The song was first released in May 1967 on the album Blowin' Your Mind!. When released as a single, it rose to number eight on the Cashbox charts, and reached number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. It featured the Sweet Inspirations singing back-up vocals and is widely-considered to be Van Morrison's signature song.
Paul Williams included "Brown Eyed Girl" in his book Rock and Roll: The 100 Best Singles, writing that:
I was going to say this is a song about sex .