The majority of the material on the album was written as a result of group improvisations (aside from "Blackwater" and "Every Colour You Are"), with no pre-rehearsals.
The name Rain Tree Crow was chosen to mark a break from Japan's past, with the intention of creating a new long-term project. As the music turned out to be less commercial than originally envisaged, all members of the band aside from Sylvian became amenable to the idea of retaining the Japan moniker, in order to gain maximum exposure. However, Sylvian levered increasing artistic and production control over the project, to the point where the recording developed from a band effort into what was essentially another Sylvian solo project, leaving the other members as mere session players for the front man.
"Blackwater" was released as the album's only single and reached number 62 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1991. The album itself was, in general, critically acclaimed by the music press and reached number 24 in the UK Albums Chart.
The following track listing is for the re-mastered version of the album, released in 2003. It contains an additional track, "I Drink to Forget", which was originally released as the B-side of the "Blackwater" single.
The original album comprised tracks 1 to 12, as listed below:
"Big Wheels in Shanty Town" – 7:08
David Sylvian - vocal, electric guitar, hammond organ, electric piano, shortwave radio, horn arrangement
Special thanks to Michael Brook, Sando Franchin, Yuka Fujii, Dermot McEnvoy, Russell Mills, Enrico Monte, Patrice Quef, Pete Townshend, Gary Wright, Syco Systems Ltd. (Adrian Thomas), Wal Basses, Sabian Cymbals