The single was released by Asylum Records as catalog number 45472. It entered the American Top 40 charts on April 22, 1978, reaching number 21, and remained in the Top 40 for six weeks.
According to Wachtel, "Werewolves of London" was "the hardest song to get down in the studio I've ever worked on." However, Wachtel "laid down his solo in one take, before he'd even had a chance to partake of the bump of coke and drink he'd placed in front of him."
According to Jackson Browne (who was the producer for the recording), "Werewolves of London" along with "Excitable Boy" were written while work was being done on the album that preceded Excitable Boy but were not included on that album in favor of other songs.
The song is in the key of G major with a three-chord progression that runs through the entire song.