The songs "Sat'day Night in the City of the Dead" and "Dangerous Rhythm", alongside other songs from the album, were written while the band were named Tiger Lily and were performed during 1976, prior to its release. Videos of a gig in Germany in that year can be seen on YouTube.
Ada Wilson in The Rough Guide to Rock wrote that the album "failed to recapture [Ultravox!'s] on-stage energy". In his retrospective review, Dave Thompson, writing for AllMusic, opined "it was Ultravox! who first showed the kind of dangerous rhythms that keyboards could create. The quintet certainly had their antecedents – Hawkwind, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk to name but a few – but still it was the group's 1977 eponymous debut's grandeur (courtesy of producer [Brian] Eno), wrapped in the ravaged moods and lyrical themes of collapse and decay that transported '70s rock from the bloated pastures of the past to the futuristic dystopias predicted by punk."