The song entered the UK Singles Chart in February 1991 and peaked at #31. It followed a pattern of being slightly lower than its predecessor (the previous three singles had peaked at #6, #23 and #28). One more single from the album would continue the pattern, by not even breaking the threshold of the Top 40. "Soul Free", also taken from Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, appeared as the B-side. For the US, Columbia Records flipped the two songs, with "Soul Free" appearing as the A-side and "Heal the Pain" as the B-side. The single did not chart in the US.
In 2005, it was announced that Michael would be recording a version of the track with Paul McCartney, in whose style the song was written. Michael appeared on the Chris Evans show on BBC Radio 2 on December 5, 2005, and announced that he had recorded the song with McCartney "last week" but did not know what he was going to do with it yet. The track was later added to the greatest hits collection Twenty Five.
In 2008, it was released as a single from the U.S. release of George Michael's greatest hits album Twenty Five.