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 well-regarded 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.

Written by Matthew Rudd.

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