First released on the band's fourth album, Eldorado, in September 1974, the song is the second track on the album and follows "Eldorado Overture." The song was released in November of that same year as a single.
The song became the band's first top ten single in the United States, reaching number 9, and helped boost public awareness of the band in America; however, back in the UK the single and LP failed to chart. In 1978 it was included as the lead song on a four-track ELO EP (UK release), reaching number 34 on the UK charts. The song has appeared on many ELO compilation albums.
Also in 2006, the popular Fox teenage drama, The OC, featured a special cover version of the song in an episode, as well as commissioning the indie artist John Paul White to cover the track for Music from the OC: Mix 6 "Covering Our Tracks".