Duffy's debut album, Rockferry, was the best-selling longplayer of 2008 in the UK, but its follow-up, Endlessly, stiffed to a huge degree, selling less than a tenth of Rockferry's numbers. This song was released as Duffy's first single since Endlessly flopped half a decade previously.
The song is part of the soundtrack to Tom Hardy-starring British gangster movie Legend about the Kray twins. The motion picture features Duffy performing as singer Timi Yuro. The songstress also recorded two other original tracks for the film's original soundtrack, "Are You Sure?" and "Make The World Go Away."
Phil Oakey recorded his vocals for "Don't You Want Me" in the studio bathroom. The recording was disrupted by guitarist Jo Callis reaching through an open window from outside to repeatedly flush one of the toilets.