"Temptation" was originally released as a single on May 10, 1982 by Factory Records featuring the track "Hurt" as a b-side. Initially, the single came out in 12 ″ format. However, the sound engineer Peter Woolliscroft edited the two songs leaving them in leaner versions, which were released in 7″.
The song reached number 29 on the UK singles chart.
Versions 12″ were also released that same year on EP ‘1981–1982’.
"Temptation" was re-recorded in 1987 for the Substance compilation.
In 2006, "Temptation" (the 1987 version) won a music video entitled "The Temptation of Victoria" and directed by Michael Shamberg, who directed several videos from New Order and other artists such as R.E.M., Talking Heads, The B-52's and Patti Smith.
In the video, the protagonist walks the streets in Paris and enters a record store, where she steals a copy of the single. The scene references Ian Curtis, lead singer of oy Division (the band that gave rise to the New Order), who used to go out in a baggy coat and steal records in Macclesfield.