The Mike Flowers Pops (also known as MFP, The Pops or The Mike Flowers Pops Orchestra) is a British easy listeningband 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 up to fourteen of them on stage at any time. The band is principally known for easy listening or lounge musiccovers 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 1960s and 1970s.
The band became famous in the UK in 1995 when they released a cover version of Oasis' hit song "Wonderwall". After seeing the band perform, BBC radio producer Will Saunders recruited Flowers for BBC Radio 1DJKevin 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 widespread speculation that it might supplant Michael Jackson's 'Earth Song' to be that year's UK Christmas #1. The B-side of the single featured the Flowers compositions "Son of God" and "Theme From Memory Man".
Following the success of "Wonderwall", The Mike Flowers Pops quickly advanced from performing shows in nightclubs and small concert halls to touringfestivals 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. Following Mike Flowers success, EMI GOLD released an album using a Mike Flowers style approach, Cheesy Easy Listening by "Geoff Parnell" (a made-up name for the composer and producer, Steve Deakin-Davies) featuring music by Oasis, The Spin Doctors, Pulp and Blur to some success.