Months later, Ochs was traveling in Australia. Housekeeper told him the film's producers liked his demo, but it was not exactly what they were looking for. Ochs decided to make a new recording of the song, backed by the Australian rock band Daddy Cool.
Ultimately, the film's producers chose not to use the Ochs song in the soundtrack. Nevertheless, he convinced his record company, A&M Records, to release it as a single. The record sold poorly.
In the only known review of "Kansas City Bomber", Record World wrote that "progressives will find this a moody change of pace."Billboard included the single in its "Also Recommended" column.
In 2001, writer Mark Brend described "Kansas City Bomber" as "unremarkable". Biographer Michael Schumacher wrote in 1996 that the song "was neither an admirable work nor an embarrassment".