The single made its radio airplay debut in the United Kingdom on 20 July 2009, on BBC Radio 2. It was made available for download on 14 August 2009 in Australia and later on 6 September 2009 in the United Kingdom. It was released physically on 7 September 2009 along with the limited edition 7" and 12" gramophone records. In the United States, "We Are Golden" became available exclusively from Apple'siTunes Store for one week starting 18 August 2009. The song was featured in many TeenNick promos in Fall 2009. It is also used in an ABC series, Make It or Break It, while in Malaysia, it was used for the kids@fgw promo which is shown in January 2010 on ntv7 and in the first episode of the TV show Hellcats.
['We Are Golden' is] big sounding and aggressive, but in a good way. It's got a gospel choir on it and a kids' choir, but unlike the first record they're not singing sweetly, they're screaming at the top of their lungs.
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The song has received mixed and generally positive reviews.
"We Are Golden" is unlikely to change anyone's mind. It sounds like Jim Steinman doing High School Musical and features two varieties of choir – gospel and kiddie, in case you were wondering. Mika, meanwhile, flits in and out of falsetto whenever he fancies. What do we think? Well, the big old chorus makes his foibles worth putting up with... as long as we don't have to watch the video too.
The single debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 4, on 13 September 2009, before dropping out the top ten on its second week, falling to number 11. Despite becoming Mika's second top five single, it was his shortest lasting single, spending only seven weeks in the top one-hundred. The single was released in August in the United States, but failed to make any impact on the charts. In Italy it was a huge success, it peaked at number 3 after 18 weeks on the charts and while his second single from The Boy Who Knew Too Much, "Rain" was still at number 9. It was also certified Gold by the Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.