The record is seen as a bridge between the relative simplicity of their 1993 debut album Pablo Honey, and the greater sonic depth of Radiohead's later work, beginning with The Bends. The 'My Iron Lung' single charted at number 24 in the UK, a decline from 'Creep''s peak of number 7. It also received little radio or MTV attention in the United States, especially as compared with 'Creep'.

'My Iron Lung' was Radiohead's reaction to 'Creep', their massive hit of 1993 which also became something of a millstone for Yorke. The song's caustic, self-reflexive lyrics used the iron lung as a metaphor for the way 'Creep' had both sustained the band's life and constrained them ('this is our new song / just like the last one / a total waste of time / my iron lung'). An acoustic version of 'Creep' itself appears at the end of the EP.