‘Power Cut’ is the fourth and final song in the medley that closes Wings’ second album Red Rose Speedway.
Well, I kinda like the idea of medleys, as it’s structured. It’s sort of operatic, you know. And it’s good fun putting things like this together, finding little links and ways to go from this to that. We had done it on the Abbey Road album, at the end. And what we’d done there was John and I both had bits of songs that we hadn’t finished. So we put them into a medley and it worked. So this was me doing it again.
The song may have been inspired by the power cuts that Wings encountered during their first UK tour of universities.
Honestly, there were people we found on that tour who were like British character actors! It was wild, but we just went ’round, and with some people, we got turned away because they had exams, so they couldn’t have us. And at some places, there were power cuts, so it was like a mine field we were going through.
Billboard, 17 March 2001
As with Abbey Road, the songs in the 11-minute Red Rose Speedway medley were recorded separately. Wings began recording ‘Power Cut’ at Abbey Road on 3 October 1972. They taped three takes, but none were considered good enough and the following day a further 17 were recorded.
Take 12 was considered the best, and the song was completed with overdubs added later in the month. Wings spent four days finishing ‘Power Cut’ at Island Studios from 9-12 October, adding celeste, electric guitars, Mellotron, bass guitar, drums, and lead and backing vocals. The overdubs included the reprise of the melodies from ‘Hold Me Tight’, ‘Lazy Dynamite’, and ‘Hands Of Love’.
The songs in the medley were never performed live by Paul McCartney or Wings.