The album, like the previous 25 O'Clock, is inspired by the 60's psychedelia. Released in 1987, it showcases a variety of songs meant to evoke specific groups of that period (for instance, the Hollies on "Vanishing Girl", the Byrds on "You're My Drug" and the Beach Boys on "Pale and Precious"). Some critics, such as Pitchfork Media in their review of Chips from the Chocolate Fireball, argue that the members of XTC, free from the pressures of writing "serious" songs, turn in tunes superior to those on official XTC albums of the period.
The Dukes released a single (and made a promotional video) for "You're A Good Man Albert Brown (Curse You Red Barrel)". A promotional-only single was also issued for "Vanishing Girl".
The album was only released in its original form on vinyl. A simultaneous CD release entitled Chips from the Chocolate Fireball incorporated all of the tracks from 25 O'Clock and Psonic Psunspot with different packaging.