The album does not contain the actors' performances from the film, and as such is not considered a true soundtrack album. Byrne stated in an interview that the decision not to release these unique renditions (including performances by John Goodman and Pops Staples) is a major regret. Instead, this is a Talking Heads studio album featuring recordings of songs from the film. While an original cast recording for this movie was never released, several of the film performances did appear on single releases of several songs from the album.
The single "Wild Wild Life" became the big hit from the album, accompanied by its video airplay on MTV. The "Wild Wild Life" video won two MTV Video Music Awards in 1987: "Best Group Video", beating U2 and Crowded House, and "Best Video from a Film". (The video is in fact an extended sequence lifted directly from the film itself.) A video for "Love for Sale" was created for use in the film (during a sequence when a woman, played by Swoosie Kurtz, watches the video on TV), and an extended version was later released as a video in its own right.
In 2006, it was re-released and remastered by Warner Music Group on their Warner Bros./Sire Records/Rhino Records labels in DualDisc format, with three bonus tracks on the CD side (an extended mix of "Wild Wild Life", "Papa Legba" with vocal by Pops Staples, and "Radio Head" with vocals by Tito Larriva). The DVD-Audio side includes both stereo and 5.1 surround high resolution (96 kHz/24bit) mixes, as well as a Dolby Digital version and the videos of "Wild Wild Life" and "Love for Sale". In Europe, it was released as a CD+DVDA two disc set rather than a single DualDisc. The reissue was produced by Andy Zax with Talking Heads.
Tracks 10, 11 and 12 appear on the 2006 CD issue only. Of the 9 tracks on the original LP release, "Love for Sale", "Wild Wild Life" and "City of Dreams" are the only recordings that actually appear in the film. On screen, the other songs are performed by the film actors; two of those are included among the bonus tracks of the 2006 reissue.
The band Radiohead named themselves after Track 6, "Radio Head".