Music for Pleasure (record label)

British budget record label / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Music for Pleasure (or MFP) and Classics for Pleasure (CFP) were British record labels that issued budget-priced albums of popular and classical music respectively. Albums were subsequently released under the MFP label in Australia (MFP-A) and South Africa.

MFP was set up in 1965 as a joint venture between EMI, which provided the source material, and the publisher Paul Hamlyn, which handled distribution in so-called non-traditional outlets, such as W.H. Smith, the booksellers. The MFP catalogue consisted of both original material and reissues of existing EMI recordings, including records by "name" artists such as Kenny Rogers, the Beach Boys, Blondie, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, the Animals and the Beatles.

Original material included studio recordings of successful West End musicals, the first of which were recorded secretly for EMI by the young independent producer David Gooch (later producing Alma Cogan and Vera Lynn) who was given carte blanche to select three productions: these were South Pacific, Carousel and The Sound of Music, the last of which sold 250,000 copies. These albums were also manufactured for the Regal label in Canada. Some years later, they were re-recorded by Norman Newell.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, MFP became the major budget-priced label in the UK, the label being run by Alec Sharman. Other notable sub-labels which were part of MFP included Classics for Pleasure (CFP) managed by Patricia Byrne, Listen for Pleasure (LFP) managed by Roger Godbald, a spoken word label and 'Fame' managed by Peter O'Cain which re-issued classic rock and pop albums from Queen, Paul McCartney, Marillion, and other successful EMI artists. All the labels moved from vinyl to cassette and finally to CDs, but when the CD market slowed in the mid-1990s MFP struggled to maintain sales in line with what was expected by the owner company EMI Records, so in 1995 the management team which had been led so successfully by Roger Woodhead was re-structured and Music for Pleasure became a sub label of the newly launched EMI Gold headed up by Paul Holland. The label continued with some measure of success with releases from classic artists such as Shirley Bassey, Nat King Cole, Cliff Richard, Dean Martin and even Classic Sing-A-Long Party CDs. In 1999 when Paul Holland left to join Granada, Steve Woof took over the running of the label.

The affiliated label Disky from the Netherlands was also licensed to re-release various EMI and King Biscuit Flower Hour releases in Europe. The Fame label reissued several Beatles, Pink Floyd and related albums in the 1980s.

The MFP label was briefly revived by EMI as a budget reissue label in the UK. One release was of Frank Sinatra. The subsequent sale of EMI to several competitors quietly ended MFP by 2012.