Cheesy Listening: Anyway, Here’s “Wonderwall”

It’s not insanely surprising that somehow this video and in fact The Mike Flowers Pops had escaped my attention. First of all, I am not a huge fan of Oasis, so I was never interested in hearing any more of their music than was required by law. Meanwhile, easy listening was never my thing – ironic or otherwise. I didn’t see any of the Austin Powers’ movies until years after they’d come out.

Light My Fire

The ‘In’ Crowd

Velvet Underground Medley – All Tomorrow’s Parties, Venus in Furs, White Light/White Heat

Based on the Wikipedia entry: The Mike Flowers Pops (also known as MFP, The Pops or The Mike Flowers Pops Orchestra) is a British easy listening band fronted by Mike Flowers (real name: Mike Roberts) and supported by the “Sounds Superb Singers” and “Super Stereo Brass”. Formed in 1993, there can be more than a dozen members on stage at any time. The band is principally known for easy listening or lounge music covers of both classic and contemporary pop music.

The title “MFP” parodies the budget record label Music for Pleasure, also known as MFP, which produced a series of “Hot Hits” cover version albums in the 1960’s and 70’s.

The band rose to prominence in the UK in 1995 when they released a cover version of Oasis‘ hit song “Wonderwall“. BBC radio producer Will Saunders recruited Flowers for BBC Radio 1 DJ Kevin Greening in order to cover the ‘Hits of 95’ for Greening’s Saturday show; “Wonderwall” was his first week’s project. Chris Evans heard the song and made it ‘single of the week’ on his Radio 1 breakfast show, telling listeners that this was the original version of the song. The single, issued by London Records under the name The Mike Flowers Pops, was released while the Oasis original was still in the UK Singles Chart, and itself reached the Top 10. Flowers’ version peaked at #2 in the Christmas 1995 chart.

Following the success of “Wonderwall”, The Mike Flowers Pops quickly advanced from performing shows in nightclubs and small concert halls to touring festivals and larger venues across Britain and Europe. At the end of 1996 they toured Britain with Gary Glitter on his last ‘Who’s in the Gang’ tour. They played large venues including Wembley Arena and Birmingham NEC. Cover versions of The Doors‘ “Light My Fire“, and “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” also reached the Top 40 of the UK chart.

***

In 2002, Henry Miller Sextet set out for another mini-tour of the West Coast. Our first night was at Dante’s in Portland, OR. After our soundcheck, the engineer played jams from his own collection over the sound system. The doors opened at 9:00 p.m. and it was like 8:15 or so. Anyway, we’re sitting at the bar and all of a sudden we hear this:

***

So it turns out both Mike Flowers and Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine were chimping from this guy, Frank Bennett.

It wouldn’t be true cheese if we didn’t include Pat Boone’s In a Metal Mood; No More Mister Nice Guy. One of my favorite AC/DC songs of all-time, “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock n’ Roll)”.

http://vimeo.com/25008499

Personally, I always felt if you were going to do the parody thing, you couldn’t top these cats:

Enjoy the cheese.

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