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Like a number of other songs on the album, this was recorded on its first take. Jones explained to BBC DJ Steve Lamacq: "Never heard it before in our lives and the take that's on the album is the first time I'd ever played it, likewise for Pete and Nick, and again it's just having the confidence to do that and say, 'We're not going to better this. There's no point in going back and like all right, now we know the chords and we know it' and we could."
Frontman Richard Ashcroft told Steve Lamacq the story of this song: "I remember some pretty chilling times at half past five, six, seven, eight o'clock in the morning on a rainy day having been up all night in Wigan, perhaps been down to the Wigan Pier discotheque on a Wednesday night and find yourself in some weird flat, looking in a mirror in a bathroom and those moments where you don't recognize yourself whatsoever. You look seventy years old and, yeah, that was an image that came back to me for a certain part of the song, but what I like about it the best, it really does breathe, this song, and it reaches a great crescendo. Nick was banging on about the vocals at the end and saying, 'It's the best vocal you've ever done in your life.' He was so into it, so I think it stayed on the album really because of probably Nick's sort of excitement about it and his positive input into it so, erm… I knew that, you know, Nick could do something pretty special on a song like Appalachian Springs because it was right up his street and, you know, he was very supportive of that song right from the start where I was, you know, maybe had lost that initial respect for the tune or love for the song. He kind of helped take that to its rightful conclusion, and he created something pretty amazing on it."
Bass player Simon Jones told the New Musical Express January 19 2008: "A song of Richard's, but one where there's just three chords going round and round so we can still jam through it as a band."