This is a parody of David Bowie's song, "Breaking Glass." Lowe had previously poked fun at Bowie in 1977, when he released an EP titled Bowi, in humorous response to Bowie releasing an album titled Low, which lacked the final 'e' of Lowe's surname.
Steve Goulding, Andy Bodnar and Bob Andrews – Lowe's session musicians – helped to compose this song. Lowe told The A.V. Club: "That was a song which was sort of made up in the studio. I had the vague idea of the tune, and that's why in the writing credits, I cut the bass player and the drummer in on the song, because they made it, really. The drums and bass are really great on that song. Steve Goulding and Andy Bodnar used to play with Graham Parker And The Rumour, whose records I produced, and they played bass and drums on '(I Love the Sound of) Breaking Glass.' Their contribution was so great, I gave them a third each. In fact, I should have actually given Bob Andrews, who played piano on it, a taste of the record. The piano is so great."
Lowe told KLRU that he no longer feels comfortable performing this song live: "If I played it with just an acoustic guitar, I think the audience would give it a clap, but after about a minute, they would start looking around and waiting for the next tune."
This was Lowe's highest charting hit in the UK, where it peaked at #7.
This was the first ever single to be released by Radar Records, a UK label formed by the entrepreneurs, Martin Davis and Andrew Lauder. The single was lifted from Lowe's debut solo album, Jesus of Cool, which was also the first album to be released by Radar Records. So to not offend Christians, Jesus of Cool was renamed Pure Pop for Now People in the US.