The album was issued one year after Play blessures(Play harms) which was a commercial and, at first, critical failure, as well as his first and last collaboration with Serge Gainsbourg. Bashung enlisted young songwriter Pascal Jacquemin who wrote most of the lyrics (except "Imbécile" ("Dumb") written by Boris Bergman).
Figure imposée was a commercial failure as well. The next year, Bashung will finally have commercial success back again with the single "S.O.S. Amor" and his next studio album, Passé le Rio Grande in 1986.
The 1993 CD reissue had both "Lou ravi" and "Nuits Halloween" dropped, replaced by "Spiele Mich an die Wand" (Boris Bergman - Alain Bashung) and "White Spirit" (Jean Fauque - Alain Bashung), the mix of "Élégance" was replaced by its single mix, and the mix of "Imbécile" was replaced by a long version.