Club Ninja's first single, "Dancin' in the Ruins," was a minor radio and MTV hit. "When the War Comes" features a brief spoken-word introduction by radio personality Howard Stern, whose cousin was married to guitarist and vocalist Eric Bloom. The lyrics to "Spy in the House of the Night" were written by Richard Meltzer, originally based on his poem "Out of Smokes," which was published in his 1999 book "Holes."
Club Ninja is the only Blue Öyster Cult studio album not to feature keyboardist Allen Lanier. He was replaced temporarily by Tommy Zvoncheck, who'd previously been keyboardist for Aldo Nova's live band, for a Japanese tour by Public Image Ltd. and had already contributed to the initial recordings of Blue Öyster Cult's 1988 concept albumImaginos.
Edwin Pouncey, reviewing the album for Sounds, gave it a five star rating, describing it as "a seemingly leaden slab of AOR which suddenly turns into gold in your hands", praising Sandy Pearlman's production.