The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Move Your Body - History Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 2nd May 2008
  #1
Lives for gear
 
teknosmoker's Avatar
 

Move Your Body - History

Hi Marshall - First of all, thanks for doing this Q & A on Gearslutz.

Move Your Body has got to be one of the most influential (and most sampled) house records in existence. Can you give us some detail regarding the inspiration that led to the production of the track and what gear was used to both perform and record it?

Also, how do you feel about the fact that so many people have sampled snippets of your tracks to incorporate into their own productions (Jeff Mills' "Shifty Disco E.P." comes to mind)? Do you regard it as a homage to your work - or do you feel that it is a violation of your copyrighted material. This as a very controversial issue in house music today. So much of it is sample-based and back in the day, nobody ever bothered getting samples cleared (from movies, old disco, funk & R&B records), as the music was underground. What are your thoughts on the subject today?

-T
Old 2nd May 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 
inthere's Avatar
 

Story Of Move Your Body-The House Music Anthem.

The inspiration? I heard in tune in my head that actually had female vocals, not with the Move Your Body words but other words. Come to think of it now, I think I'll write a tune with those words It came to me while working the graveyard shift at the Chicago Post Office (12am-8:30am) on a letter sorting machine. From there I rushed home to get it down.

I programmed the drums, piano, and bass there, then scheduled a session at my friend Lito Manlucu's tascam 8 track studio. I called all my friends at the Post Office-Thomas Carr, Rudy Forbes, and Curtis McClain, and told them I had a song i wanted to do at the studio, and they came. I still hadn't written vocals though.

Everybody got to the studio, and i wrote the verse and the chorus in the studio. I added a string line by playing half the piano line through a Prophet 2000 string sound. Prophet 2000 was also used for the piano. Roland Jx 8p was used for the bass. Now I know technically better piano sounds have come and gone since that old 32khz Prohet piano sound but none of them sound better to me.

Anyway, we finished mixing the tune and I looked at the guys like I'd just written the greatest song of all time. They thought it sucked. They weren't too excited about it. Studio time recording and mixing took about 3 hours.
1
Share
Old 2nd May 2008
  #3
Lives for gear
 
inthere's Avatar
 

Story Of Move Your Body-The House Music Anthem-continued

The night, I took the song 1st to the Sheba Baby club, where my firends Mike Dunn, Tyree Cooper, and Hugo Hutchinson were DJ'ing. This was before they all had records out, and I was known as Virgo. (loved that nickname!) They loved the song and I gave them a cassette copy, but they said it wasn't House music because of the piano. From there i drove to the Music Box to give Ron Hardy a copy. Outside in the car i played it on my car system for some friends (One was K-Alexi) and I don't think they were too impressed. I'd had about 15 unreleased songs playing in the Music Box at that time and they thought some of my other stuff was much hotter. They also said it wasn't House Music because of the piano.

After that, I went into the Music Box and gave DJ Ron Hardy a copy while he was playing. I didn't expect him to play it right away; usually i just gave him a copy and he'd listen to it later and maybe play it the next weekend. This time he put it in the cassette machine right away. I saw his head quickly go into a violent bobbing motion and I knew he liked the song. He immediately put it on and played it 6 times in a row, putting on a sound effects record while he rewound the tape.

From there it got to be the biggest song in the Music Box. Ron told me not to give it to anybody else, and I held off for awhile, but there were other DJ's in the city that wanted it and finally I gave in when Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy's biggest rival got a copy of it. Prior to that,I took it to Trax Records to press it up on my own label. At that time Larry Sherman, the owner, considered himself a House music expert because he'd previously put out Jesse Saunders stuff and also 4 of my records. He hated the song and said it wasn't House music because of the piano. I didn't care and paid him to press the record up.

13 months passed before he finally pressed it up, but there were some things that happened before that......................

