The EP was recorded in December 1984 at Crow Studios in Seattle, Washington. The band worked with producer Chris Hanzsek. Cited by many as being the very first grunge record, Come on Down pre-dated both the legendary C/Z Records compilation Deep Six and the Melvins' debut album. This record also marks Green River's only record with original guitarist Steve Turner (later of Mudhoney). Turner left the group due to his distaste with bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard's heavy metal leanings. The record was released to little fanfare, and did not sell well. Bradley Torreano of Allmusic called it "a worthwhile listen but not something that points towards the bright futures that its band members would enjoy." It contains the first recording of the song "Swallow My Pride", a song describing a lover's disdain for his girlfriend's feverish American patriotism, which was later re-recorded for the band's debut album, Rehab Doll.
In mid-1985, Green River embarked on its first nationwide tour to promote Come on Down. Release of the record was delayed however, thus negating the purpose of the tour. From all accounts the experience was less than positive, though it did help cement alliances with other emerging American indie rock bands such as Sonic Youth. In 1986, the band continued to play in and around the Pacific Northwest to steadily larger crowds (most notably in Seattle).
In the 1996 grunge documentary Hype!, Leighton Beezer plays the main riff of the title track "Come on Down" to illustrate the minor differences between punk and early grunge.