Prior to the release of the Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick" single in March 1988, Bruce Pavitt sent a five-song Mudhoney tape to Sonic Youth for the band's opinion. Sonic Youth immediately proposed a split single where each band covered the other. Sonic Youth covered "Touch Me I'm Sick" while Mudhoney covered Sonic Youth's "Halloween". The split single was released on 7" vinyl as a limited edition by Sub Pop in December 1988. It was released on 12" vinyl in the UK by Blast First records in January 1989, and in Germany in 1990 by Glitterhouse records. The "Touch Me I'm Sick" cover was also included in the deluxe edition of Daydream Nation released on June 12, 2007, while Mudhoney's cover of "Halloween" was featured in the 2008 Deluxe Edition reissue of Superfuzz Bigmuff. The front and back cover photographs were taken by Charles Peterson.
Sonic Youth's version offers a female perspective of the song with bassist Kim Gordon handling the vocals. Bradford Allison of Prefix magazine suggests that because of this, the cover "seems even grimier than the original".