M People

M People

Profile:
The key component of M People is Mike Pickering (b. Michael Duncan Pickering, 24 February 1958, Accrington, Lancashire, England; keyboards/programming), the founder member and songwriter for M People - the M standing for his first name. The band was formed by ex Hot House vocalist Heather Small (b. 20 January 1965, London, England) and Paul Heard (b. 5 October 1960, Hammersmith, London, England; keyboards, programming), formerly of Orange Juice and Working Week.

They achieved major success with the club hit "How Can I Love You More?" at the end of 1991. These singles promoted a first album which took its name from Pickering's early musical leanings, Northern Soul. The breakthrough year for M People was 1993, as they enjoyed a string of UK Top 10 hits with a reissued "How Can I Love You More?", "One Night In Heaven", "Moving On Up" (later used as a campaign tune by the UK's Labour Party), and a cover version of Dennis Edwards' "Don't Look Any Further B/W I Thought I Could Handle It". The album which contained the hits, Elegant Slumming (the title was taken from a Tom Wolfe book), featured vocal support from Nu Colours. It won them the Best British Dance Act at the BRIT Awards, and the 1994 Mercury Music Prize for best UK act in any category, much to the chagrin of hotly tipped pretenders Blur. Meanwhile, their highly polished, commercial sound (omnipresent on car stereos and commercial radio) was being cited as the perfect example of "handbag house", a term the band themselves despised. Bizarre Fruit and the attendant Top 10 singles "Sight For Sore Eyes", "Open Your Heart" and "Search For The Hero", were greeted with mild disappointment.

The band, by now a quartet with the permanent addition of their touring percussionist Shovell (ex Natural Life), embarked on a tour of the world's stadia to ecstatic receptions. Their love affair with the critics had cooled, the media taking special pleasure in poking fun at Small's choice of boyfriend - rugby league player Shaun Edwards. Bizarre Fruit II merely compiled several remixes and edits as a prelude to a new album, though an ill-advised cover version of the Small Faces' "Itchycoo Park" managed to irritate the critics further. Fresco proved to be another smooth slab of easy-listening soul, with the single "Just For You" the stand-out track. A lazily compiled "best of" selection and Small's solo debut, Proud, are the only products to have subsequently emerged from the M People camp
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M People Discography

Albums

M People Northern Soul (Album) Deconstruction, RCA Australasia 1991 Sell This Version
M People Elegant Slumming (Album) Deconstruction, RCA, BMG Europe 1993 Sell This Version
M People Bizarre Fruit (Album, Comp) Deconstruction UK 1994 Sell This Version
M People Fresco (Album) M People Records, BMG UK & Ireland 1997 Sell This Version
M People Testify (Album) Epic 1999 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

M People How Can I Love You More (Maxi, Single) Deconstruction UK 1991 Sell This Version
M People Colour My Life (Single, Maxi) Deconstruction US 1991 Sell This Version
M People Excited (Maxi, Single) Deconstruction UK 1992 Sell This Version
M People With Heather Small M People With Heather Small - Someday (Maxi, Single) Deconstruction, RCA Europe 1992 Sell This Version
SD 1 Sasha Meets M-People* Sasha Meets M-People* - Someday(12", Promo) Deconstruction SD 1 UK 1992 Sell This Version
M People One Night In Heaven (Single, Maxi) Deconstruction, RCA, BMG UK 1993 Sell This Version
M People Don't Look Any Further (Maxi, Single) Deconstruction, RCA Italy 1993 Sell This Version
M People Moving On Up (Single, Maxi) Deconstruction, RCA, BMG UK 1993 Sell This Version
M People Sight For Sore Eyes (Single, Maxi) Deconstruction UK 1994 Sell This Version
M People Renaissance (Single, Maxi) Deconstruction Europe 1994 Sell This Version
M People Elegantly American (EP, Maxi) Deconstruction UK 1994 Sell This Version
M People Kahlua - Music For Your Mouth (Single) Deconstruction UK 1994 Sell This Version
2131928 7 JB M People Love Rendezvous (Radio Mix)(7", Jukebox) Deconstruction 2131928 7 JB UK 1994 Sell This Version
M People Padlock Epic Dance, Epic Dance US 1995 Sell This Version
M People Open Your Heart (Maxi, Single) Deconstruction UK 1994 Sell This Version
M People Search For The Hero / Padlock (Maxi) Epic, Epic Records Group, Deconstruction US 1995 Sell This Version
M People Itchycoo Park (Single, Maxi) Deconstruction UK 1995 Sell This Version
M People Search For The Hero (Maxi, Single) Deconstruction US 1995 Sell This Version
M People Love Rendezvous (Maxi, Single) Deconstruction UK 1995 Sell This Version
ITCHY 2 M People Itchycoo Park(CD, Single, Promo) Deconstruction ITCHY 2 UK 1995 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 5 Reviews

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mike8fitz

mike8fitz

December 24, 2013
edited over 2 years ago
Heather Small's voice was unique,
she had a voice that was powerful and she was soulful in everyway mind and body ,and a great mover , she was soul music in the 1990's ,and she was the icing on the cake for music in the 90's.

Lady-Miss-Kier

Lady-Miss-Kier

November 5, 2013
Don´t know where the problem is with Heather´s voice. She sounds soulful and strong, always in the right balance.
I think it is 70% her voice that makes this band so damn good and let them have a string of hits.
Not to forget all the beautiful Remixes by Morales, van Helden or E-Smoove only to name a few.
ringorider

ringorider

May 2, 2013
I can't for the life of me understand how anyone tolerated her voice, she's a monstrosity. Were things that different back in the 90's? I've no idea how bad the music behind her is as I don't have the time to listen to it, but I do have time to complain about her; it's odd how the old mind works.

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