When Perry Blake released his first, eponymously-titled, album with Polydor in 1998 there was a buzz of expectation in industry circles. Here was a rare package: an articulate songwriter with an exceptional melodic sense who understood, instinctively, the art of constructing a pop song. Citing influences as various as European cabaret, west coast funk, and 60's & 70's film scores (especially Bacharach and Barry), Blake compiled a collection of songs that uplifted with their melodic hooks as much as they saddened with their glimpses into the damaged or disappointed lives of his characters.
The reaction to his debut album was ecstatic. A number of music magazines tipped Perry Blake as the "next big thing". Jo Wiley, on BBC Radio 1, made his first single, "The Hunchback Of San Francisco" her single of the week. Word was beginning to get around. Meanwhile, Universal swallowed Polygram, and anything that wasn't Britney was booted out. The musical antennae of the French however had been picking up something distinct and original from across the water. (The album went Top 40 in France), and already Blake was becoming a cult figure there. Not surprising, then, that he was soon signed by hip French label, na