Rolling Stones songs: You Better Move On
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Well I know you can buy her fancy clothes/ But I believe she’s happy with me without those things…
Written by: Arthur Alexander
Recorded: De Lane Lea Studios, Kingsway, London, Nov. 14-15 1963
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
Arthur Alexander was born in Florence, Alabama, which had the good fortune of being the original site of FAME Studios, home of the Muscle Shoals sound. In 1961, Alexander recorded this song in an abandoned warehouse on Wilson Dam Highway in Muscle Shoals, which FAME owner Rick Hall had rented. The song was distributed by Dot Records in Los Angeles, and became the first hit for the studio; it sold about 800,000 copies and funded a move to 603 East Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals, where the studio still operates.
Recording on the track were local musicians who were members of the group Dan Penn and the Pallbearers. Over the next few years, a new group of musicians became the house band at FAME, backing up Tommy Roe, the Tams, Joe Tex and Jimmy Hughes. The changing of the guard came in 1965 when this group left for Nashville and the famous “Swampers” became the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, playing on many Soul classics and starting their own studio in the area in 1969.
A menacing song directed at a guy who has his eye on Arthur’s lover, Alexander explained that it was based on personal experience, and everyone involved in the recording knew who he was singing about.
Arthur Alexander had a big role in bringing American soul music to England. The Rolling Stones and The Hollies recorded this song in 1964, and The Beatles recorded his song “Anna (Go to Him)” in 1963.
Alexander was the first black artist at FAME Studios. His backing band on this track was all-white.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
The third number on the The Rolling Stones EP is titled “You Better Move On.” It was
composed in 1961 by Arthur Alexander, and recorded in a modest shack
rented by Rick Hall in Alabama that was to become the prestigious Fame
Studios of Muscle Shoals. This song has inspired numerous cover versions,
notably by the Hollies in the United Kingdom. The song’s protagonist
refuses to heed the advice of “kind souls” who would have him believe that
the woman he loves is not for him and that he ought to leave—the fruit of
bitter personal experience for Arthur Alexander.
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