The song was originally going to be titled "Good Man," with a chorus that was supposed to be acoustic. Glenn Hughes told Musicradar.com
how it transformed into this rocker: "When I first wrote it, it was more 'dramatic,' if you will. However, when we started to play it as a band – you've got Joe and Bonham really going for it, and I'm playing the same line as Joe, and then there's the Hammond organ on top of that – we really rocked it out. So it became more driving. I like to sing live with the band as we're playing, and as I did, I just tore into it and these new lyrics started coming to me. 'How the hell did that happen?' I said to myself. What was 'Good Man' went right out the window and it became 'The Outsider.'"