When was it recorded? May 1968 and Dec. 1969-Feb. 1970
When was it first released, and on which album? Apr. 17, 1970 on “McCartney” (Paul McCartney album)
Who wrote it? McCartney
Have I heard this song before? No
What my research dug up:
Speaking of Paul solos, look at this junk. Referring back to Day 38: “Come and Get It,” I wasn’t sure about including this song, but its demo was released on an “Anthology” album so yadda yadda yadda.
Like the previous song, Paul wrote “Junk” while the Beatles were in Rishikesh in 1968. It had the working titles of “Jubilee” and “Junk in the Yard.” Paul demoed the song for the rest of the Beatles in May 1968 at George’s Kinfauns home. According to the Beatles Bible, “Unofficial copies of the Junk recording last 2:38, and feature a guitar introduction and harmony vocals unavailable elsewhere.” This video says it’s five minutes long, but the song taps out around 2:40 as advertised.
However, the version appearing on “Anthology 3” lasts 2:25.
Like most of the Esher tapes, the “Junk” demo was, quoth Wikipedia, “originally under consideration for ‘The Beatles’ (also known as the White Album). It was passed over for that LP, as it was for ‘Abbey Road.’” The Beatles never recorded “Junk” in the studio (save for a 16-second French version during the Get Back sessions on Jan. 9, 1969).
Paul as a solo artist, however, recorded “Junk” multiple times in the studio. His first solo album, “McCartney,” contained two versions of the song. Paul plays all the instruments on both versions. Here’s Take Two (the volume’s pretty soft so you might want to adjust up).
This is the first take of “Junk,” which is better known as “Singalong Junk” since it’s entirely instrumental. According to Wikipedia, “Besides the exclusion of vocals, ‘Singalong Junk’ features mellotron strings and the melody is played on a piano. The song also features more prominent drums. This version of the song is said to have been the original instrumental backing to which McCartney was planning on singing, but he opted for a simpler arrangement for the vocal version instead.”
This song is making me way more emotional than it has any right to, although it could also be because it’s late and I’ve had a long day. “Junk” is definitely a new favorite though – the “Singalong” version is particularly pleasant.