Blancmange was formed in Harrow in Greater London by vocalist Neil Arthur (born on 15 August 1958, in Darwen, Lancashire) and instrumentalist Stephen Luscombe (born on 29 October 1954, in Hillingdon, Middlesex). After the 1979 creation of the new wave group, named for the popular sugary dessert, they released their first EP, titled "Irene & Mavis", the following year. Blancmange had their first real notable exposure via a track on the seminal 'Some Bizarre' compilation album, alongside fellow synthpop acts "Soft Cell" and "Depeche Mode".
This led to them signing a deal with London Records. Blancmange supported Nash the Slash on a London club tour in October and November 1980. Nash introduced the band to the Virgin subsidiary record label DinDisc, but they were ultimately signed by London Records, in 1982.
Their first success was the "Talking Heads" influenced single "Feel Me", a minor hit in 1982, but later that year they broke through with the single "Living on the Ceiling", which made Number 7 in the UK singles chart. Their debut album, "Happy Families" (which featured a sleeve painting in the style of Louis Wain) also reached the top 30.