made a surprise appearance at the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea (representing his country as a cultural contribution) and charted during 1989 as well with the hits "And Party" and "The Roof Is on Fire." Also in 1989, Westbam released his debut album The Roof Is on Fire. To celebrate his surprising success, Westbam decided to organize an outdoor event which could, he hoped, bring the new dance music out of nightclubs and into the mainstream. Called the Love Parade, it debuted that year with under 500 people. Less than a decade later, the Love Parade would count more than 250,000 participants.
Low Spirit Records
had several hits during the early '90s, by acts Mark Oh
. Westbam released his second album, A Practising Maniac at Work, in 1991, and founded the Mayday Festival later that year. By the mid-'90s, long after most rave cash-ins had spun themselves out, Westbam was going back into straight-ahead techno and trance, with singles like 1994's "Celebration Generation" and "Bam Bam Bam" (the title track from his fourth album, which hit the German Top 20). For the tenth anniversary of Low Spirit Recordings
, he released The Age of the DJ Mixer: 10 Years of Low Spirit, a compilation including several Westbam productions. Two 1997 singles, "Sonic Empire" and "Sunshine" hit the German singles charts (both were official anthems, for Mayday and Love Parade respectively) and prompted a new Westbam album, We'll Never Stop Living This Way, which entered the Top 40 of the German charts. ~ John Bush, Rovi