After Frankie Knuckles got a copy of it, it seemed the flood gates opened. I had to give Lil Louis and Fast Eddie copies, because Eddie lived 2 doors down from me on my block and Lil Louis lived on the next block. Mike Dunn, Tyree Cooper, and Hugo Hutchinson already had copies. Pretty soon it seemed like every DJ in Chicago had copies................some really bad and some passable, but crowds freaked every time it came on.


International DJ's played it to and this is how I tracked down how they got copies, after talking to the DJ's and members of the press:

1. Frankie Knuckies got his copy from my friend Sleezy D.
2. Frankie Knuckles' best friend was Larry Levan from New York's Paradise Garage. At that time, DJ's from all over the world would fly to New York to hear what Larry played, because whatever was popular there became hits.
3. Somehow DJ Alfredo from Ibiza got a copy of it, and started playing it in Ibiza.
4. English DJ's Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling, and Jazzy M got copies. Pete Tong and Paul "Trouble" Anderson got copies too, but I'm not sure if they got it at the same time as the 1st 3 or not.
5. Once the English DJ's started playing, things got weird, because the press got involved. England was quick to jump on a new music trend and got on it right away. "Move Your Body" had the words "Gotta have House music, all night long", and with that "House" music, you can't go wrong!" so naturally, the next task was finding out what house music was and getting the full scoop.


I started hearing English accents asking me for interviews when I answered the phone. I thought it was my friends screwing with me, but damn, those accents sounded authentic. I did a few phone interviews and suddenly, a whole herd of British Press all flew to Chicago to interview any and everyone involved with House music. They sat in on sessions and took loads of pics. Of course, Larry Sherman considered himself the resident expert on House Music and offered to take all the press around to all the House music clubs in the city. At that time I'd tried everything to get Larry to press up Move Your Body, but he hated it and said it wasn't House Music. It was because he said it wasn't House music that I called it "The House Music Anthem".I even paid him with my own money to press it up. and he still hadn't done it.

Well, when Larry took the press around to all the House clubs, Move Your Body was the hottest song playing at every single club-on dirty cassettes. The day after he took the press around to all those clubs, Move Your Body was finally on vinyl.
Old 2nd May 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 
inthere's Avatar
 

Story Of Move Your Body-The House Music Anthem-continued

When "Move Your Body" got released, it wasn't released on my label, it was released on Trax records. Larry did a last minute hack job because he was so excited , and didn't even bother to recut or remaster it, he just scratched out my label number (OS2 for Other Side Records 2) on the mothers and added his own (Tx 117) to this day you know you have an original pressing if you see where he scratched out my label number.

Another thing that gave me grief was he put down "Marshall Jefferson" as the artist. I had been using the nickname "Virgo" for more than a year and it was my 1st nickname. All my life i wanted a nickname but never had one, the song being so popular totally blew Virgo to the side and I haven't used it since. The artist on "Move Your Body was supposed to be "On The House"-my friends from the Post Office, Curtis McClain, Rudy Forbes, and Thomas Carr, and putting it mildly, when the record came out as "Marshall Jefferson", they weren't too pleased.

They stormed over my house and asked me wtf was going on. I told them Larry Sherman put it out on his label instead of mine without my consent. They didn't believe me and I gave them the address to Trax Records so they could go and talk to Larry and straighten it out.

Well, when they got there Larry basically told them that Marshall Jefferson was the name on the label and they could kiss his ass, before telling them to get lost not very politely. They came back over my house and told me how Larry was a crook and all that. Somebody came up with the idea of me signing an affidavit that they sang on the record and that's what I did.

They then took the signed affidavit to Larry and Larry told them that they were really great singers, and he'd given me $150,000 and put my name on the song because I'd signed a contract. They stormed back over my house and asked me for some of the $150,000. I told them I he hadn't given me $150,000 and in fact i'd paid him $1500 to press up 1000 copies on my own label, but they didn't believe me, even after i showed them the receipt. They said they were going to sign a contract with Trax Records because Larry was going to put their names on records and pay them a lot of money. I tried to talk them out of signing a contract, but the lead singer Curtis said I was trying to keep him from being as famous as I was and I was jealous.

