Open Your Heart (M People song)

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"Open Your Heart"
Single by M People
from the album Bizarre Fruit
Released23 January 1995
Producer(s)M People
M People singles chronology
"Sight for Sore Eyes"
"Open Your Heart"
"Search for the Hero"
Music video
"Open Your Heart" on YouTube
Alternative cover
CD2 cover of "Open Your Heart".
CD2 cover of "Open Your Heart".

"Open Your Heart" is the eleventh overall single from British band M People. It is the second single from their third album Bizarre Fruit (1994). Written by Mike Pickering and Paul Heard. Produced by M People. It was released on 23 January 1995. The song peaked at number nine on the UK Singles Chart.


Hot on the heels of their single "Sight for Sore Eyes" and a Top 5 album Bizarre Fruit and a sold out UK Tour, M People released this single in a slight reshuffle, as "Search for the Hero" was meant to be the second single but the band were re-editing the Bizarre Fruit version to a more radio friendly edit so "Open Your Heart" was released instead. The band had been on holiday together over the New Year break in Grenada, while dance mixes of this single had been released early and on UK radio, Pete Tong had been rotating several mixes on BBC Radio 1.


This single was the first M People single to be available on two CD formats. CD1 and the 12" maxi were released on 23 January 1995 and CD2 was released on 30 January 1995 and was only available in the UK and contained the very sought after E-Smoove remix of Sight for Sore Eyes.

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard wrote about the song: "...First single from the imminent "Bizarre Fruit" album has already won the hearts of M People die-hards at club level, and it sports a hook that takes up instant residence in the brain upon impact. Maestros Mike Pickering and Paul Heard blur, with notable finesse, the timeline dividing current house music trends and vintage Philly soul, while singer Heather Small continues to evolve into a smoky-voiced diva who may remind some of a club-minded Anita Baker. Smashing."[1]

Music & Media wrote: "Bizarre Fruit is the album title, not forbidden fruit. So take a bite of it Continentals, there's no risk of being banned from paradise. Their best since Moving On Up."[2]

Charles Aaron from Spin commented about "Open Your Heart"/"Search For the Hero": "This British disco collective—songwriters Paul Hears and Mike Pickering, vocalist Heather Small—is just a more conventional version of Ten City, but their thumping anthems give you a lift over a scenic bridge to a homey chorus that opens up like a window shade on a sunny day."[3]

Chart Performance[edit]

The single entered the chart outside the Top 10 at number 11, but ever growing airplay and the release of the exclusive second CD meant that sales surged from 63,000 copies in its first week to 78,000 copies in its second. The single climbed from number 11 into the Top 10 at number 9 where it peaked, providing the band with their seventh consecutive top 10 hit in just two years since the release of How Can I Love You More. It spent in total four weeks in the top 10 and a total seven weeks on the Singles Chart.

The Bizarre Fruit album also underwent a resurgence in sales, re-entering the Album Chart Top 10 at number 8, so the band once again recorded simultaneous single and album Top 10s, being at numbers 9 and 8, respectively in the first week of February 1995 like the last two singles. It also became M People's second single to top the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in the US in May 1995.


Generally, radio support for the single grew relatively slowly, despite being serviced to radio in the first week of 1995, which is traditionally a very quiet time for single releases. Also predecessor Sight for Sore Eyes had remained in the airplay Top 20 two three months after entering. In the three weeks prior to airplay the single entered the chart at No. 195, scaling to number 35 and then moving to number 19. Only after physical release did the single enter the Airplay Top 10 and peak at number 5.

Sight for Sore Eyes re-entered the Airplay 20 at number 20 when Open Your Heart peaked, and so for the first and only time, M People had two singles in the UK Airplay Top 20.

The single stayed in the chart for 13 weeks but peaked lower than any of the other Bizarre Fruit singles; Sight for Sore Eyes: number 2, Search for the Hero: number 1, Love Rendezvous, number 4 and Itchycoo Park, number 3.


With four remixes in total across both CD singles, from the likes of Armand Van Helden, Fire Island, Luv Dup and Brothers in Rhythm, "Open Your Heart" had a set of club versions. It also contained an exclusive re-mix of previous single Sight for Sore Eyes done bone by Producers: E-Smoove. For the first time, specifically for a remix, Heather went back into the recording studio for Brothers in Rhythm to re-sing both the verses and chorus in a different arrangement. The band had done all this during the promotion of "Sight for Sore Eyes" in the autumn of 1994.


The artwork for the single is a heart shaped tin can that half opened against a caustic bronze background. Photographed by Jason Tozer, it continues the metal artwork theme as seen on the artwork of previous single Sight for Sore Eyes with the corrugated metal sheets and the barbed-wire pear on the artwork of the Bizarre Fruit album.


They also performed this song in a stripped down acoustic version on various occasions, most notable when they performed their M People special with Jools Holland in March 1998.

Music video[edit]

The video was filmed over two days: 25/26 November 1994, before the Bizarre Fruit tour kicked off and was the most expensive video done to that point. Produced by Matthew Amos, this more adventurous offering showed the band in an elevator moving between floors and watching clubbers come in and out of the sliding doors exiting onto another dancefloor. Band members Mike Pickering, Paul Heard, and Shovell are in amongst the crowd dancing while Heather stands still singing in a red Oriental-style dress on the other side of the viewing glass, as people dance around her and then leave or even disappear as quickly as they arrived. As the video continues, the camera is continuously panning from right to left encircling the body of the elevator moving from the front where you can see the people dancing to round to the back where you can see the mechanisms in the lift shaft.

Other promotion[edit]

With two dance singles lifted off Bizarre Fruit and a European Tour beckoning, M People were nominated for the category Best British Dance Act at the 1995 Brit Awards for the second time. They won. They also performed with Best UK Male Artist winner Sting on his classic "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free". The band went on to promote the album in Switzerland, Denmark, Holland Italy, Norway and Greece as well as Sweden and Germany for three months.


Chart (1995) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[4] 25
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 40
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[6] 30
Canada Dance (RPM)[7] 21
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[8] 7
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[9] 24
Germany (Media Control Charts)[4] 54
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[10] 12
Ireland (IRMA) 15
New Zealand (RIANZ)[4] 21
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[11] 8
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[4] 36
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 9
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[12] 3
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[13] 1


  1. ^ "Billboard: Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  2. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media (1995-02-18, page 10). Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  3. ^ Aaron, Charles (October 1996). "Singles Review". Spin: 122. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d ""Moving on Up", in various singles charts". Swedishcharts. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  5. ^ " – M People – Open Your Heart" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  6. ^ Belgian peak Archived 2012-04-09 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "RPM Dance (Sep 04, 1995)". RPM. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Top 10 Finland" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Music & Media: Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 01.04.1995 - 07.04.1995" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100 (05 February 1995-11 February 1995)". Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Official UK Dance Singles Chart (29 January 1995-04 February 1995)". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Dance Club Songs June 3, 1995". Retrieved 16 January 2018.

External links[edit]