After Our Secrets Are the Same was leaked by a DJ in Spain and Simple Minds were fired from EMI they went into partial retirement. Frontman Jim Kerr moved to Italy to start a hotel. There a number of young Italian artists came to Kerr for advice or input in recording. This finally coaxed the band out of retirement.
They signed a limited contract with Eagle Records. To help the band gain momentum, it was decided that they should record an album of covers to boost awareness of Simple Minds again. Thus Neon Lights was conceived.
A promo version was also pressed which was titled Original Versions of Songs Covered on "Neon Lights", which comprised all the original versions of the songs covered, making this the only Simple Minds release to be devoid of Simple Minds music. However, Eagle Records encountered some problems with copyrights for a couple of songs, so fewer than 25 of these promos were pressed, making this extremely hard to find.
Two singles were released from the album: the Dancing Barefoot EP, and a number of remixes of "Homosapien".