Now please understand when you hear your record playing on the radio, and you have friends and family putting pressure on you, sometimes things get irrational. This is what I put it down to and I tried my best to talk them out of signing a contract, but they did it anyway. To make a long story short Larry gave them no money, but he did put their names on 2 records.
Old 2nd May 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 
inthere's Avatar
 

I have been fighting to get the rights back for "Move Your Body" for 20+ years. This is why people have sampled the record with no consequences. Todd Terry did it 1st, then had the nerve to sue Jungle Brothers for sampling his sample of me. The floodgates seemed to open after Todd did it, seems like everyone started doing it after that.

My feelings on it? At 1st i was pretty pissed off. I've never sampled another artist because of that. And also I discourage anyone I've ever worked with from sampling. I play all my keyboards on all my records myself, and I started out not knowing how to play anything at all. My technique? When I 1st started, I would play stuff at 40-60 bpms into the sequencer and speed it up to 120+. Easy. I couldn't understand why everyone else couldn't just play whatever they wanted the same way.

All my friends saw how i did it, and started doing it too. This is why almost all of the original Chicago guys have their own sound: it's because we played everything ourselves.
Now something got lost when other areas started making it and they assumed we were all hiring keyboard players. I considered sampling other peoples music the absolute bottom of the barrel. The sampled people had paid to hire full orchestras, somethings 50+ musicians, and some kid at home had the nerve to just sample it and call it his own. Sorry about feeling this way, but I did and still do.

That's not even including what I saw then about the industry wide ramifications: every single person on the planet now had the ability to make a record. This had been started with sequencing, I'm living proof of that. But this was different. I thought within 50 years, there would be no more musicians. Why would there be? Who would sit at home for hours practicing when their friend next door sounds great right away by sampling something? I could easily see releases going from 20 a week to 20,000+ a week-and it's happened already!

As I got older, I stopped getting mad about it and told myself, if they're going to sample me, make sure it's the best quality, because they're starting to get 4th generation samples now; dance music has no history now because of the flood of releases. They don't know that their sample is DJ X-who sampled DJ Y-who sampled DJ
Z-who sampled DJ O, who got his sample from Masters At Work. If they sampled Masters at Work 1st then the quality would be almost acceptable. But we're starting to get really crap quality now, and people are thinking everything in dance music has ****ty quality.

I want House music quality to be great because if it sucks, that wipes out everything I've spent my whole music career trying to do-improve the quality and perception of House music.
3
Share
Old 2nd May 2008
  #6
Gear Addict
 
steffenb's Avatar
 

that was a geat read, thank you for that !!!

and you are right about the quality of a lot of sample based music
caused of the use of 4th gen samples ...

i think to use a sample is ok if you completely flip it and
take it out of the original context so it is not possible to recognise where
it originaly came from ... beacuse thats a form of "art" too ...

take a 8 bar loop and put some drums on it ... not so much ...
Old 2nd May 2008
  #7
Gear Nut
 

That was one of the most interesting things i've ever read...lately ive been thinking about the future of the industry and seeing no future at all. So this is very interesting to see what you thought years back....also thinking that there would be no future really..
Old 2nd May 2008
  #8
JDN
Lives for gear
 
JDN's Avatar
 

Thanks Marshall for taking the time to explain, fascinating read. I grew up in Chicago in the 80's and 90's, but i was more part of the whoe Wax Trax Industrial scene...the two paths(house and industrial) always crossed, but I was far enough removed to not know this fine Chicago House history....Thanks again
Old 3rd May 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 
inthere's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emperor View Post
lately ive been thinking about the future of the industry and seeing no future at all. So this is very interesting to see what you thought years back....also thinking that there would be no future really..
There is definitely a future, but it takes a lot of us to refocus our energies into different directions ad different ways of doing things. The mix has killed us. It's separated the dance floor into hundreds of different genres and sub-genres. If we can get everything paying on one dance floor again, dance music would take over.

