The album was a departure for the group. "Tiger Bay", their previous album, added many acoustic and orchestral elements but was still part of the synth-pop and dance genres. Good Humour was demoed in the UK using synths and drum machines. In Sweden under guidance of Tore Johansson, Saint Etienne were augmented by a full band and a horn section. The resulting album was more acoustic and musically had more in common with their 1993 hit single "You're in a Bad Way".
The album was recorded in two weeks at Tambourine Studios, Malmo, Sweden. The album was produced by Tore Johansson who had produced all of The Cardigans' previous studio albums. Most of the b-sides were also recorded and produced during the two week sessions. Sarah Cracknell cut short the promotion of her solo album Lipslide and single "Goldie" to record the album.
While always affiliated with Creation Records, Good Humour was their first for the label. Its original release date was slated for Summer 1997 but was delayed by Creation because they were committed to promoting Oasis's album Be Here Now. In 2000 Creation shut down, their next records would appear on independent label Mantra. The album charted at #18 on the UK albums chart. In the USA, the group were signed to the prestigious Sub Pop label. Initial copies of the US release contained a second CD of bonus songs called Fairfax High made up mostly of b-sides from UK singles. Fairfax High was the first of a series of USA only singles, albums and EPs.
The band wanted "Lose That Girl" to be the second single off the album, but Creation decided on "The Bad Photographer". The song was slated for release by Creation in late 1998 but was scrapped at close to the last minute. Remixes by the Trouser Enthusiasts were produced, but were not pressed to even promo 12". The Trouser Enthusiasts remix was later featured as a bonus track on the b-sides compilation Interlude.
An instrumental demo of "Lose That Girl" and a single mix of "Sylvie" produced by Tore Johansson are included on the fan club CD Nice Price. The band-written sleeve notes describe the influence of soft rock on the former. The song also had the working title of Jazz Odyssey (a nod to This is Spinal Tap).
The Bad Photographer April 1998
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