The only Wings song to feature Linda McCartney on lead vocals, ‘Cook Of The House’ is the seventh song on Wings At The Speed Of Sound.

The song was written by Paul and Linda McCartney in Adelaide in November 1975, during the Wings Over The World Tour.

‘No matter where I serve my guests, they seem to like the kitchen best’. That was a sign in the kitchen of a house we were renting somewhere; I seem to remember it was Australia, probably during the Wings Over The World tour before our son James was born. So it would have been Linda, Heather, Mary, Stella and me all staying together.

That was a fun thing Linda remembered – and this is basically Linda’s song with a bit of help from me. At this time, in Wings, everyone in the band had a song on the album, so this was hers from At The Speed Of Sound. Sometimes with a song you just look around and you name all the stuff you can see, and in this case she went round all the spices – cinnamon, garlic, curry powder – because, as a family, we spent a lot of time in the kitchen getting our hands dirty. Linda was a very good cook and loved feeding our family and friends, so it was fitting that her song would be ‘Cook Of The House’.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Cook Of The House

The song was recorded on 4 February 1976 at Abbey Road Studios. It was completed two weeks later at the McCartneys’ London home, 7 Cavendish Avenue, with the addition of the sound of bacon and chips being fried in oil.

We went round to our house with the mobile unit and Linda decided to cook a meal and get cooking sounds recorded, and then fed the meal to us and the engineers. We all had a laugh and a drink. The mobile was outside the house and we just ran wires into the kitchen. Take one. Bacon frying. The first British cooking on record. There are chips at the end, which is great because it sounds like applause. If you get any questions you can tell them it was an E flat bacon pan and Seimer chips!
Paul McCartney
Press conference, 25 March March 1976

This song has a simple, classic rock and roll sound, basically three chords with a fourth thrown in at the turnaround between the chorus and verse. It could have been recorded anytime between 1950 and now. Not everyone would have been inclined to kick off the song with the sound of bacon frying in the key of E-flat. That’s what makes it special. Also, the bass I’m playing here used to belong to Bill Black, Elvis Presley’s bass player, so that legacy contributes to the vintage feel.

‘Silly Love Songs’ was released as a single in April 1976, with ‘Cook Of The House’ on the b-side. It peaked at number two in the UK but topped the US charts, and became one of the biggest-selling singles of the year.

Wings performed ‘Cook Of The House’ during their UK tour in 1979.

Previous song: ‘Silly Love Songs’
Next song: ‘Time To Hide’
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