Every single big trend in music has always started as dance music. People forget that Rock and Roll started as dance music. Then the majors took over and took it off the dance floor, and the Beatles brought it back to the dance floor, starting the British invasion. Rock and Roll left the dance floor again, then Disco took over.

There was an industry wide effort to kill disco because it got to popular, and New Wave took over, also starting out as dance music. In the early 80's Rap and House music came up, and the Rap/hip hop became the dominant music because they had artists and videos.

I'd expected House music by now to leave the dance floor and expand like Rock and Roll did, but that didn't happen because we got locked into formats and bpms. If a totally new dance music came out today, nobody would play it because it wouldn't fit into any genres. Rap clubs wouldn't play it because it's not Rap, Techno clubs wouldn't play it because it's not Techno, Drum and Bass clubs wouldn't play it because it's not Drum and Bass, Deep House Clubs wouldn't play it because it's not Deep House. When we solve that problem, and I do mean when, things will be rosy.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 
teknosmoker's Avatar
 

Thanks for replying to my questions in such a verbose fashion Marshall. I wasn't expecting so much detail, but as others have already mentioned - what a fantastic read! I didn't know anything about all the drama that had ensued with the whole $150k thing - wow.

Regarding the use of samples, I personally don't have a problem with it only if the musician does something to make an even better sounding piece of music with it. Throughout history, artists (of all sorts, not just musicians) have "borrowed" from the work of their heros, influences and idols in order learn from them and to to refine their own personal work. I use samples from time to time, but they are usually just individual drum hits from an old record - or a sample that I've processed so heavily that its source is no longer recognizable.

On the other hand -- When someone samples a hook from a track, throws a beat on top of it, and just does something like open & close a lopass filter on the hook, I have a serious problem with that. That's not creativity or respect, it's just plain talentless stealing (in my opinion).

I agree with you about the multitude of genres killing the dance music scene. I remember when a club DJ would play anything and everything in their set - house, techno, synth-pop, disco, whatever - it didn't matter. As long as it was good music.
I do believe that the dance music culture is very slowly beginning to return to that formula (or lack thereof). We are hearing a more eclectic mix of genres incorporated in some newer productions. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that DJs/producres free themselves from getting locked into specific genres. In the end, it's all dance music! heh
Old 3rd May 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 
inthere's Avatar
 

I think it's going to be a natural progression from people getting tired of hearing the same beat all night long and self promotion on the internet. Also radio becoming stagnat from everything sounding alike.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #12
Gear Nut
 

I have kind of a negative opinion when it comes to the future of music...so maybe i wont get into it and bring you guys down haha...but its similar to painting and drawing. growing up I painted and drew a lot and loved it...now its basically gone due to the fact people started making visual art on computers cuz its a)easier and b)you can make crazier looking things...although i appreciate both I miss 'old-school' drawing.....

back to the future of music...although I dont think the future is to bright I must say......almost every tune i hear sound like another tune...BUT once in awhile I still DO hear a tune that really stands out..its only at that point that I get shivers inside like I love...and at that point I can appreciate the art of real music...that came from within that person.....anyways I hope I see more of that in the future =) that will never totally die....I just hope that non-musicians can also appreciate that kind of original and good music....

..............(*&@ to many beers
Old 3rd May 2008
  #13
Gear Addict
wow, thanks so much for telling that story.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #14
Lives for gear
 
duvalle's Avatar
 

Thanks Marshall for taking your time. Great reading!
Old 3rd May 2008
  #15
Gear Addict
 
Mantik's Avatar
its always amazing which way a good unreleased track makes aroung the globe.
anyway until this read i havent know who jefferson is. shame on me - thanks god i know this track cool read indeed. its one of the storys which make musicbusiness so amazingly adventure-like.
Old 4th May 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Acid Hazard's Avatar
Haha, does Larry still think of himself as the House Music Expert? That's funny. It's too bad someone like that pretty much had the entire city of Chicago's record pressing business in HIS own hands. It seems like took full advantage of anyone and everyone he could. Ripping people off on contracts and royalties, and ripping people off by pressing on recycled vinyl. It seems he had everyone by the balls, and he knew it. Very interesting read. If i ever come across a used copy of Move Your Body, i'll have to check for the scratched out catalog number =o]
Old 4th May 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 
teknosmoker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthere View Post
I have been fighting to get the rights back for "Move Your Body" for 20+ years. This is why people have sampled the record with no consequences. Todd Terry did it 1st, then had the nerve to sue Jungle Brothers for sampling his sample of me.
Considering how much music Todd Terry sampled, that's crazy.
Old 5th May 2008
  #18
Gear Head
 
