This is recognized by many critics as the first genuine British classic rock record. It was written by Cliff Richard's friend Ian Samwell, who was a guitarist with Richard's backing band The Drifters (later The Shadows). He wrote it while riding on a number 715 red London bus on the way to Cliff's house in Cheshunt for a rehearsal.
The song is an attack on those who saw rock and roll as just a fad by asking what they hoped to replace it with.
When it came to recording it, the song's producer Norrie Paramor had little faith in The Drifters (who at that time did not include Hank Marvin), so he brought in Ernie Shears to provide backing on lead guitar and his electrifying riffing greatly enhanced the record.
This song was selected as the B-side to the less than inspiring "Schoolboy Crush," a cover of a Bobby Helms song. However when the producer Jack Good heard it, he insisted that if Cliff Richard was to appear on his TV show Oh Boy, he would have to sing "Move It." The record was turned over and climbed to #2 in the charts, but was unable to dislodge Connie Francis' "Stupid Cupid" from the top spot. However its success made many see Cliff Richard as the British answer to Elvis Presley and for a time he adopted a rock n' roller image. He was on his way to becoming Britain's most successful solo pop singer, still recording and having major chart success six decades later.
In December 2006 Richard re-recorded this with Brian May on guitar as part of a double A-side single along with "21st Century Christmas." Again it reached #2 in the UK charts, this time behind Take That's "Patience."
1950s entrepreneur Harry Greatorex wanted the up and coming Rock 'n' Roll singer to change from his real name of Harry Webb. The name "Cliff" was adopted as it sounded like cliff face, which suggested "Rock." It was "Move It" writer Ian Samwell who suggested that the former Harry Webb be surnamed Richard as a tribute to Little Richard.
Abbey Road Studio opened in 1931 originally to record classical music. The first person to record there was Sir Edward Elgar, who recorded "Land Of Hope And Glory" with the British National Symphony Orchestra. "Move It" was the first Pop record to be recorded there.
Cliff Richard recalled in the Mail on Sunday November 2, 2008: "I believe - and I've read that John Lennon thought so as well - that this was the first real rock 'n' roll record made in England. That probably means it's the first real American-sounding rock record made outside America - rock 'n' roll hadn't happened in Australia, the Far East and certainly not in Europe. People such as Johnny Hallyday and Richard Anthony were hot on my heels. I remember standing in the corner of Studio Two in Abbey Road to record it - the one which, five years later, The Beatles and I used to fight to get."