This is the title track and first single from American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright's seventh album. Wainwright explained to UK newspaper The Sun that Out Of The Game has two meanings as an album title. "One is tongue-in-cheek, meaning 'I'm done with you, I'm turning 40 soon,'" he said, "while the other is literal, meaning 'I've lived in this game all my life and I'm freshly cooked and ready to go.'"
Actress Helena Bonham Carter co-stars with Wainwright in the song's music video. He told The Sun that he enjoyed the whole experience. Said the singer: "It features the two of us being naughty in the library. We have been friends for years. Not only is she very beautiful, very glamorous, but she is also incredibly funny. At the end of the video she is basically wearing a bra. So I very much appreciate her friendship for furthering my career!"
Wainwright told Drowned in Sound the song was influenced by "YouTube obsessed" youth. He said of the track: "For the first two verses I'm complaining, but in the third verse, it's tinged with envy as well," said Wainwright. "I'd like to be that age again and that silly, that excited about idiotic things. So I'm not being insensitive, just tired."
When asked by Music Week about some of the lyrics on Out Of The Game, such as the content of this song, ("Look at you suckers. Does your mama know what you're doing?"), Wainwright replied with a pop at Lady Gaga. He said, "I think a lot of it has to do with Lady Gaga, to be honest. I totally admire her tenacity, her ambition and her strength of vision. There's just not one good song there."
The George Harrison-esque guitar solo is played by Homer Steinweiss of the Dap-Kings, who are the soul band that producer Mark Ronson used for Amy Winehouse's Back to Black. Wainwright told MusicRadar: "A lot of the band members are from the Dap-Kings. Usually, they're relegated to a more '60s R&B sound, but for this record they had to open up and were given a chance to explore their chops. I think they loved every minute of it, being on this vacation from what they're known for."
The Out Of The Game album was produced by Mark Ronson. The English producer told Spinner that the title track was the first fruit from their collaboration. "The first song that we really got into was 'Out of the Game,'" he explained, "and hearing that kind of a song, in my mind, set the tone for this warm, '70s, slightly Laurel Canyon meets the more eccentric songs on Young Americans - groovy, funky, swinging, hip."
Mark Ronson had produced Amy Winehouse and Adele, so Wainwright was kindasorta hoping Out Of The Game would springs some hits, but it didn't. After, Rufus poured himself into making the opera Hadrian and didn't release another pop album until 2020 with Unfollow The Rules, produced by Mitchell Froom.