Drummer Ben Johnston's problem with alcohol nearly led to the break up of the band during their writing sessions for Opposites. A day before the start of recording in Santa Monica, Johnston fell over during a blackout and slashed his ear. The incident made him acknowledge and deal with his drinking addiction. Vocalist Simon Neil's lyrics for this song were inspired by the difficult time the band went through. He told Kerrang!: "It's me saying what I'd do for the people around me. There's a lyric about me singing for three days straight, and it's about proving how I'll do absolutely anything to salvage personal relationships and save the band. No one knows me better than Ben and James. No one knows them as well as I do. We weren't willing to let that fall apart."
"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" was written by Nick Lowe in 1974. The original version with his group Brinsley Schwarz was kind of somber, but Elvis Costello made it a classic with his 1978 uptempo take.
The bedrock of David Guetta's Nicki Minaj-featuring single "Hey Mama" is a sample of "Rosie," a 1940s prison recording from folk archivist Alan Lomax that songwriter Esther Dean first showed the French DJ on YouTube.