Side A of Scum was originally recorded for £50.00 at Rich Bitch studio (Birmingham, England) in August 1986. It was intended to form part of a split release with English crossover thrash band Atavistic on Manic Ears (Bristol, England). After an extensive line-up change, the second half of Scum was recorded in May 1987 at Rich Bitch studio. The two sides were combined and released as a single album. Only drummer Mick Harris played on both sides of the album.
The first pressing of the CD (1988) came as a 54-track CD, which included the From Enslavement to Obliteration album and four bonus tracks. In 1994, the first two albums were re-released separately. A remastered version was released on 27 January 2012. The album cover was designed by Bill Steer's Carcass bandmate Jeffrey Walker. The album covers came in varied colours: orange, gold, green, blue, and yellow. The song "You Suffer" was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's shortest song; the track is precisely 1.316 seconds long.