Fantasy Island (M People song)

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For the unrelated Tight Fit song also called "Fantasy Island", see Tight Fit.
For the song by The Shins, see Heartworms (album).
"Fantasy Island"
Fantasy Island (M People single - cover art).jpg
Single by M People
from the album Fresco
B-side Remixes
Released 24 November 1997
Format 12" maxi
CD single, cassette
Genre House
Length 4:08
Label M People Records
Writer(s) Mike Pickering, Paul Heard, Heather Small
Producer(s) M People
M People singles chronology
"Just for You"
"Fantasy Island"
"Angel St"

Fantasy Island is the second single from British band M People from their fourth album Fresco (1997), written by Mike Pickering, Paul Heard and Heather Small, and produced by M People. It was released on 24 November 1997. The song peaked at number thirty three on the UK Singles Chart.


The band's previous single, Just for You, had proved that despite a lengthy break, M People were still very much in demand. Just for You had secured another Top 10 sales chart entry in the UK and five other European countries and a number one airplay hit for three weeks in the UK. The parent album Fresco had already gone platinum (with sales of over 850,000) and had charted at number 2.

Ahead of their sold-out 18 date Fresco Tour, M People's second single was released. "Fantasy Island" is a song relaying the virtues of living and wishing for a utopia. Heather sings of various dream situations where the world gets along, politician speak the truth, there's sunshine and laughter, Muslims are embracing Jews; Love being the message and the word. Very much a song that both proclaims the aspects of life that people dream of but are far removed from the reality, hence the 'fantasy'. It also projects the constant M People mottos of achieving and striving to survive.

The melody line is supported by programmed drumming, insistent synth effects, piano riffs (by pianist Terry Burrus), strings and a strong wind section throughout, supported by a deep moog bass line and subtle 'blowy' synths throughout. Critics of the song stated that the piano and trumpet/saxophone riff used an uncredited sample or that the lyrical content was 'benign and sickly'.


Due to tour commitments, the single only received national promotion by the band in the actual week of release, with them appearing on The National Lottery Live Show where Heather first revealed that the big hair (that she had become synonymous with) had disappeared after five years and they also appeared on Philip Schofield's Talking Telephone Numbers. The video had been also been shown on The Chart Show and Live and Kicking.

Chart performance[edit]

Fantasy Island was released in one of the busiest release weeks of the year with 15 of the top 40 songs being new releases competing with Boyzone, The Verve and Kylie Minogue, to name a few. In the week of release, the song surprised and disappointed most expectations to only chart and stall at number 33, their lowest chart entry since "Someday", their third single six years previously. However, lead singer, Heather Small had scored her first ever number one for the charity single Perfect Day as a prominent featured artist in a stella and varied line-up for Children in Need.

Despite the relatively lower sales chart position, the single spent a total of nine weeks on the chart longer than any of the last five singles since Sight for Sore Eyes in 1994. This nine-week sojourn also included the first and only ever re-entry for an M People single when it charted for one week at number 69 after a month being out of the Top 75, finally leaving at the end of February 1998. This was due to instrumental versions of the songs being widely used as soundtracks to promote everything from The Clothes Show and Grandstand to other sports review shows.

Fantasy Island number 33 sales chart placing had no massive effect on the fortunes of parent Album's Fresco already sizeable sales which meant it hovered between numbers 15 and 20 on the UK Album Chart for eight weeks bring the album closer to 850,000 copies shipped, buoyed on by the sell-out UK Fresco Tour.


The single was serviced to radio 1 November 1997, three weeks before physical release., half the length of time that Just for you was serviced to radio. It entered the Airplay chart at number 55 while previous single Just for You still had enormous support charting that week at number 8 following its three-week sojourn atop the chart. Radio was quick to follow up on M People's return and the single soared to 21 the following week to 12 prior to release. It then peaked at number 8 while the single charted at 33, reflecting the same situation as Love Rendezvous from Bizarre Fruit II (1995). Radio support for the song continued despite its lower chart position helping the single to consistently maintain its level of sales.

The single became their 16th consecutive Top 40 hit and their 11th consecutive Top 10 Airplay Hit.

Music Video[edit]

The music video of "Fantasy Island" was directed by Matt Broadley.[1] The four main members of the band plus, Sarah Brown and Paul Johnson on backing vocals, and Snake Davis on sax play and sing along to the song on a large rotating platform. Heather dressed in a long yellow dress is in the fore and the band perform around her. As the stage rotates, clouds move around the perimeter and various ethnic minorities and types act out the lyrical content of the song; children are playing, a punk communicates to the wider world on his laptop and various people jump into the clouds and the unknown, while all this goes on, M People continue to rotate like the globe, surrounded by a sky-blue coloured effect and Heather sings with her arms outstretched dancing along to the happy vibe.


There were three main remixes that appeared on the single. Firstly by New York legend David Morales, the very soulful D Influence and UK dance duo Producers: M+S and their Epic Club Mix. Also included on the single are the radio edit and the album version.

Track listings[edit]

  1. Fantasy Island (Radio Edit) 4.00
  2. Fantasy Island (Def Club Mix) 10.33
12" Maxi
CD Maxi
  1. Fantasy Island (Radio Edit) 4.00
  2. Fantasy Island (Def Club Mix) 10.33
  3. Fantasy Island (M+S Epic Club Mix) 8.00
  4. Fantasy Island (D’Influence Dimensional Club Mix) 6.54
  5. Fantasy Island (Album Version) 5.41


  1. ^ "Credits - Matt Broadley". Retrieved January 29, 2017. 

External links[edit]