Flashback Friday: Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)

I’m sure it was played so much that it got on everybody’s nerves. In 1991, there was no escaping this song. How could you, when it seemed to be everywhere?

Robert Clivillés and David Cole—the C & C of  C + C Music Factory were dance music producers and remixers before they used their initials to form a group. The group included singer Zelma Davis and rapper Freedom Williams. The first single from their debut album was also the name of the album. “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” exploded on radio and in the clubs in the spring of 1991 and rolled to the top of the charts.

However, there was some chicanery afoot. It turned out that Davis, who appears in the video for the song, didn’t actually sing on the track. That was done by Martha Wash, formerly one of The Weather Girls and before that, one of disco singer Sylvester’s backup singers. After Wash brought a lawsuit against the producers to get proper credit and compensation, her case (and several others where she was featured and not credited) became the impetus for federal legislation that required giving vocal credit mandatory on all albums and videos.

Williams, it appears, felt he was a bigger star that couldn’t be contained in the group, after leading three top ten hits. He left after the album and wasn’t featured on the second release Anything Goes. He went solo, but he wasn’t as successful as he was when fronting the C + C Music Factory.

Despite all of that, this is one of the songs of the 90s that still gets played today. It also makes for a great party starter. And people still respond when they cry goes out “everybody dance now!” Which makes it perfect for a Friday.

Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you enjoy today’s Flashback Friday song. As always, thanks for reading and listening.


31 Replies to “Flashback Friday: Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”

  1. I love that song. I will always love that song (along with “Pump Up The Jam” since I always think of the two together). And, you know what those songs remind me of? The Washington Bullets (they were still the Bullets back then). I lived in DC and had season tickets back in the day … they weren’t very good, so really good seats were cheap and easy to get (my seats were behind one of the nets and just 3 rows behind the season tickets the Orioles held, so occasionally I sitting just a few rows back of Frank Robinson!). And, those songs were always on the PA … man, and I can still see MJ and Magic and ‘Nique coming to the Cap Center. Ahhh … I will always love that song.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Were they playing at the Capital Centre then, or had they moved to Verizon Center?I’m thinking at that time, they were still playing in Landover, but I could be wrong…


  2. Didn’t this group have a conflict with another group about the music used on the song with the looped phrase “I got the power!”?

    I never really liked this song-or the one I just mentioned. Freedom, Truth or whatever his name was seemed kinda phony to me. The dude in that rival group that I’m talking about seem more believable; ominous even.

    I will grant that I might be getting several C&C Music Factory produced groups mixed the hell up.

    The only C&C music song that I liked was “Let the beat hit ’em” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam.
    Now if you tell me that they did NOT produce that one then I am down to zero with them.

    Nevertheless, none of this takes ANYTHING away from the writer of this post! YAAASSSS!
    You did your thing! 🙂

    Killing it as always Twin 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Why thank you, Twin! I think you are thinking of the group Snap!, and if I’m not mistaken they weren’t a C&C act.

      Yes they did produce Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam’s “Let The Beat Hit ‘Em.” C&C were more dance/house/club music producers than R&B ones, though they did get some R&B chart action. They also remixed Natalie Cole’s “Pink Cadillac,” which is one of my favorite house mixes of all time. They were not without talent; they just played the game the way it went in the 90s with quite a few dance acts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Twin. I just remember two groups out using the same sample.
        In a similar vein do you remember the whole “Whoomp there it is” and “Whoot there it is” debacle?
        I don’t think that either of these are C&C related though.

        In the end I think you’re right. C&C was talented it’s just the music of the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know about all the politics save for what you’ve shared. It was good for a Friday dance! Don’t know that I paid much attention to who sang it as long as produced the vibe😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the early 90s featured quite a few dance acts that put faces in the group that didn’t sing. Black Box, Technotronic and this group are a few examples. Of course, there was Milli Vanilli too. But the songs were always good; it wasn’t until the real singers made some noise that any attention was paid to who was actually doing the singing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well I was dancing in my chair and surprised I remembered the words lol..still like it and yes it will get people off the azz and on the floor…
    I remember the lawsuit of the lady that really sang it ..so thank you again my friend for a great way to well I am not starting or ending my day lol so I will say thank you for that blast from the past ..lol.. Have a safe weekend and have fun and what ever you do take pictures lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha @ take pictures! Thanks Suzette! I don’t know that anything I do will be picture-worthy this weekend, but I hope to have some fun, and I hope you have a good holiday weekend too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. aww man ok lmao…well no matter what yes have fun ..I don’t think that we are doing anything but trying to stay kool lol…but thank you for the good vibes and wishes…

        Liked by 1 person

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