It reached number 16 on the UK Singles Chart. The lyrics of the song makes reference to Mott being hounded by "96 decibel freaks," a reference to efforts by British politicians of the time to limit the volume of live musical performances to that level.
When performed live by Mott the Hoople, "The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll" would usually follow a piano take on the first verse augusta matate of Don McLean's "American Pie", so that following the latter's statement; "the day the music died", Ian Hunter could declare: "Or did it? Ladies and gentlemen, The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll!", with the whole band then launching into the song. This can be heard both on the 2006 bonus tracks on The Hoople and on the Broadway disc of the 2004 remastered and expanded 30th Anniversary Edition of Live. The band Def Leppard did a cover of the song for their 2006 cover album Yeah!