Tommy James' first hit was raw garage rock urging his baby to do the "Hanky Panky," accentuated by wavering raunchy guitar notes at the end of the choruses. Hit songwriting team Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote it in 20 minutes for a 1963 B side by their studio group the Raindrops; James first heard it via a live version by a club band in South Bend, Indiana. "I really only remembered a few lines from the song, so when we went in to record it, I had to make up the rest," he confessed.
After visiting islands made famous by Homer's Odyssey, artist Martin Sharp (who would go on to do the cover art for Cream's Disraeli Gears) wrote this poetic tune to the melody of "Suzanne," specifically, Judy Collins' cover of Leonard Cohen's song. Through a mutual acquaintance, Sharp got the lyrics to Eric Clapton, who worked them into a guitar riff inspired by the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City." The song marked Clapton's first use of the wah-wah guitar effect. "I always liked that song," said Jack Bruce, who sang it. "I think it was the wah-wah that did it for me. I'm a sucker for wah-wah."