What do you listen to when you’re cooking up a storm? Do you want something upbeat and fiery, or mellow tunes that won’t distract you from creating a culinary marvel? Here are 50 suggestions, lyrically, thematically or ostensibly gastronomic, starting with Jake Bugg – Taste It .
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Piledriver Waltz’
“Your waitress was miserable and so was your food,” Alex Turner sings in one of his greatest songs. Probably not the most motivating anthem, but still, it’s a banger.
The Beatles – ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’
Many will be surprised to hear that the song is not in fact about a field but about a Salvation Army children’s home the suburbs of Liverpool. Either way this classic remains as delectable (sorry) to the ears as ever.
Drake – Pound Cake
A must on Mary Berry’s baking playlist for sure. Can you imagine her whisking away at her latest sweet delight while rapping “cake, cake-cake, cake-cake, cake” like it’s a sort of cake-rising incantation? If it’s good enough for Berry it’s good enough for us all.
Don McLean – “American Pie”
‘American Pie’ was a number one hit for four weeks when it was released in 1972 and has remained a favourite being covered by the likes of Madonna and “Weird Al” Yankovic. Good for a kitchen sing-a-long.
The Smiths – “Meat is Murder”
Good for mashing potatoes or kneading dough.
Jack White – ‘I’m Shakin’’
Shake up some salad dressing to this one. Or maybe a margarita.
Foals – My Number
Cooking can be a game of numbers so keep your measurements correct by listening to ‘My Number’ by Foals.
N.E.R.D – “Lapdance”
Looking at Pharell Williams it seems as the man has not aged and it probably has something to do with his diet. You can only guess what crazy things he eats to keep that youthful glow.
The Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar
The opening track and lead single from their 1971 album ‘Sticky Fingers’ is optimum cooking music.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Pea”
The hottest chilli in the world is the Ghost Pepper which rates 855,000 heat units on the Scoville scale. The pepper is so hot that scientist actually proposed using it as a weapon… not exactly the kind of chilli pepper you want to come across in your Balti
Blur – “Coffee and TV”
‘Coffee And TV’, the perfect combination, nothing beats it.
Palma Violets – Chicken Dippers
‘Johnny Bagga’ Donuts’, ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, ‘Chicken Dippers’… sounds like supper round Palma’s house would be pretty weird.
Franz Ferdinand –“ Fresh Strawberries”
Ah nothing beats a fresh strawberry. This song, however, is about a different kind of fruit, the throw-away, mass-produced fruit of the music industry.
Two Door Cinema Club – Eat That Up It’s Good For You
Two Door Cinema Club’s track has a dark edge – it’s about romantic longing and oblivion.
The Stone Roses – Sally Cinnamon
This love song from Ian Brown and co. will get your creative cooking juices flowing, with talk of Sally made of “sugar and spice and all things nice.”
Kings of Leon – Milk
Salty leaves? Song for me? Sorry me? Salty leave? Who knows. It’s one of the band’s best songs though.
The Presidents of the United States of America – Peaches
If the Presidents had their way, they’d eat peaches every day – so if it’s a peach-based recipe you’re working on, look no further.
Beady Eye – Second Bite of the Apple
Famously not a fan of chef Gordon Ramsay’s cooking – he referred to it as “bobbins” a few years back – Liam Gallagher & co. offer this kitchen jam.
Nirvana – Big Cheese
Macaroni and cheese (Kraft-branded cheese at that) was said to be Kurt Cobain’s meal of choice – and perhaps it was the inspiration behind the angsty Big Cheese.
The White Stripes – A Little Cream Soda
Jack and Meg pen a paean to classic 90s drink cream soda.
The xx – Angels
The xx may not seem like a likely candidate to be compared with the nostalgic pudding Angel Delight. But if you’re turning to the pink stuff in a form of post-break up comfort, this song’s a good choice.
The Beatles – Savoy Truffle
With “Crème tangerine and montelimat, a ginger sling with a pineapple heart” it’s a classic Beatles oddity.
The Arctic Monkeys – Black Treacle
Alex Turner wrote the track after watching some old westerns, and wanted to put the words ‘Belly-button piercings’ in a song. The stuff you can do when you’re famous, eh?
