One of Motown's first hits with a socially conscious theme, "Love Child," dressed in a catchy melody and carefully orchestrated arrangement, told the story of a young woman stigmatized after getting born out of wedlock. It was written over the course of a weekend by British lyricist Pam Sawyer, guitarist Deke Richards, singer R. Dean Taylor and Frank Wilson at Detroit's Pontchartrain Hotel. "Every idea was thrown out until we came up with that one," remembered Wilson. "Sometime on Saturday we came up with the idea. [Motown chief] Berry Gordy came by, loved the idea."
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."