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.