The original Jezebel was a princess of Tyre in Old Testament times who married Ahab, the King of Israel in around 870BC. She was a pagan Baal-worshipper and led the King and people away from the Jewish God. Jezebel persecuted the prophets of Jehovah, having many of them killed, and came into conflict with Elijah. Such was her rank bad character, that historically in Christian countries, a shameless, painted woman has traditionally been called a "Jezebel."
Guitarist/keyboardist Martin Gore took the mic on this lounge-music ballad. It was the only song on Sounds of the Universe that Gore sang lead vocals on.
Until December 5, 1998, a song had to be issued as a single to make the Hot 100. Aaliyah's "Try Again" was the first tune to top the chart based on airplay alone, without any sales figures being included.