Eg & Alice was the proverbial enigma wrapped in a mystery of the early-'90s British music scene, not only because its musical sensibility stood at such odds with the rest of its Brit-pop peers but also because the duo either avoided or retreated from the spotlight at every step along its career path. Nevertheless, Eg & Alice's lone effort, 24 Years of Hunger, stands as one of the finest, most refined, and fully realized recordings of the era, employing a much more sophisticated and romantic style than anything else out of England at the time.
Eg White began his musical career in the early boy band Brother Beyond, a quartet whose music, much of it written or co-written by White, transcended the typical genre fare due to its lushness and mixture of elements from jazz and Motown soul. The band once threatened to become "the band of the year in '88," and while it never did gain that measure of recognition, Brother Beyond did have a sizable following in its native England following a solid debut album, Get Even, fashioned by the enormously successful commercial production team Stock-Aitken-Waterman. The quartet went on to release a second album (Trust), at which point it was already in the throes of breakup. White retreated to his Notting Hill home with brother David (also a member of the band) and continued to write songs. In 1991, he teamed up with former London club kid Alice Temple and the pair recorded, mostly on their own and in White's kitchen, a debut album for Warner, 24 Years of Hunger. Unfortunately for the record, Eg & Alice shied away from promoting the album via live touring despite some glowing notices in the British trade publications. It soon vanished and eventually lapsed out of print. White also dropped from the music scene and did not reappear until 1996 when, as just Eg, he released his debut solo album, Turn Me on I'm a Rocket Man, produced by Phil Ramone. For her part, Temple moved to Los Angeles for a stint then returned to London, occasionally writing and collaborating with White. She also caught the attention of James Lavelle, who enlisted her services for the UNKLE project he was assembling alongside Josh Davis. With Davis, she co-wrote and recorded "Bloodstain" for UNKLE's Psyence Fiction album, after which she returned to working with White, and together the two put out Temple's first solo album, Hang Over, in 1999 on V2. That same year, White forged a songwriting partnership with Icelandic ingenue Emiliana Torrini, resulting in the strongest moments on her debut album Love in the Time of Science.