Mike Flowers (born Mike Roberts) and his 13-piece band the Sounds Superb Singers were part of London's live lounge music and cabaret revival in 1995 when they were asked to provide cover versions of hit songs for a Radio One program. Their first song, an easy listening version of "Wonderwall" by Oasis, was heard by Chris Evans, who played it on another program -- his popular breakfast show -- joking that it was the original. Their cover became so popular after this exposure that it made it into the charts, peaking at number two, while the Oasis original was still in the charts itself. Riding this wave, the Mike Flowers Pops performed at several festivals as well as supporting Gary Glitter on tour, and released an album called A Groovy Place in 1996. This featured more lounge versions of popular songs, including Björk's "Venus as a Boy," the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs," Prince's "1999," and the Doors' "Light My Fire," the last of which was released as their second single and made it into the top 40. One of the album's original songs, "Freebase," was the foundation for The Freebase Connection, a collection of remixes billed as the Mike Flowers Pops meets Aphex Twin. A single release of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and a contribution to the soundtrack of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery were squeezed in before the fad for lounge music covers came to its inevitable end.
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