"Love Like Blood" was originally released by E.G. Records in January 1985 as a 12" in the UK, and a 12" maxi single in Germany. The 7" single on E.G. was released in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. Polydor also released a 12" single in the Netherlands and a 12" maxi single in France. E.G. Records' 12" and 12" maxi singles’ A-sides featured the track "Love Like Blood (Version)", a different version of the song, and as B-sides, the radio version of "Love Like Blood" and "Blue Feather (Version)", the same track list as Polydor's release. E.G.'s 12" maxi single, released in Germany, featured the same tracks, as did Polydor’s maxi single released in France. E.G.’s 7" single exempted "Love Like Blood (Version)" and instead featured the radio version of "Love Like Blood" as the A-side. E.G. also released "Love Like Blood (Gestalt Mix)" in the UK as a 12" single. It replaced "Love Like Blood (Version)" with the remix as an A-side, and was limited to only 2000 copies. It later appeared on the 2008 reissue of Night Time, along with a completely different version of "Blue Feather" that did not appear on any of the releases of "Love Like Blood". "Love Like Blood" was reissued in 1998 as a 12" single by Butterfly Records, as a live remix, alongside a remix of the song "Intellect" from Killing Joke’s 11th studio album, Democracy.
"Love Like Blood" was an international hit and defined Killing Joke in the 1980s. Bill Janovitz of AllMusic staff stated:
["Love Like Blood"] is driving, with guitarist Geordie Walker providing the basis for the song in huge, chunky guitar chords and riffs — cyclical and inverting in on themselves. He plays various arpeggios for the different sections of the song, with a tone that combines blistering distortion with a cold and edgy chorus effect. Drummer Paul Ferguson plants a steady four-on-the-floor dance beat, along with Raven's funky bass line, for the rhythm track. Unlike many of the industrial bands that followed in its wake, Killing Joke uses no sequencers or drum machines, leaving some human feel within the industrial framework. Coleman plays a haunting legato synth line that floats over the staccato guitar and rhythm section. Near the end of "Love Like Blood," he also offers an ominous piano bass note on upbeats, like a horror-film bell tolling.
In 2010, the Swedishalternative metal band Dead by April released a cover version of "Love Like Blood" as a stand-alone single. The single was released 10 May 2010 on iTunes and as a double A-side single alongside previously released track "Promise Me" from their eponymous debut album Dead by April. No music videos were made for either of the tracks. "Love Like Blood" was the first track recorded by the band with their new singer Zandro Santiago, and was later included on their compilation album Stronger, released on 24 January 2011.