Like their previous two singles, "Stormy Weather" and "In the Margins", and the parent album, this single was produced by Hugh Jones who had previously produced the band's 1981 album Heaven Up Here. The cover photograph was taken by Joe Dilworth. The live version of "Villiers Terrace" was taken from the band's 2005 appearance at the Reading Festival.
Reviewing the single, Room Thirteen described the song as "classic Bunnymen", that the song compared to their mid-80s releases and scored it with 11 out of 13. Reviewing the album Siberia, The Pitt News described "Scissors in the Sand" as the album's most ambitious and strongest track, the reviewer also states that the song sees McCulloch at his most intense and also comments favourably on Sergeant's guitar solo.
The single was not well received by the general public and failed to chart.