Jones told the story of this song in an interview with The Mail On Sunday February 6, 2011: "I did a charity performance with Sting for his Rainforest Foundation in Carnegie Hall. The night was very successful and everybody thought it went well. Jimmy Iovine, a music producer and label boss, called. He had apparently heard about my performance and soon I was signed to Interscope Records.Jimmy knew about 'If I Only Knew,' which was by a new group called Rise Robots Rise – they were obscure then, and I think they still are. Nice bunch of fellas, though. They were a white rap group, but it was the big brass riff in there that Jimmy loved and we wanted to make more of a song of it. Trevor Horn was producing it but he knew we needed a melody. He offered to get Lol Creme (from 10cc) to write it but I said that I could do it – and that melody just shot out of my head. I should have had a writing credit but I didn't because this group were struggling, and I didn't have the heart to say that I wanted part of the royalties."