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"Move It" is a song written by Ian Samwell and recorded by Cliff Richard and the Drifters (the UK band that would later become "The Shadows"). Originally intended as the B-side to "Schoolboy Crush", it was released as Richard's debut single on 29 August 1958 and became his first hit record, reaching no.2 on the UK singles chart. It is credited with being one of the first authentic rock and roll songs produced outside the United States.[1][2]

"Move It"
Single by Cliff Richard and the Drifters
B-side"Schoolboy Crush"
Released29 August 1958
Format7" single, 78 rpm disc
Recorded24 July 1958, EMI Studios, London
GenreRock and roll
Length2:23 (A-side)
2:32 (B-side)
LabelColumbia 45-DB4178/78-DB4178
Songwriter(s)Ian Samwell (A-side)
Aaron Schroeder,
Sharon Gilbert (B-side)
Producer(s)Norrie Paramor
Cliff Richard and the Drifters singles chronology
"Move It"
"High Class Baby"
"Move It"
Move It (Cliff Richard 2006 single).jpg
Cover of 7" vinyl edition of single
Single by Cliff Richard featuring Brian May and Brian Bennett
A-side"21st Century Christmas"
Released11 December 2006
FormatCD Single, 7" single
Recorded2006, Abbey Road Studio 2, London
GenreRock and roll
00946 379931 2 5 (CD Single)
CLIFFX 217 (7" vinyl)
Songwriter(s)Ian Samwell
Producer(s)Brian May and Brian Bennett
Cliff Richard featuring Brian May and Brian Bennett singles chronology
"Yesterday Once More"
"21st Century Christmas" / "Move It"
"When I Need You"

"Schoolboy Crush", written by Aaron Schroeder and Sharon Gilbert, had already been recorded in the US by Bobby Helms. Cliff Richard and the Drifters recorded their own version, which was intended to be the A-side of their debut single. However, when producer Jack Good heard "Move It", he insisted that Richard would have to sing that if he was to appear on Good's TV show Oh Boy! On the planned single, "Move It" was flipped to be the A-side and it climbed to number 2 in the charts, starting Cliff Richard on a career which included British hits through six decades.[1]

Described by Allmusic as "Presley-esque" and by Richard himself as "my one outstanding rock 'n' roll classic", "Move It" was written on the top deck of a Green Line bus by the Drifters guitarist Ian "Sammy" Samwell while making the trip to Cliff's house for a band rehearsal.[2] Samwell did not complete the second verse, so on the record Cliff sang the first verse twice. Samwell finally finished the second verse in 1995 and sent it to Hank Marvin who included "Move It" on his album Hank plays Cliff, with Cliff Richard having recorded a new vocal track which included the new verse. The new version was debuted live at a Royal Variety Performance in front of Queen Elizabeth II that year. Since then, Richard has continued to perform the song with the additional verse.[2]



The Beatles, in an out-take on The Get Back Journals, were recorded playing "Move It" in medley with "Good Rockin' Tonight".[3][4] John Lennon was separately quoted as saying, "Before Cliff (Richard) and The Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music."[5]

Led Zeppelin included Richard's original version of the song on a 2010 compilation put together by them, titled Led Zeppelin - The Music that Rocked Us.[6]

1958 original recordingEdit


Cliff Richard and the Drifters:

Session musicians:

2006 versionEdit

In 2006, Richard re-recorded "Move It" with Brian May of Queen on guitar and Brian Bennett of The Shadows on drums. The track was released as the second track on a double A-side CD single alongside "21st Century Christmas". The single peaked on debut at no. 2 on the UK Singles Chart in December. A limited edition 7" vinyl single was also released with "Move It" as the A-side. The track was included on Richard's 2006 duets album Two's Company.

Other re-recordingsEdit

Richard has re-recorded the song numerous times, both in the studio and during stage performances. The re-recordings appear on the following albums:

Studio albumsEdit

Live albumsEdit

Live recordings on singlesEdit

  • "Human Work of Art" (1993, CD1) - Acoustic version recorded live at Wembley Arena-1992[7]
  • "The Miracle" (1999, CD2) - Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall-1999[8]

Cover versionsEdit

  • Suzi Quatro covered the song on her 1974 album Quatro.
  • Alvin Stardust released a cover of the song as a single in 1975; it was included on his 1975 album Rock with Alvin.
  • The Johnnys released a cover of the song on their 1986 album Highlights Of A Dangerous Life


  1. ^ a b Sold on Song Top 100 at Retrieved on 18 November 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "The Ian "Sammy" Samwell Story" Archived 12 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine at Retrieved on 18 November 2007.
  3. ^ "The Get Back Journals - The Beatles". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Move It/Good Rockin' Tonight - The Beatles". YouTube. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  5. ^ "John Lennon quote". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  6. ^ "The Music that Rocked Us (Led Zeppelin album)". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  7. ^ Cliff Richard (1993). Human Work of Art (CD Single) (CD1 ed.). UK: EMI Records.
  8. ^ Cliff Richard (1999). The Miracle (CD Single) (CD2 ed.). UK: EMI Records.

External linksEdit