“Originally, this was going to be a song called Good Man. It was very much the song you hear now, only the chorus was supposed to be acoustic.
“When I first wrote it, it was more ‘dramatic,’ if you will. However, when we started to play it as a band – you’ve got Joe and Bonham really going for it, and I’m playing the same line as Joe, and then there’s the Hammond organ on top of that – we really rocked it out. So it became more driving.
“I like to sing live with the band as we’re playing, and as I did, I just tore into it and these new lyrics started coming to me. ‘How the hell did that happen?’ I said to myself. What was Good Man went right out the window and it became The Outsider.
“The funniest thing happened during a break: I was showing Kevin another song called Little Secret. As I did, he told Joe and Derek to go off and work out a solo to The Outsider. Suddenly, I heard them in the other room doing a kind of Deep Purple Highway Star-slash-Burn thing, and I went, ‘What?! Don’t tell me they’re going there!’ I’ve already been down that road before, of course. But Kevin talked me down: ‘Trust me, Hughsy, rock fans are gonna love it.’”