The album was originally conceived as a solo project for singer Andy Bell. Once Vince Clarke, the other member of Erasure, became involved, it was released as Erasure's tenth studio album. The tracks were handpicked by Clarke and Bell as ones that influenced them as musicians. It was released in the UK and the U.S. by Mute Records in 2003, and was a Top 20 success in their home country and in Germany.
Other People's Songs gave Erasure their first Top 10 on the UK singles chart in nine years. The album was produced by Erasure with Gareth Jones and Dave Bascombe. Because of Bell's resistance to remaking the classic "Video Killed the Radio Star", the verses are "sung" synthetically by a computer.