lockdown's Avatar
 

great story, marshall!! thanks for sharing! i've heard some stories about larry, and your comments definitely seem to be consistent with his reputation.
Old 5th May 2008
  #19
Lives for gear
 
analogbass's Avatar
 

Rare unfortunately, to read music history in this detail and lucidity.
Old 6th May 2008
  #20
Lives for gear
 
halfguard's Avatar
 

great read....
Old 6th May 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 
d1rtynyc's Avatar
You say there is no history now.
I'd have to aggree with you.
Having run a record store in the 90's - 01', I used to love digging for original 12"s where the samples that everyone loves originated from and getting my customers to learn more of the history of the music that moved them.
I miss the crate digging and the feeling that things were rare or one of a kind. Now it seems that things have changed forever in music. It's not a bad thing those days are done, but I will miss it.

Thanks for the stories and the history.

Speaking of your relationship with TRAX records... My parnter in the record store KHAN gave them a album in the early 90's. It was rejected only to be released 7 years later with JOEY BELTRAM's name as the artist.
Shifty.
Old 7th May 2008
  #22
Gear Head
 
lockdown's Avatar
 

if that's true, trax is more 'gangsta' than i thought. that's beyond egregious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d1rtynyc View Post
You say there is no history
Speaking of your relationship with TRAX records... My parnter in the record store KHAN gave them a album in the early 90's. It was rejected only to be released 7 years later with JOEY BELTRAM's name as the artist.
Shifty.

Last edited by lockdown; 7th May 2008 at 01:28 AM.. Reason: grammatical
Old 7th May 2008
  #23
Lives for gear
 
d1rtynyc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown View Post
if that's true, trax is more 'gangsta' than i thought. that's beyond egregious.
It's funny because I brought the record to the store & was playing it and Khan walked in. He looked confused then asked where I got it.
I said Watts (vinyl dist.), it's Beltram he was on the phone with his lawyer that afternoon. I don't think anything came out of if and am uncertain if he even sued.
Old 13th May 2008
  #24
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by d1rtynyc View Post
It's funny because I brought the record to the store & was playing it and Khan walked in. He looked confused then asked where I got it.
I said Watts (vinyl dist.), it's Beltram he was on the phone with his lawyer that afternoon. I don't think anything came out of if and am uncertain if he even sued.
so you ran temple?
absolutely ridiculous about trax... it's too bad, because it makes me sad to buy the records, knowing that the artists were robbed. i mean, then you're "sponsoring dance terrorism"!

thank you, mr. jefferson. i'm blown away. time for a quality documentary.
Old 17th May 2008
  #25
Gear Head
 
Mo King's Avatar
 

History

I just told that story (or a variation of it) to some young DJ's in the store the other day. We probably need to get Hurley or Loftis on here to talk about DJ International. It's just too bad that Ray Barney isn't around to say something about Dance Mania, the label that really popularized Acid.

I was working at a record store on the North Side when Move Your Body came out. As with all Trax recordings, you usually had to leave them out in the sun a bit to keep them from looking like cereal bowls. I returned so many of them it was getting hilarious. Luckily, I still own one of those originals you talk about, stored away, not to be traded.

Mo
Old 17th May 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 
inthere's Avatar
 

Hurley has some stories to tell you about his ex management and DJ international, but I'll let him tell it.
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
joshuaman32 / So many guitars, so little time
12
FreeToMIX / Music Computers
1
DaveH / High end
15
cup-of-coffee / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
7

Forum Jump
Forum Jump