Keep On Movin' (Soul II Soul song)

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"Keep On Movin'"
Keep on movin' soul ii soul single.jpeg
Single by Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler
from the album Club Classics Vol. One
Released March 1989
Format 7" single, 12" maxi single, cassette , CD
Recorded 1988
Genre Soul,[1] R&B, new jack swing

6:02 (Album Version)

3:38 (7" Edit)
Label Virgin
Songwriter(s) Jazzie B
Producer(s) Jazzie B, Nellee Hooper
Soul II Soul singles chronology
"Feel Free"
"Keep On Movin'"
"Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)"
"Feel Free"
"Keep On Movin'"
"Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)"

"Keep On Movin'" is a song by British soul/R&B band Soul II Soul. It was the second single released from their debut album Club Classics Vol. One, (Keep On Movin' in the United States) after "Fairplay". It is one of two songs on the album that features British R&B singer Caron Wheeler (the other being "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)") and it became one of Soul II Soul's most successful songs. It reached number five on the UK Singles Chart upon its release in March 1989 and number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and was even more successful on Billboard's R&B charts, where it hit number one.

In October 1996, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 31, minus the sleeve credit to Caron Wheeler, after its use in an episode of the highly popular series of Papa & Nicole commercials for the Renault Clio car on British television.

In October 2004, "Keep On Movin'" appeared in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on fictional new jack swing radio station CSR 103.9.


Produced by Nellee Hooper and Jazzie B, the song was originally to only feature Caron Wheeler as a guest vocalist on the song.[2] After recording the song in 1988, Wheeler was added to the lineup of Soul II Soul. The song became the titled-track for the group's American release Keep on Movin'. The original album released contained an acappella version of "Keep On Movin'".[2] After the success of the single, Virgin Records repackaged the album to include the single version of the song along with a new club mix.[2][3]

Music videos[edit]

Two music videos exist for "Keep on Movin'", the first being the official video one and the second being an alternate video. The first music video premiered on various music video shows. The other music video was released online.

Official video

This video features Caron Wheeler in front of a piano before a pink backdrop in wearing a white dress-suit, performing the song. Cutscenes featuring the other members of Soul II Soul including Aitch B and Jazzie B were used in the video. Another scene with Wheeler and Jazzie B in black outfits also used. The video also features the use of a group dancing to choreography of the song.

Alternate video

The music video features Caron Wheeler wearing a red tribal jacket and head scarf with black top, performing the song against a black background. Jazzie B also appears wearing a green and yellow jacket. Singer and dancer Wunmi appears as one of the dancers in the video, wearing a red tribal jacket. Interspersed are some of the lyrics from the song. Later in the video, the group appears together dancing to the music with three violinist in the background.

Live performances[edit]

Soul II Soul performed "Keep on Movin'" on various televised appearances, including the Top of the Pops,[4] Soul Train, and Big World Cafe. Their performance from Top of the Pops aired in March 16, 1989.[4] At the end of 1989, Wheeler later departed from the group. Their performance on Soul Train featured the debut performance of then-new member Marcia Lewis; who performed the lead vocals.

The song was included in the group's set list for their A New Decade Tour in 1990 and was performed early in the set on tour dates. Victoria Wilson-James, a recent addition to group, performed the lead vocals to the song during the tour. Wheeler also included the song during her solo tours. A live recording of the song was released on Wheeler's live CD/DVD Live at Duo Music Exchange, which featured her performing live in Tokyo, Japan. In 2007, Wheeler reunited with the group and performed the song at the Lovebox Festival. In December 2012, Soul II Soul (composed of Jazzie B and Caron Wheeler) performed the song on Later... with Jools Holland.[5]

In December 2016, Soul II Soul released their live album Origins: The Roots of Soul II Soul which included a live recorded version on the song, sung by Wheeler.[6]

Impact and legacy[edit]

"Keep on Movin'" is mentioned in the first chapter of Paul Gilroy's book The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993). Gilroy uses this particular song because he considers the song emblematic of a black transatlantic conversation.[7] The song is notable for its expansion across nation-states, being produced in England by a group of people with Caribbean ancestry but having also been remixed into a Jamaican dub format in the United States. Gilroy describes the song as an expression of “the restlessness of spirit which makes the diaspora culture vital.” "Keep On Movin" made reference to racialized issues experienced by groups within the Diaspora. The song is sung by Caron Wheeler; and it was remixed into a dub format in the United States by Teddy Riley[8]

Mixmag ranked the song number 87 in its 100 Greatest Dance Singles Of All Time list in 1996, adding:

"Keep On Movin' was clearly a classic as soon as it came out in the early summer of 1989. The old soul vibe was glued on to the electronic swing and suddenly if you were British you could still be funky."

In BBC Radio’s 2008 listeners & DJs poll The Greatest Ever Dance Record, "Keep On Movin'" came in at #6 after Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", James Brown's "Sex Machine", Donna Summer's "I Feel Love", Derrick May's "Strings of Life" and Alison Limerick's "Where Love Lives".[9]

The Daily Telegraph ranked "Keep On Movin'" #33 in their Top 50 Dance Songs list in 2015.[10]

Track listing[edit]


  1. Keep On Movin' (Club Mix Ft. Caron Wheeler) 5:46
  2. Keep On Movin' (Big Beat A Capella) 3:32
  3. Keep On Movin' (Nellee Hooper 7") 3:38


  1. Keep On Movin' (Teddy Riley's Rubba Dub) 5:59
  2. Keep On Movin' (The First Movement) 6:03
  3. Keep On Movin' (Teddy Riley's Bonus Beats) 5:54

Chart performance[edit]

Preceded by
"Ain't Nobody Better" by Inner City
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
June 24, 1989
Succeeded by
"Secret Rendezvous" by Karyn White
Preceded by
"Show and Tell" by Peabo Bryson
Billboard's Hot R&B Songs number-one single
July 8, 1989 – July 15, 1989
Succeeded by
"Turned Away" by Chuckii Booker


  1. ^ "Soul II Soul – Keep On Movin". Discogs. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Jazzie B and Caron Wheeler of Soul II Soul discuss 1989’s Club Classics Vol. One (Keep On Movin’). WaxPoetics. Retrieved on October 31, 2017
  3. ^ Club Classics Vol. 1 - Soul II Soul. All Music Guide. Retrieved on October 31, 2017
  4. ^ a b Top of the Pops. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on October 25, 2017
  5. ^ Soul II Soul - Back To Life, Episode 10, Series 41, Later... with Jools Holland. BBC Two. Retrieved on October 25, 2017
  6. ^ Origins: The Roots of Soul II Soul - Soul II Soul. All Music Guide. Retrieved on October 25, 2017
  7. ^ Gilroy, Paul (1993). The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 
  8. ^ Gilroy, Paul (1993). The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 
  9. ^ "Billie Jean voted top dance song". Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  10. ^ "Top 50 dance songs". Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  11. ^ "Chartifacts (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 1 – Week Ending 14 Jan 1990)". ARIA. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  12. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1989". Retrieved 2009-09-15.