The song peaked at No. 16 in the UK. The track is the band's sole entry on the Billboard Hot 100's Top 40 in the United States, peaking at No. 31. It was the first of many chart hits for the band on the U.S. BillboardModern Rock Tracks chart, peaking at No. 8 on the chart.
The first Lightning Seeds single release, "Pure" is significant in that it was the first song Broudie had "completely written and sung, ever". It was when producing a track for The Pale Fountains that Broudie was offered a chance to release some of his own material. He was originally apprehensive:
I didn’t think that many people would be interested if I’m going to be honest, I suppose I didn’t have the confidence really and I wasn’t in a band but I did want to put my music out and get it heard.
Nonetheless, Broudie proceeded to record "Pure" at a studio in Kirkby. 200 copies of the single were originally pressed, but after some radio play and attention at The Haçienda, the song soon sprang to mainstream consciousness.