Morrissey released "Alma Matters" on 21 July 1997 to support the album. The song premiered on the KROQ-FM Jed The Fish show on 4 July 1997. It was well received by fans and critics alike, praised for its surprisingly upbeat sound. The single reached #16 in the United Kingdom, making it Morrissey's highest charting single in the decade between the Vauxhall and I and You Are the Quarry releases.
Maladjusted was Morrissey's attempt to integrate the torch songs that he experimented with on Vauxhall and I with the indie rock of his earlier career. His efforts were largely successful. In addition to "Alma Matters", the tracks "Trouble Loves Me", "Ammunition", and "Roy's Keen" stand out as high-quality songs reminiscent of the Vauxhall and I and Your Arsenal era. As such, the album met with mixed but generally positive reviews and is considered a strong work by fans. Despite this, the album was not a huge commercial success, bowing at a respectable but underwhelming #8 in the UK. The follow-up singles, "Roy's Keen" and "Satan Rejected My Soul" peaked at #42 and #39, respectively. Still, the album reached #61 in the US and has sold 88,000 copies to Southpaw Grammar 's 65,000.
The album caused a small amount of controversy over what was to be the penultimate track. Entitled "Sorrow Will Come in the End", it featured Morrissey intoning, rather than singing, over a backing of manic strings and the beat of a judge's gavel. The song is clearly about the Mike Joyce royalties dispute, and lyrically takes the form of, essentially, an extended threatening message to him and his representatives. "Don't close your eyes/Don't EVER close your eyes/A man who slits throats/Has time on his hands/And I'm gonna get you". Island Records, Morrissey's label at the time, dropped the track from UK versions of the album for fear of libel action. Joyce, for his part, said of the song, "I just found it funny. If Lemmy had written it, I might be concerned."
On the inside sleeve of the LP is printed "John Bindon 1943–1993", a reference to the British underworld figure and actor.
Island Records released a remastered and redesigned version of Maladjusted on 4 May 2009. It included a new sleeve and track listing, several rare B-sides, and the first UK release of "Sorrow Will Come in the End". However, two songs ("Roy's Keen" and "Papa Jack") were left off the new track list. In the initial press release, "Ambitious Outsiders" was incorrectly listed as "Ambitious Lovers". It was released on the Polydor label.