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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Jan-19 > 1 HIT WONDER

1 HIT WONDER

No.48 MOVE CLOSER PHYLLIS NELSON

Phyllis Nelson was an experienced disco singer and her 1985 single Move Closer was a radical departure into all-out soulful schmaltz that clambered slowly but purposefully to No.1 for a single week.

Sung from the point of view of an older woman in a relationship, it was unashamedly soppy and romantically graphic. Nevertheless it had the desired effect on many a young – and, indeed, less young – couple planning on some nonsense in a dark room.

Nelson, from Florida, had made disco records to minimal effect in the 70s but was wellregarded as a session singer around the Philly soul scene. After getting divorced and beginning a relationship with a much younger man, she wrote Move Closer.

Not many records entering the charts at No.90 can hope to end up at No.1, but Move Closer did. It climbed for 12 consecutive weeks until it hit the top for a solitary week in May 1985. It spent 10 weeks in the Top 10 in total and nearly six months on the chart – only six songs outsold it that year.

A follow-up, I Like You, reached No.81, and Move Closer re-charted in 1994 after use on a deodorant advert. Phyllis Nelson died of breast cancer in 1998, aged 47.

Matthew Rudd is the host of Forgotten 80s on Absolute 80s

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About Classic Pop

Issue 48 is on sale now! In our latest issue we look ahead to the most hotly-anticipated album of 2019 – it’s the return of Madonna. We also analyse her six personas that changed the face of pop and wax lyrical about her classic album Like A Prayer. We’ve got outrageous must-read interviews with Paul Heaton plus Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch and Ultravox fans will love our chat with the legendary Midge Ure. Our panel of experts look back over the year to count down their pick of the finest albums, reissues, compilations and books of 2018 and elsewhere we catch up with The Fizz to hear about their rollercoaster year as well as tracing the make-or-break record that saved The Jam’s career. We review new releases by Trevor Horn, Joe Jackson and Fun Lovin' Criminals while in our packed reissues section we look at Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, Brian Eno and much more. We also check out gigs by Heaven 17, Rick Astley and Blancmange.