Motown Junk

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"Motown Junk"
Motown Junk.jpg
Single by Manic Street Preachers
  • Sorrow 16"
  • "We Her Majesty's Prisoners
Released 21 January 1991 (1991-01-21)
Format CD, 7" and 12" vinyl
Recorded Late 1990
Genre Punk rock, hard rock
Label Heavenly
Writer(s) James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, Sean Moore, Richey Edwards
Producer(s) Robin Wynn Evans
Manic Street Preachers singles chronology
"Suicide Alley"
"Motown Junk"
"You Love Us (Heavenly Version)"

"Motown Junk" is a non-album single and the second single by Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. It was released on 21 January 1991.


"Motown Junk" was released on 21 January 1991 by record label Heavenly, the band's first release on this label. It peaked at number 94 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] Despite its relatively poor charting, the single gained the band much attention from the press.[2]

In 2008, the band added a "Johnny Boy Anniversary Mix" free embedded version to their official website, which featured spoken dialogue by Richey Edwards.[3]

In 2011, Heavenly re-released "Motown Junk" to sell at the Manic Street Preachers gig on 21 May 2011 and at the Berwick Independent Marker.[4]

The track has long been a live favourite throughout their career.[3]


The title track shows the band during their pinnacle of iconoclastic attitude,[5] such as in the lyric, "I laughed when Lennon got shot". The "Motown" in the title refers to famed 1960s and 1970s label Motown Records. The song also displayed their diverse cultural scope with a Public Enemy-sampling intro and an outro sample of The Skids.[3]

Both B-sides featured on the single, "Sorrow 16" and "We Her Majesty's Prisoners", were on the later singles "Slash 'n' Burn" and "You Love Us", respectively, both from the band's debut album Generation Terrorists (1992). The single was the band's first from their then record label Heavenly Records.[6]

The single's cover features a watch recovered from the Hiroshima bomb site depicting the exact moment of detonation.[7]

Track listing[edit]

CD version
No. Title Length
1. "Motown Junk"  
2. "Sorrow 16"  
3. "We Her Majesty's Prisoners"  
12" vinyl version
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Motown Junk"  
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Sorrow 16"  
2. "We Her Majesty's Prisoners"  
7" vinyl version
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Motown Junk"  
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Sorrow 16"  


Chart (1991) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 94


  1. ^ "Chart Company". 
  2. ^ "Motown Junk". Select. IPC Media. January 1991. 
  3. ^ a b c Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 
  4. ^ "Manic Street Preachers". 
  5. ^ Price 1999.
  6. ^ "Manic Street Preachers". 
  7. ^ Heatley 1997.
  8. ^ "Manic Street Preachers: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 8, 2017.

External links[edit]