Farley Keith Williams was a Chicago native, who'd began DJing in 1981. One club he regularly played was The Warehouse, which lent its name to the post-disco sounds that became known as house music. In 1984 he released the single "Jack the Bass," which inaugurated the highly popular jacking craze in Chicago house. Farley shared an apartment with fellow DJ/producer Steve "Silk" Hurley, who came up with a cover of Isaac Hayes' 1975 disco record; "I Can't Turn Around." Farley decided to do his own re-working of the song and two years later; in 1986, it became a hit in Britain. It was not only the first ever Chicago house record to reach the UK charts, but was the first house music hit anywhere. Farley had another minor hit in the UK in 1989 with "As Always" and returned to the Top 40 in 1996 with a re-mix of this song featuring Darryl Pandy.
Farley was asked by Mojo magazine June 2009 if he could have imagined, prior to this song's success, being in the charts anywhere. He replied: "No one could have been that arrogant to think that could happen. I was making and selling records and making money. I didn't make records to get in anyone's charts. When I found out about it (charting in the UK), I could not believe it. But any of the Chicago records could have been a hit in Britain."
Steve "Silk" Hurley's "I Can't Turn Around," which he recorded with vocalist Keith Nunnally as J.M. Silk, was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart later in 1986.