Along with "Helen Wheels" and "Junior's Farm", it is another McCartney song where his primary inspiration for composing the song arose in daily life. Whereas most of the Band on the Runalbum was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria, "Jet" was recorded entirely at EMI Studios in London after the group's return (according to engineer Geoff Emerick in his book Here There and Everywhere.)
When first released, the single's B-side was "Mamunia", another track from Band on the Run. However, it was soon replaced with "Let Me Roll It". "Jet" can also be found on both Wings Greatest (1978) and All the Best! (1987).
Reviewers have reported that the subject of the song is McCartney's Labrador Retriever dog named "Jet". However, in a 2010 interview on the UK television channel ITV1 for the programWings: Band on the Run (to promote the November 2010 CD/DVD re-release of the album) McCartney explained that Jet was the name of a pony he had owned, although many of the lyrics bore little relation to the subject; indeed, the true meaning of the lyrics has defied all attempts at decryption.
Prominent music critic Dave Marsh named the song number 793 in his list of the 1001 greatest singles ever made. He referred to it as a "grand pop confection" that represented the only time McCartney approached the "drive and density" of his tenure with the Beatles. Writer Graham Reid has described it as a power pop "gem".
- Paul McCartney - lead vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums
- Linda McCartney - backing vocals, keyboards
- Denny Laine - backing vocals, guitar
- Howie Casey - saxophone
The Foo Fighters recorded a cover in February 2000 that was going to be used on a tribute album to Paul McCartney, but the album was never produced. They have since played the song numerous times live.
Japanese pop power trio Shonen Knife's cover of this song is the last track on their 2008 album Super Group. Group member Naoko Yamano said that she picked the song since she is a longtime fan of McCartney.