The song was written with the line "Stuck together with God's glue," which was taken directly from the title of the album by the Irish band Something Happens, who are good friends with U2. A new mix of "Staring at the Sun" was released for the compilation, The Best of 1990-2000. During the summer of 2002 recording sessions in which "Electrical Storm" and "The Hands That Built America" were recorded, parts for four U2 songs were re-recorded, including "Staring at the Sun." The song has been compared to the work of Oasis.
A kaleidoscope bearing the single's logo in gold was distributed to promote the single.
"Staring at the Sun" was played at most of the PopMart Tour shows. However, during the first concert at Las Vegas, U2 failed to time the song correctly and had to start over. Bono singing at the wrong tempo was to blame for the mistake. The song was performed acoustically for most of the rest of that tour. It had several appearances on the Elevation Tour, being the only Pop song to be performed on all three legs of the Elevation Tour. Sometimes it also appeared as a snippet in "Discothèque". It has not been played with the full band since October 24, 2001 in New York City.
"Staring at the Sun" (Brothers in Rhythm ambient mix)
These remixes by Brothers in Rhythm originated as bootlegs on 12" vinyl. They use the live Rotterdam performance featured on the "Please" single rather than the album version. U2 approved it for limited promotional use to coincide with the release of The Best of 1990-2000.