It included the single releases "Wild Thing", a dance cover of The Troggs' 1965 classic, the romantic pop ditty "Aphrodisiac" and the howlingly vampire-esque rocker "She Wolf". The album's commercial success was moderate, failing to chart anywhere in the world.
Secret Passion was Lear's first full-length album since 1983's disappointing Tam-Tam and her first for French Carrere, a major label in Francophone countries like France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada in the 1970s and 1980s.
Secret Passion was a contemporary new wave dance production baring more than a fleeting resemblance to Madonna's True Blue album, mainly recorded in Los Angeles with American composers, musicians and arrangers, making it her first album to be recorded outside of Europe.
With Carrere signing Lear and investing money in a project produced in the States it was most likely not only intended to be her European comeback, but also a serious attempt to launch the husky-voiced French disco diva in English-speaking countries like the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom as well. Between 1982 and 1986 Lear had spent most of her time working as a successful and appreciated TV host in Italy, and had only released the occasional single on various labels on the French and Italian markets, most notably "Assasino" in 1984 for WEA and "No Credit Card" in 1986 on the minor Italian label Merak. Now she was ready to focus completely on her musical career again. As she was getting ready to start promoting Secret Passion she was seriously injured in a near fatal car crash. She had to spend months in convalescence and was unable to promote the album or any of its singles.
Secret Passion was released in France, Italy, Canada and Greece but with Lear not being available for either personal appearances or video recordings it did not fare as well commercially as had been hoped and planned for. It is still generally considered to be Lear's best pop album of the 1980s since having left the Ariola label and producer Anthony Monn, but due to the circumstances it was also her last attempt to resurrect her international recording career. It also became her last English language release until the Eurodance album Cadavrexquis in 1993.
During the album sessions, Lear had also recorded two French-language versions that were released as A-side singles in France, "Les Femmes" ("She Wolf") and "Aphrodisiaque" ("Aphrodisiac"), and an updated single-only Hi-NRG version of her signature tune "Follow Me", released to promote Secret Passion, but not included on the actual album.
While the album has not had a proper CD release as such, tracks have surfaced on a number of compilations licensed by Siebenpunkts Verlag Gmbh/ZYX Music/Mint Records over the years and all eight songs appear on the compilations Living Legend and I'm A Mystery - The Whole Story.