"Move It" is a song written by Ian Samwell and recorded by Cliff Richard and the Drifters (the UK band that would evolve into 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.
|Single by Cliff Richard and the Drifters|
|Released||29 August 1958|
|Format||7" single, 78 rpm disc|
|Recorded||24 July 1958, EMI Studios, London|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|Songwriter(s)||Ian Samwell (A-side)
Sharon Gilbert (B-side)
|Cliff Richard and the Drifters singles chronology|
|Single by Cliff Richard featuring Brian May and Brian Bennett|
|A-side||"21st Century Christmas"|
|Released||11 December 2006|
|Format||CD Single, 7" single|
|Recorded||2006, Abbey Road Studio 2, London|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
00946 379931 2 5 (CD Single)
CLIFFX 217 (7" vinyl)
|Producer(s)||Brian May and Brian Bennett|
|Cliff Richard featuring Brian May and Brian Bennett singles chronology|
"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 "Move It" was heard by producer Jack Good, who insisted that if Richard was to appear on his TV show Oh Boy!, he would have to sing "Move It". The planned single was flipped, and climbed to number 2 in the charts, starting Cliff Richard on a career which included British hits through six decades. His first no.1 record was "Living Doll" in 1959.
Described by Allmusic as "Presley-esque" and by Richard himself as "my one outstanding rock 'n' roll classic", "Move It" was written atop a London double-decker bus on the way to a rehearsal at Richard's house by the Drifters guitarist Ian "Sammy" Samwell. A second verse was written by Samwell for the Hank Marvin album Hank plays Cliff in 1995, with Cliff Richard once more providing the vocals. 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.
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.
1958 Original RecordingEdit
Cliff Richard and the Drifters:
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.
Richard has re-recorded the song numerous times in both the studio and live. The re-recordings appear on the following albums:
- Don't Stop Me Now (1967)
- Rock 'n' Roll Silver (25th anniversary album, 1983)
- Hank plays Cliff (Hank Marvin album with Richard as guest vocals, 1995)
- Two's Company (2006)
- Reunited – Cliff Richard and The Shadows (50th anniversary album, 2009)
- Just... Fabulous Rock 'n' Roll (2016)
- 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 99ers released a cover of the song on their 2012 album Move It
- The Johnnys released a cover of the song on their 1986 album Highlights Of A Dangerous Life