Marshall Jefferson

Born in Chicago 1959, Marshall Jefferson is a main figure of the Chicago House scene and producer of some of the House early anthems, like "Move Your Body", "7 Ways To Jack", and "Open Your Eyes".
Jefferson is told to have started the Acid House with the use of the Roland TB 303 along with DJ Pierre.
Jefferson started in the 80's a successful career as producer of some of the best House artists, like Phuture, Ten City, and Robert Owens.
He has also worked for other artists such as SYSTEM 7, Tom Jones, and Keith Thompson.


One of the original innovators in Chicago house, Marshall Jefferson had a hand in several of the music's most influential early tracks. As a solo act, he recorded 1986's "Move Your Body" sub-titled and unanimously acclaimed "The House Music Anthem." Jefferson also helped record Phuture's "Acid Tracks", the first and best acid-house single. Later, amidst a wave of acid-inspired records, he grew tired of the sound and moved into a more spiritual form of music later termed deep house; along with Larry Heard, he became one of its best producers.

Jefferson was born in Chicago in 1959, the son of a police officer and a school teacher. Heavily into hard rock like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple during the 1970s, he attended university to study accounting, but left after three years to take a job in the post office.
By 1983, friends began taking him to Chicago's Music Box club; after being exposed to Ron Hardy's influential mixing style, Jefferson soon realized that house music had a real feeling to it, unlike the commercial disco sound he was accustomed to hearing on the radio. House artists like Jesse Saunders and Jamie Principle had begun releasing records by that time, and Jefferson felt the need to begin recording as well. He bought a synthesizer/sequencer combo and passed several of his newly recorded tapes on to Ron Hardy. The legendary DJ liked what he heard and began dropping the tracks into his set.

During the two-year period from 1985 to 1986, Marshall Jefferson released half-a-dozen of the biggest club hits in Chicago. His first release, "Go Wild Rhythm Trax," appeared on Virgo Records in 1985. Later that year he produced his friend Sleazy D's "I've Lost Control," and the track became a big club hit. "Move Your Body," another recording first introduced by Hardy, was given a full release on Trax Records in 1986; the single immediately dropped a bomb on Chicago crowds, who soon began acknowledging the track as house music's defining moment.

Less than one year after "Move Your Body" however, Chicago was forced to react to another important milestone, the onset of acid-house. The trio known as Phuture (DJ Pierre, Spanky and Herb J) had recently recorded some material using the acid squelch of Roland's TB-303synthesizer, and with Marshall Jefferson's help, they entered the studio to record a full version.
Phuture emerged from the studio with "Acid Trax," one of the most influential songs in the history of house. Several months after its release, it had spawned literally hundreds of imitators and answer versions; soon the Chicago house scene had become swamped with tracks soaked in the squelchy reverbs of the TB-303.

Given the lack of variety in the scene, Jefferson quickly tired of acid house. Instead of continuing with acid, he recorded an atmospheric slice of house inspired by the original vibe he had experienced at the Music Box back in the early '80s. The track, "Open Your Eyes," took its place alongside contemporary productions by Larry Heard, signalled a new feeling in house music, named deep house for its level of emotion an organic beauty.

Unlike many Chicago house producers, Jefferson managed to make a good living during the late '80s and early '90s, when house music went global almost overnight and the bottom dropped out of Chicago's fraternal club scene. Several Marshall Jefferson productions not recorded under his own name, such as Hercules "Lost in the Groove," Jungle Wonz's "The Jungle" and Kevin Irvine's "Ride the Rhythm" all became sizeable club hits.
Also, he masterminded the career of the preeminent house vocal group Ten City from 1988 through 1992, and began DJing around Europe after being offered several high-profile spots in 1989. Jefferson spent much of the 1990s remixing and DJing, but did record under his own name for the 1997 album Day of the Onion.

Critical in the evolution of Chicago style house music, Marshall Jefferson wrote the house music anthem--not only was it proclaimed as such universally, it was also the subtitle of "Move Your Body", one of his earliest tracks in 1986. His work has gone through different periods, including one where it was heavily acid-music influenced, later moving into more spiritually oriented music called "deep house". As a child, he was passionate about hard rock. As a young adult, he went to study accounting at university but soon quit to work in the post office. Later, he was exposed to house-style music in the Music Box club in Chicago.

Referred to as the 'godfather of house' (though frankie knuckles may argue this - lets not bicker), chicago boy Marshall Jefferson has been there since the very beginning. initially inspired by soft rock (weren't we all?), he began to discover the groove courtesy of the renowned music box club in chicago. This was a time when what we call house music today was a localised thing, centred around new york and chi-town, a combination of the last days of disco, the rawness of electro and the constant funk factor. A few records existed, prototypes even, that remain today as blueprints for the house sound, phuture's 'acid trax' being one, and our own young jefferson's contribution, the prophetically titled 'house music anthem - move your body' on the seminal (an overused word, but apt in this case) trax records. And, yes, it still sounds fresh today Jefferson then began to work with byron stingly and ten city as both producer and writer, coming up with hits like 'devotion' and the absolute CLASSIC 'thats the way love is'. (still brings a tear to even the most technofied heart.) This brought him from the underground into the charts and back again, Jefferson managing to keep his feet in both camps without offending anyone.

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