Blur's first single from their seventh album Think Tank was this bass-driven ballad with acoustic guitar, which is accompanied by Middle Eastern and orchestral flourishes. It was the alternative rocker's first release in three years and also their first song to be dropped after guitarist Graham Coxon had left the band.
Some of Think Tank was recorded in an old barn with a studio located in Morocco. Co-producer Ben Hillier recalled to Q magazine April 2012 that local musicians were hired for this track: "We wanted to get some local players involved, so we got an Andalucian orchestra to come in and play 'Out Of Time.' We set them up in the courtyard and they improvised the whole thing on ouds and zithers and violins. Afterwards, I realised I hadn't sent even the mix to the headphones, so they were essentially playing along to nothing."
The noise at the start of the track is a sample from the BBC sci-fi series, Dr Who.
The song was accompanied by an anti-war music video, directed by John Hardwick, depicting life aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. The clip is centered on aircraft maintenance technician Jill Ameperosa, and shows the hardship people on sea duty go through. It was the first ever Blur video not to feature the band themselves and was inspired by a UK documentary about the USS Abraham Lincoln at the start of the bombing of Iraq that also featured Ameperosa.
When Blur reunited in 2009, the returning Coxon found playing this song really difficult, because Albarn (who's left-handed) plays guitar completely differently to him.