The Korean version of the song is the lead single from the group's second studio album of the same name, Lucifer, released in 2010. The song was released as a digital single on July 19, 2010, one day after the South Korean release of the album.
The teaser for the song's music video was released on July 14, 2010 via the official YouTube channel of SM Entertainment. The full music video for was released on July 19, 2010. The group made their comeback on July 23, 2010 on Music Bank, a variety show on KBS. They performed the song live in during the following days on KBS and other broadcasting channels. Minho did not participate in the dances, however, sitting on a chair due to a leg injury which had already delayed the album's release and promotion. Like their promotions of previous songs, "Lucifer" also featured a dance cover. Choreography of the promotional single was released on YouTube on August 3, 2010. The dance, which introduced the "Handcuff Dance", was choreographed by choreographers Shim Jae-Won (who was previously a member of Black Beat) and Rino Nakasone-Razalan.
The beginning of the music video has close up shots of the members individually. Onew is then shown inside a room full of mirrors then pans to the group dancing in a room with three cars. The three cars headlights are the main lighting in the room. It then shows the other members residing in their own separate environment. With Taemin in the wind tunnel, Jonghyun in front or inside a car, Key crouching on a huge block and Minho in a narrow path. All the while there’s a mysterious aura which viewers can conclude to be the “Lucifer”.
The song was an instant success in South Korea selling over 374,000 downloads in its first week earning the 2nd position on the Gaon Single Weekly Chart. By the end of 2010, "Lucifer" was downloaded 1,429,985 times but the popularity of the song and its music video made "Lucifer" an endless hit, in fact in 2011 it was downloaded another 779,474 times and 181,436 times in the first half of 2012.
On October 12, 2011 a Japanese version of Lucifer was released as their third Japanese single. It was released with three version, a limited edition type A includes a can badge type MP3 player including the song "Lucifer", a bonus DVD, a 68-page photo book, a trading card randomly selected from five kinds and digipak. A limited edition type B also same with type A but minus a MP3 player and a regular edition includes a bonus DVD and a 44-page photo book whose content differs from limited editions.