On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body (1986)
“Move Your Body” is a 1986 house music song by Marshall Jefferson and released by Trax Records. The track was the first to be released under Jefferson’s own name, following several earlier house music tracks he made under aliases such as Virgo.
We’re still in the US, dear reader, but this time we are heading up towards Chicago in Illinois. Marshall Jefferson is considered a key influence in the world of house music, even being dubbed the father of the genre. He also pioneered the use of piano in house music which became hugely influential. When we join him in 1986 it is with a significant track in this genre – Move Your Body.
With uncredited vocals by Curtis McLain, Move Your Body is lyrically quite simple. The vocals call for house music to be played and played real loud for the benefit of the audience. Once the music is in place, it is time for the crowd to hit the dancefloor and to “move your body.” How one moves to house music exactly I am unsure of but it sounds like you just join in and go for it, and why not? Unless you have a dance phobia just as I do. We are also told that not only can one dance to this music but it will set us free.
House music is one of those genres I know next to nothing about and the sort of style I tended to avoid growing up. I think I am gradually coming to the point in the challenge where some of the music may be more testing for me, especially when we pass 2000! Move Your Body is still a welcome addition to this list. It is simple but was a blueprint for future songs in this genre and for that reason alone it has great merit on our hall of fame.
Favourite songs so far: