Producer Chris Kimsey recalled in the book Classic Tracks: The Real Stories Behind 68 Seminal Recordings
by Richard Buskin: "After they cut it, I said, 'That's bloody great! Come and listen'. However, when I played it back Keith said, 'Nah, it sounds like something I've heard on the radio. Wipe it.' Of course, I didn't, but he really did not like it and I'm not sure whether he likes it to this day. I don't think it's one of his favourite songs, although it's obviously everyone's favourite guitar riff; his guitar riff. Maybe because Keith loves reggae so much, he wanted it to be a reggae song, but that wasn't to be."
"Including run-throughs, 'Start Me Up' took about six hours to record," Kimsey added. "You see, if they all played the right chords at the right time, went to the chorus at the right time and got to the middle eight together, that was a master. It was like, 'Oh, wow!' Don't forget, they would never sit down and work out a song – they would jam it and the song would evolve out of that. That's their magic."