Action Bronson – Compliments To The Chef
When lacking meal-time inspiration, try turning your ear to Action Bronson. The lyrics offer advice on possibly some lamb, or the vegetarian option ‘stuffed zucchini flowers’. Although, this may not be a track to blast if you’re hosting Sunday lunch, your dear old grandmother may not appreciate Action’s ‘Two in the pink and two in the stink’.
Coconuts – Widespread Panic
In 2008 Widespread Panic held food events after their gigs to help the local food bank.
John Lennon -“Meat City”
“Finger lickin’ chicken pickin’ Meat City shook down U.S.A,” sings Lennon on the 12th and final track on his 1973 album Mind Games.
Palma Violets- Johnny Bagga Donuts
Palma Violets, giving good press to the worst sweets in the candy shop.
Chance the Rapper-“Juice”
‘Juice’ was the first release from Chance’s brilliant mixtape ‘Acid Rap’.
Neil Young – “T-Bone”
“Ain’t no T-bone” supposedly refers to the common response of the chef at the Bella Vista restaurant when times were busy.
The Sugarcubes- Eat the Menu
The Sugercubes formed on June 8th, 1986 which happened to be the day that Bjork, then lead singer of the Sugercubes, gave birth to her and Sugercubes guitarist, Þór Eldon’s son, Sindri Eldon.
“Repetition” – David Bowie
‘Can’t you even cook?’ sings David Bowie. A chance to prove him wrong.
Dissolve Me – Alt-J
The best track to listen to while making caramel, its sweet dreamy melodies will whisk you away.
Johnny Cash – “Everybody Loves A Nut”
Sure, it’s about a hermit called Fred who kept a horse in a cave but it’s also perfect for when you’re making that nut roast or almond tart.
Led Zeppelin – “Lemon Song”
“The way you squeeze my lemon, I’m gonna fall right out of bed,” sings Robert Plant on their 1969 album ‘Led Zeppelin II’.
Vampire Weekend – ‘California English’
What’s on the menu at Ezra’s house? Rice cake and cheese cake. Hmm.
Snow Patrol – ‘Chocolate’
‘Chocolate’ is a song by UK alternative rock band Snow Patrol. It was released as the third single from their third studio album, ‘Final Straw’.
This catchy tune is as appealing juicy and tasty as the watermelon that stars on the cover of the band’s clever and ambitious EP.
Prince – ‘Cream’
Prince’s fruity dirt-fest is the one for making Carbonara.
Tribes – ‘Bad Apple’
With lyrics like “this bad apple’s no friend of mine”, we wonder if Camden bunch Tribes broke up over a grudge?
Weezer – ‘Pork and Beans’
“Eat my candy with the pork and beans”, confesses Rivers Cuomo. Creative thinking.
System of a Down – ‘Chop Suey!’
Rockers SOAD wrote a song called Chop Suey which, if we’re honest, has absolutely nothing to do with chop suey.
50 Cent – ‘Candy Shop’
The rapper is known to work with the World Food Program and donate meals to starving children, inspired to give back after visiting impoverished areas in Africa.
Newton Faulkner – ‘Sugar in the Snow’
Unlike one of Newton’s other songs about a man with a job as a professional dog-food taster, sugar in the snow is perfect for cooking along to on a chilled afternoon.
The Stone Roses – (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister
As learnt on Masterchef, sugar spinning can make many a botch-job look impressive.
Fall Out Boy – Sugar We’re Going Down
A video on YouTube shows Patrick and Pete eating baby food, a great watch to pass time as you cook.
Bloc Party – Banquet
When cooking up a feast at a street party, or as it’s known in the US, a block party, this is the only band to listen to.
Wu Tang Clang – C.R.E.A.M
No one likes a dry Christmas pudding! If you’re joining the mass panic of the annual Christmas shopping then make sure this track is on your ipod to help your remember the essential Christmas item.
Led Zeppelin – Custard Pie
“Mama, save me a slice. Your custard pie, I declare, it’s sweet and nice”. A naughty euphemism, or the legendary rockers really found love for custard pie.