Move It

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"Move It"
Single by Cliff Richard and the Drifters
B-side"Schoolboy Crush"
Released29 August 1958 (1958-08-29)
Recorded24 July 1958
StudioEMI, London
GenreRock and roll
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"
Alternative cover
Sleeve of 1982 7-inch release
Cover of 1982 reissue

"Move It" is a song written by Ian Samwell and recorded by Cliff Richard and the Drifters (the English 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 number 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] "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 went 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] The song's lyrics were a riposte to a 1958 article by Steve Race published in Melody Maker which stated: "So rock’n’roll is dead, is it? My funeral oration consists of just two words: good riddance".[3] 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".[4][5] John Lennon was separately quoted as saying, "Before Cliff and The Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music."[6]

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.[7]

1958 original recording[edit]


Cliff Richard and the Drifters:

Session musicians:

2006 version[edit]

"Move It"
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
StudioAbbey 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
"What Car?"
"21st Century Christmas" / "Move It"
"When I Need You"

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".[8] 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-recordings[edit]

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 albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Live recordings on singles[edit]

  • Human Work of Art (1993, CD1) – Acoustic version recorded live at Wembley Arena, 1992[9]
  • The Miracle (1999, CD2) – Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1999[10]


  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 2i's and the birth of British rock". Record Collector. 5 October 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  4. ^ "The Get Back Journals - The Beatles". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Move It/Good Rockin' Tonight - The Beatles". YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  6. ^ "John Lennon quote". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  7. ^ "The Music that Rocked Us (Led Zeppelin album)". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Cliff Richard With Brian May And Brian Bennett -". Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  9. ^ Cliff Richard (1993). Human Work of Art (CD single) (CD1 ed.). UK: EMI Records.
  10. ^ Cliff Richard (1999). The Miracle (CD single) (CD2 ed.). UK: EMI Records.

External links[edit]