The Pipettes were formed in mid-2003 by singer-songwriter and promoter Monster Bobby with the intention of reviving the Phil Spector pop sound and giving it a modern twist, after noticing the reaction girl group songs got during his DJ sets. In collaboration with singer, poet, and photographer Julia Clark-Lowes, who was inspired by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty's The Manual, he recruited friends from and around the local music scene.
The group have been called an experiment in manufactured pop, although the members' take is that they "manufactured" themselves. Their name, which is a reference to a laboratory instrument, is a nod to the experimental origins of the group. It should be noted that the groups' name is pronounced the same way as the instrument in British English: /pɪ ˈpet/ -- not /pai ˈpet/, as in American English. The male backing musicians, "The Cassette" never appear in interviews or photoshoots, emphasising the role of the singers. The three frontwomen wear polka dot dresses with synchronised choreography being a major part of their live shows, whereas The Cassette can be seeing wearing knitted tanktops with their initials sewn onto them. Additionally, despite their "manufactured" origins all songs are credited to The Pipettes as a whole. Generally one member has a concept and basic outline for a song, on which the other members subsequently have an input as to arrangement or lyric changes. As a result all members share credit on their original songs.
The line-up consisting of Rose ("Rosay"), Julia ("The Duchess"), RiotBecki, Jon, Seb, Joe ("Robin Of Loxley") and Bobby settled in mid-2004, after earlier line-ups included members of Electric Soft Parade. In April 2005 founder member Julia left to concentrate on her own project The Indelicates and was replaced by former Welsh-language solo artist Gwenno. Three limited edition vinyls were released in 2005, leading to the group being signed to Memphis Industries shortly after touring with the label's The Go! Team. Debut album "We Are the Pipettes" was released in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2006 and reached #41 in the UK Album Chart.
In 2007, the band signed with Cherrytree Records, part of Interscope, to release their material in America, Asia and Australasia. After a series of well received performances at the SXSW festival, an EP led by the track Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me was released on June 5, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales chart. The album was released in North America on October 2, where it reached #18 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart, and in Asia on October 17, with both releases containing new bonus tracks. Both of these versions of the album were remixed and produced by Greg Wells, thus resulting in a differing sound from the original European release. In June 2007, original drummer Joe left The Pipettes to concentrate on his own band Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong and was replaced by Jason Adelinia, formerly of Teasing Lulu and This City.