“Junk” is a Paul McCartney home demo composition. However, it is available to all now on The Beatles’ 1996 album, “Anthology 3”.
Recorded: 28th May, 1968
Track Duration: 2:25
Studio: Kinfauns (George Harrison’s bungalow in Esher, Surrey, England)
Format: Home demo
Paul McCartney: vocals, acoustic guitar
Paul McCartney wrote the song in India while studying Transcendental Meditation at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram. In fact, The Beatles conceived many songs while they were on the meditation course. So, when the band returned to the UK there were quite a few to finish and many to record.
The band used George Harrison’s bungalow in Esher, Surrey, to make some demos of these songs before they got round to recording the “White Album”. They actually considered this song for inclusion on their self-titled album, “The Beatles“.
Harrison’s home had the name “Kinfauns” which gave the demos a corresponding name – The Kinfauns Demos. Indeed, many bootleg copies of these demos became available.
In 1996, The Beatles’ released their “Anthology 3” album, the final one in the “Anthology Trilogy” and their demo of “Junk” was on this special release. The noticeable difference between the official version and the bootleg is that the bootleg is 13 seconds longer. The bootleg also has harmony vocals and a few other differences such as a guitar intro.
Paul McCartney is obviously singing about the contents of a junkyard. The scrap items include motor cars, handlebars, parachutes, army boots, sleeping bags and a few other items. Then the song’s chorus explains the thoughts of the said junk: “Buy, buy, says the sign in the shop window/why, why, says the junk in the yard”.
There is no doubt that “Junk” would have been at home on “The Beatles” aka the “White Album”. However, prior to the release of the Anthology 3 in 1996, the only way to hear the song was on the 1970 solo album, “McCartney”. But this was a remake with his wife, Linda.