This was mostly written by John Robinson, former vocalist of the English blues/rock band The Bandits. Doherty explained to Clash Magazine Issue 34: "John Robinson - late of The Bandits - an amazing fella, actually, as it goes. Got a great voice. Stephen Street had him quite low down in the mix, the last I heard. He's had a song for a while called 'I Am The Rain', which we used to play backstage and in hotel rooms and at bus stops back in the days when The Bandits used to play with The Libertines. I always wanted to do it, so we worked on it a bit together, changed a word, nicked a third..."
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.