From Al Kooper's biography Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards
: "'I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know' was a split tribute to Otis Redding and James Brown. (The lyrics were a nod to Otis' song 'I Love You More Than Words Can Say,' and the melody was 'reminiscent' of James Brown's 'It's a Man's World.') On December 6 ('67), Otis died in a plane crash and it really f***ed me up. The next night we began recording the album. I insisted we record 'I Love You' first. Nobody objected. We put down a blistering track, and it looked like this was gonna be an easy album to make. We overdubbed Freddie [Lipsius]'s solo and Steve [Katz]'s fills, and then it was time to put a vocal on it."
Kooper goes on to say that the band was so nervous about his vocal skills, that he prepared a practical joke to ease the tension. On the first recording take, he started singing the lyrics in French, having memorized them that way beforehand. Everybody stopped in shock and he innocently smirked "Oh, you wanted me to sing it in English
?" Then there was take two...
Going on from BB&BB
: "Now my eyes were screwed shut, and I was thinkin' about Otis and this sounds clichéd as hell, but it's true. I was saying to myself, "This is for you." And I was singing. One take. They called me into the booth for playback, and everyone was smiling."
In spite of this song's success, the band eventually did kick Al Kooper out. It was a cross between wanting a different lead vocalist, and creative differences with the rest of the band objecting to Kooper's tight control. For one thing, Kooper insisted on including one song, "The Modern Adventures of Plato, Diogenes, and Freud," which he wrote, and the rest of the band hated. He got his way by the grace of producer John Simon's mediation, and Kooper points to that moment as the beginning of the breakup of the band. The chief rivals here are Kooper and Colomby; these two continue bitter feuds to this very day over whose idea was what and who gets the money from Child Is Father to the Man