Move Closer

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"Move Closer"
Phyllis Nelson Move Closer.jpg
Single by Phyllis Nelson
Released 9 February 1985
Format 7", 12, CD
Recorded 1984
Genre Pop
Length 5:54 (album version)
4:35 (single re-recording)
4:01 (radio version)
Label Carrere Records
Writer(s) Phyllis Nelson
Phyllis Nelson singles chronology
Move Closer I Like You

"Move Closer" is a song by American singer-songwriter Phyllis Nelson, which topped the charts in the United Kingdom in April 1985.[1]


Nelson wrote the ballad in 1984. It was a complete departure from the type of music she had been recording; she had been recording dance and disco records, and decided to write her own record because, in her words, "not much music lets you dance close".[2] The lyrics of "Move Closer" were based on a long-term love affair she had with a much younger man in Philadelphia, who was struggling to start his own computer business.

British success[edit]

While "Move Closer" failed to make an impact on the US Billboard Hot 100, the song was hugely successful in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart, making her the first black woman to top the charts in Britain with her own composition.[3] The song was originally released in April 1984 but failed to chart, and was re-released in February 1985 after BBC Radio London started to play it. The song began to climb the charts, taking twelve weeks to reach the top spot.[4] "Move Closer" remained on the UK Singles Chart for just over five months during 1985, becoming Britain's seventh biggest-selling song of the year.[5] and the 82nd highest selling single of the decade.[6] In 1994 it was reissued and returned to the UK Singles Chart, this time peaking at number thirty four, on the back of it being featured in an anti-persperant television commercial.[4]

The song was also featured in the British film The Supergrass.


In the UK, the B-side was "Somewhere in the City".

Chart positions[edit]

The song failed to make any impact on the American charts, but did chart in Europe, Australia and New Zealand during 1984 and 1985.

Chart (1984)/(1985) Peak
Singles Chart End of year End of decade
Australian Kent Music Report 15[7] 55[8]
Austrian Singles Chart
France Singles Chart
German Singles Chart
Irish Singles Chart
Italian Singles Chart
Dutch Top 40 47[9]
Belgium 34[9]
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 23[9]
Norwegian Singles Chart
Swedish Singles Chart
Swiss Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart 1[1] 7 82



  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 448. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ One-Hit Wonders at the BBC. 17 April 2015. BBC Four. 
  3. ^ "Move Closer by Phyllis Nelson Songfacts". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  4. ^ a b c "Move Closer - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "1980s Singles Chart Archive". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  6. ^ "Official Biggest Selling Singles Of The '80s". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  8. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – 1985". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c Steffen Hung. "Phyllis Nelson - Move Closer". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
Preceded by
"We Are the World" by USA for Africa
UK number one single
April 28, 1985 – May 4, 1985
Succeeded by
"19" by Paul Hardcastle