The album is the first 10cc studio album to feature the band as a six piece. The new lineup was already assembled for the tour in support of the band's previous album, Deceptive Bends, but changing Tony O'Malley for Duncan Mackay on the keyboards. The band was also solidified with songwriting and lead vocals contributions from other members than the core duo of Stewart and Gouldman.
The cover art was again created by Hipgnosis with graphics by George Hardie and shows a map being blown into someones face. The cover photograph was taken by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis. The cover idea had been first presented to Genesis, who rejected it.
Two singles, "Dreadlock Holiday"' and "Reds in My Bed" were extracted from Bloody Tourists, with the first preceding the album. "Dreadlock Holiday" topped the charts in several countries, including the United Kingdom, where it became the band's third and last number-one hit. Driven by the success of the lead single, the album reached number 3 in the UK Albums Chart.
The album was reissued on CD in 1997 adding the b-side to "Dreadlock Holiday" as bonus track. In 2008 the Japanese reissue added additional versions of the album songs as bonus tracks.