The Innocents is the third studio album by English synth-pop duo Erasure, released on 10 April 1988 by Sire and Reprise Records in the United States and on 18 April 1988 by Mute Records in Germany and the United Kingdom. Produced by Stephen Hague, it was the release that made Erasure superstars in their home country of the UK and gave them their breakthrough in the US.
The Innocents became the first in a string of number-one albums by Erasure in the UK, turning double platinum with sales over 600,000. Thanks to heavy exposure on MTV, it also spawned two major Billboard Hot 100 hits, a Top 50 placing on the Billboard 200 and Platinum album certification in the US. According to Nielsen SoundScan, 23 years after its release the album has sold a total of 5 million copies worldwide. It is their best selling album to date.
The album was remastered and re-released on 26 October 2009 to celebrate its 21st anniversary. Prefaced by an EP of remixes led by album track "Phantom Bride", the 21st Anniversary Edition came in a couple of flavours including a limited edition two CD/DVD set, packed inside a CD-sized 20-page hardback book that includes interviews with Vince Clarke and Andy Bell about the making of the record and their thoughts on all the tracks.
The second CD includes various rarities, including the 7″ version of the duo's take on "River Deep, Mountain High" and US-specific remixes of "Chains of Love" and "A Little Respect" that were not released in the UK singles box set.
The album cover image derives from the stained glass window of St. James and Charlemagne, in Chartres Cathedral. .