It was released in the United States as Uriah Heep with alternate sleeve artwork, and with "Bird of Prey" in place of "Lucy Blues." The album is notable for being rooted more in raunchy blues rock than the band's subsequent albums, a sound which would evolve into straighter hard rock on later releases.
The album was generally panned by the mainstream critical press upon its release, although it has since been acknowledged as an early classic of the heavy metal genre. The harshest critic was Rolling Stone magazine reviewer, Melissa Mills, who began her review, "If this group makes it I'll have to commit suicide. From the first note you know you don't want to hear any more."
The original vinyl release was a gatefold-sleeve, featuring David Byron on the front sleeve, almost unrecognisable beneath the cobwebs.
The album was first released on the Vertigo label in the UK, as was the follow-up Salisbury, but both were quickly reissued by Bronze when the band signed to that label.