Veteran synth-dance-pop group Erasure will release an album of covers Jan. 28 via Mute North America. Dubbed "Other People's Songs," the duo's 12-track set features songs by Peter Gabriel, Buddy Holly

Veteran synth-dance-pop group Erasure will release an album of covers Jan. 28 via Mute North America. Dubbed "Other People's Songs," the duo's 12-track set features songs by Peter Gabriel, Buddy Holly, and the Righteous Brothers, among others.

"I was already thinking that there are so many songs out there I would love to do as a singer," the group's Andy Bell said of the album's impetus in a statement. "So part of it was coming from the perspective of being a singer who loves great songs."

What began as a possible Bell solo project -- that, in part, stemmed from a somewhat troubling penchant for singing karaoke in clubs while visiting his parents in Peterborough, England -- changed when Erasure-mate Vince Clarke showed similar enthusiasm for a project of covers that would reach further than the group's four-song 1992 EP "ABBA-esque."

"I think 'Other People's Songs' is a bit more serious than the 'ABBA-esque' thing," Clarke explained. "That was going to be an album as well, in the first place, but we were pretty glad that we didn't do that ... It just seems this album is not so throw-away as the ABBA thing."

Among the songs tackled by Erasure: Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill," the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Ebb Tide," and the Walker Brothers' "Walking in the Rain." Of the latter, Bell said the song "just gave me goose bumps when I first heard it. I thought we could do a really good dance version of this, but now it's kind of like, it's not hip-hop, it's two-step."

Other covers include Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways" and "Everyday," the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," Elvis Presley's "I Can't Help Falling In Love," and songs by Cockney Rebel and Korgis. The collection was co-produced by Gareth Jones, who handled similar chores on several past Erasure albums, including 1989's "Wild!," 1995's "Erasure," and 1997's "Cowboy," and has worked extensively with Depeche Mode.

Re-energized by the project, Bell and Clarke are already working on their next self-penned Erasure studio project. After avoiding substantial touring in recent years, the group plans to hit the road sometime in 2003. A theme of Edwardian dress will likely be incorporated, "to honor the era when the gramophone was invented," according to the statement, with costume changes that will bring the group up to the present day.

"I feel more positive, lots of interesting things are going on, so I think if you've got a good sprit, then touring isn't as bad," Clarke said.

"I just feel like I need to be out there because I'm a performer and I really miss it," Bell added. "And it'll stop me [from] doing karaoke in Peterborough."

Here is the "Other People's Songs" track list (original artist in parentheses):

"Solsbury Hill" (Peter Gabriel)
"Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime" (Korgis)
"Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" (Cockney Rebel)
"Everyday" (Buddy Holly)
"When Will I See You Again" (the O'Jays)
"Walking in the Rain" (Walker Brothers)
"True Love Ways" (Buddy Holly)
"Ebb Tide" (Righteous Brothers)
"Can't Help Falling in Love" (Elvis Presley)
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (Righteous Brothers)
"Goodnight" (Cliff Eberhardt)
"Video Killed the Radio Star" (the Buggles)