The single was a cover version of a 1979 song by Noosha Fox, which failed to chart when Fox released it as a single. (It had also been rewritten by Manfred Mann's Earth Band as "On the Run" for their 1980 album Chance (album)). In contrast, Agnetha's version proved so successful throughout Europe, it sold more copies than any of ABBA's 1982 single releases. In the UK, "The Heat Is On" peaked at No.35, making it Faltskog's highest charting solo single in Britain until the release of her 2004 comeback single, "If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind", which reached No.11.
The B-side of "The Heat Is On" was the song "Man", written by Agnetha herself. Compared to her pre-ABBA-albums where most of the songs were self-penned, this was the only song on the Wrap Your Arms Around Me album that she wrote herself.
In some countries, the record companies also released a 12"-single featuring an extended version of "The Heat Is On" instead of the album version.
The official promo video was shot by Swedish director Erik Irion Nanne in a public bath in Stockholm (Centralbadet) for two nights after closing time. According to Nanne, after the last shot Agnetha fell into the water and could not continue (her hair got all wet). The video also features dancer Blossom Tainton.