The single was released on 29 August 2005. On online music stores such as iTunes, the radio edit of the song was released on 20 June 2005. "DARE" was released to airplay in the United States in mid-October. On the Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number 87 on 3 January 2006, going on to reach #8 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart on 21 February 2006. Chris Evans stated at the 2006 Brit Awards said that the song was originally to be called "It's There", but was changed because Shaun Ryder's strong Mancunian accent made it sound like he was saying 'It's dare.' Roses Gabor takes over the role of "Noodle" from Miho Hatori, who provided the vocals for her on the first album. 2D provides backing vocals; however, to blend his vocals with Noodle's, his voice was toned down to be slightly covered up by Noodle. 2D's full vocalization can be heard on the D-Sides remix album. D-Sides features a demo version of Dare entitled "People". This version contains the same background beat while lacking the majority of the keyboards and effects in the final recording. Unlike the final version, it is completely sung by 2D (voiced by Damon Albarn) and features an Omnichord breakdown.
The music video for "Dare" included an appearance by Shaun Ryder (of Happy Mondays and Black Grape fame, at the request of Damon Albarn) as a giant disembodied head kept alive by machinery in Noodle's wardrobe. In a departure for the band, the song is mostly performed in the video by Noodle, with 2D, Russel, and Murdoc only appearing in short cameos in the video; 2D is seen listening into Noodle's room by pressing his ear to the floor, Russel is shown seated on a toilet reading a newspaper directly below Noodle's room and Murdoc appears at the end of the video lying in bed with Shaun Ryder, who wakes up, apparently having dreamt up the entire sequence of the video. A voice beside him growls, "go back to sleep, honey," revealing the voice to belong to Murdoc, after which it is further revealed to be another nightmare. That time, it was actually dreamt by Murdoc, who also wakes up bolt upright in his own bed gasping and panting. In commentary, Noodle claims that Murdoc initially protested at her doing the entire video by herself, but she countered that she wrote the song and she had seen him show off too much in the "Feel Good Inc." music video - and adds that he was asleep in his Winnebago for the whole of the shoot up until the final scene. The video was directed by Jamie Hewlett and Pete Candeland. The video was leaked a few days prior to its 17 July 2005 release on the Gorillaz official website. Some say that legal threats were made against the individuals who uploaded the video, but none of these claims can be confirmed. The video was later recalled from other websites and the final scene was tweaked slightly; Murdoc's ConfederateNaval Jack flag was replaced with that of the Jolly Roger. (The version with the Naval Jack is played in some countries, including Canada.) This video calls back to classic horror movies. In the very beginning of the video we see Gorillaz' 'reject false icons' statue, which one may recognize as Pazuzu, the figurine from The Exorcist and son of the devil. Crows are flying around the building, in a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Shaun Ryder is depicted as a Frankenstein-like monster who is brought to life as the music begins. Amongst the contraptions that are part of the life support system appear to be two Atarijoysticks and a Speak & Spell from the early 1980s. Ryder's head being kept alive is a reference to the movie The Brain That Wouldn't Die. The tube attached to Ryder's cheek switches from side to side as a tribute to the goofs commonly made in early horror movies. When we see Russel sitting on the toilet, he is holding a newspaper with a headline that reads CANNIBAL MASSAKREN, the Danish title of Cannibal Holocaust. The zoom on Noodle's eye at the end of the video is taken directly from Ringu and its American remake, The Ring.