The first single "Irish Blood, English Heart" became his highest charting single in the UK at number 3 and received significant airplay in the US, going to number 36 on the BillboardModern Rock Tracks chart. The album charted at number 2 in the UK, held off the top spot by Keane's debut album, which prompted Morrissey to joke in concert at the time, "With regard to the album You Are the Quarry, if your name is Keane then you better leave now." It became Morrissey's highest charting album in the US, reaching number 11.
Nancy Sinatra recorded a version of "Let Me Kiss You", which was released as a single which performed well on the UK Singles Chart, prior to Morrissey's own single release of the song.
In October 2004, Attack repackaged and reissued You Are the Quarry as a two-disc deluxe edition with a DVD second disc. The second disc collected the nine B-sides from the album's first three singles, as well as music videos and live TV performances from the record, including Morrissey's live performances on American TV show, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.
Some versions of the packaging do not show the full frame on the cover, but only a crop of Morrissey's face, cropping out the machine gun.
Irish artist Christy Moore covered "America Is Not the World" with Declan Sinnott during his 2006 concert at the Point, Dublin, now known as the O2. A recording of this version may be found on the CD recording of the concert; Christy Moore: Live at the Point 2006 under the altered title of "America, You Are Not the World".