"Requiem" was released in September 1980 on 12" vinyl by record label E.G. by E.G. Records as the second single from the band's debut self-titled studio album, backed by two B-sides, "Change" and a demo version of "Requiem". That same year, E.G. released a 7" version of the single, minus the demo version. Polydor also released the single in on 7" vinyl in Italy only.
The single did not chart in the UK but reached number 43 on the US Billboard Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.
A cover of "Requiem" appeared on the Foo Fighters 1997 single, "Everlong", as a B-side. Dave Grohl's vocals were "whispered", compared to Jaz Coleman's vocals on the original track, and the guitar riff was brought down half a step. The Foo Fighters made a habit of performing the cover at several live shows, and were even joined by Coleman for a performance of the song at a 2003 show in New Zealand.
The song was also covered by the English punk rock band Beyond Dread.