The album consisted of tracks by unsigned synthpop groups, including future alternative icons Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, The The and Blancmange. The compilation saw the first ever released recording of Depeche Mode. Some Bizzare Album was Stevo Pearce’s vision. He believed in the music that was included on the album as opposed to the fashion or style aspects. Other artists that Pearce wanted to include on the album included The Normal, Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle. Some Bizzare Album was re-released on CD format in 1992 for a limited time. It was re-released again in 2008 with extra bonus tracks. The "Eye Lamp" graphic used on the sleeve is taken from Ridgway Potteries' Homemaker crockery collection.
After meeting with Stevo Pearce, Soft Cell decided to include one of their tracks on the new Some Bizzare Album. They recorded The Girl with the Patent Leather Face at a studio owned by John Darling. Almond describes the song as a "tinny-sounding, trashy synthesizer song" that owed much to "Warm Leatherette", a track by The Normal. The Normal was really Mute Records boss Daniel Miller.
Formed in 1980, Depeche Mode were cautious when first approached by Pearce, they were indecisive about being included on a 'futurist' compilation album. They first decided to take their demo tape to various other record companies, only to be rejected by every one. After a bad first meeting with Daniel Miller of Mute Records (Miller was in a bad mood due to a problem with some Fad Gadget artwork), the door was left open for Pearce to include Depeche Mode on his Some Bizzare Album. During an evening at the Bridgehouse, in Canning Town, Pearce chatted with Depeche Mode about his new label and compilation album. At the time, the band had been supporting Fad Gadget. It was decided that Depeche Mode would record a track for Some Bizzare Album. Pearce had then recommended that the band work with Daniel Miller at Mute Records. In late 1980, Depeche Mode went into an east London recording studio and recorded the track "Photographic". Daniel Miller wanted to put a good track on the compilation album, but not their best track. Miller acted as an informal producer on the recording of the Some Bizzare version of the "Photographic" track. The band set up their equipment in the studio and ran through some of their tracks live in the studio. "Photographic" was recorded and mixed in one day.
"Photographic" was later included in the 1998 reissue of Depeche Mode's The Singles 81—85 album as a bonus track.
London based Neu Electrikk comprised singer songwriter Derek Morris, guitarist and electronics Steve Parry, bass player Nicholas Chamberlain Hunt, sax/flute/treatments Steve Sherlock and Barry Deller on drums/percussion. Neu Electrikk released 2 single/EPs on the Synethesia label - "Lust Of Berlin"/"Distractions" (1979) and "Cover Girl"/"Practically Isolate"/"Hand"/"Converse of Tapes" (1980). Stevo Pearce discovered the band via an advert in Sounds magazine and contacted the band via their distributor Rough Trade Records. Pearce had telephoned Steve Parry to say he wanted to manage the band, however Parry became suspicious of the hyperbole emanating from Pearce's mouth. Asking Pearce who he already managed, Pearce, to Parry's surprise, answered The The. Parry already knew The The having previously befriended Matt Johnson and Keith Laws. Having spoken to Johnson, Pearce apparently had done a similar thing to him, saying he was managing Neu Electrikk. The version of "Lust of Berlin" on the Some Bizzare Album is a later recording made at ARK Studios, Kingston upon Thames. Neu Electrikk gigged extensively, notably with The The at the Bridgehouse in Canning Town, with Stevo Pearce as DJ. Further to Neu Electrikk disbanding, Steve James Sherlock joined The The and joined Marc Almond in Marc and the Mambas, Nicholas Chamberlain Hunt continues to collaborate as a musician and producer, most noticeably with singer Christine Ann Leach (Baby Fox), William Orbit, co-writer of the song "Ray of Light", and on projects ALF and Alongside Frank. Steve Parry has released numerous recordings as a solo artist and as hwyl nofio (an avant-garde music ensemble of which Parry is the only permanent member).
The The’s contribution to the Some Bizzare Album is the composition "Untitled". Recorded at SGS studios in south London, the recording originally had the working title "Strawberry Sunset". Matt Johnson had asked Steve Parry of Neu Electrikk about potential recording studios. Parry knew Johnson having previously answered an advertisement by Johnson for musicians in the NME. Parry had suggested SGS studios to Matt Johnson having previously recorded there with Neu Electrikk. Johnson, Keith Laws and Parry entered the studio; however the recording proved to be a controversial affair due to difficulties encountered with an uncooperative studio engineer, who failed to appreciate or understand the music. Such was the negative ambience throughout the recording, the recording master tape was given to Parry and remained in his possession for a time after; Keith Laws contacting Parry about the track when Stevo Pearce asked The The to contribute a track to the forthcoming Some Bizzare Album.
Naked Lunch was formed in 1979. Their first live performance was at Studio 21 in London under the initial name of Sons of Perdition but decided to change it to Naked Lunch while having post gig drinks in the club. The first live performance as Naked Lunch took place in the Thomas A Becket pub in SE London supporting a punk band. Initially having used live analog sequencers, it was difficult to change settings between songs and they accepted that the sequences had to be recorded onto tape. Although a live drummer was used, the only cymbals permitted were those of the hi-hat; any cymbal-like sounds were deemed to be done by a synthesizer with adjustments of white noise with a volume and sustain control.
Naked Lunch reformed in 2012 and released a new single "Alone", in August 2013. The original line-up has been joined by Jet Noir on vocals and synths. Other members of the band are Tony Mayo (vocals), Paul Davies (guitar), Mark Irwin (drums and percussion) and Cliff Chapmen (synths).Fish side
Eye Lamp side
- Illustration - "Tidal Flow"
- Depeche Mode - "Photographic"
- The The - "Untitled"
- B-Movie - "Moles"
- Jell - "I Dare Say it Will Hurt a Little"
- Blah Blah Blah - "Central Park"
- Blancmange - "Sad Day"
- Soft Cell - "The Girl with the Patent Leather Face"
- Neu Electrikk - "Lust of Berlin"
- Naked Lunch - "La Femme"
- The Fast Set - "King of the Rumbling Spires"
- The Loved One - "Observations"
The 1981 cassette edition actively positioned the 'Eye Lamp' side of the album as side 1, with the 'Fish' side as side 2, whereas the 1992 CD edition plays the 'Fish' side followed by the 'Eye Lamp' side.
Stevo Pearce – Compiler
Steve Bush - Designer
- The Normal - "Warm Leatherette"
- Fad Gadget - "Back to Nature"
- The Residents - "The Act of Being Polite"