The song was first released in 1976 on his album This One's For You, and it was released as a single in 1977 where it reached the number one spot on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. It is ranked as the 37th greatest U.S. hit of 1977.
Despite the optimism suggested by the song's title, the narrator is actually ruminating on the fact that he and his ex-lover have finally found happiness and fulfillment—though not with each other. They have, indeed, "made it," but apart, not together. Songwriter Will Jennings commented,
Richard [Kerr] and I have often remarked on the people, millions of them in the world, who misunderstood the lyric of "Looks Like We Made It." It is a rather sad and ironic lyric about making it apart and not together, and of course everyone thinks it is a full on, positive statement. I don't know. Perhaps it is... in a way.