The album is notable for the hit "Blood and Roses", which has been featured in multiple movie and TV productions. Producer Don Dixon's co-production work on R.E.M.'s Murmur and Reckoning albums added attention to the record's initial release. The album today is highly regarded by most critics, and was one of Kurt Cobain's favorite albums, as noted in his journal.
The title and lyrics to the song "In A Lonely Place" were inspired by and adapted from the 1950 film "In A Lonely Place," starring Humphrey Bogart and directed by Nicholas Ray. In particular, the line "I was born the day I met you/Lived a while when you loved me/Died a little when we broke apart" is a paraphrase of a key passage in the movie. In addition, the line "Yesterday it would have mattered/Now today it doesn't mean a thing" is a paraphrase of the last line in the movie.