Classics: Phyllis Nelson – Move Closer (12″ Mix) (Carrère)
The Lady sings! That’s pretty much the first thing comin’ to mind when havin’ a listen to this masterpiece. She had a few tries before though, dropping a couple of Dance cuts during the Disco days. But those didn’t work at the end. Most likely because of the weakness of the production back then.
Phyllis Nelson would nevertheless come to international recognition, but with a ballad! The outstanding self-written ‘Move Closer’ depicting the story of a long term love relationship she had with a much younger man in Philadelphia.
The melody, the arrangements and her sultry interpretation all greatly contributed to make of ‘Move Closer’ a stand out song. Even though her people in America most likely preferred the groovy ‘I Like You’. A firing jam which she released the year after (in 1985) with mixing work courtesy of Shep Pettibone…
Jacksonville, FL-born Phyllis Nelson first started singer as a member of family group the Nelson Five. She eventually did back ups for Major Harris, Philly Cream and Slick. On her own, she released a bunch of Disco cuts without generating a consistent following though.
All in all, Phyllis Nelson is mostly seen as a one hit wonder one both sides of the Atlantic. Although with a different cut. She made quite some noise with the Jon Glass produced ‘Move Closer’ (a vibrant ballad) in Europe. Meanwhile, she’s most likely remembered Stateside for the groovy ‘I Like You’ which Shep Pettibone came to remix for her.
Livin’ in France for some time, she also recorded ‘I Don’t Know’ with French actor Alain Delon. A cut which features on the ‘Parole de flic’ OST.
Phyllis Nelson sadly died in January 1998 from breast cancer in Los Angeles, CA, where she had been living since her divorce. She was 47.