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This was the band's first single release from when they were signed to Heavenly Records, and though it didn't chart, the song's maverick attitude garnered a lot of attention. Since 1990 the Manics have performed this track at virtually all their gigs and it was included on their 2002 Forever Delayed greatest hits album.
Bassist Nicky Wire and guitarist Richey Edwards wrote the song's iconoclastic lyrics. Singer James Dean Bradfield admitted to The Quietus
that, "I remember taking slight umbrage at 'Motown Junk' as a title, cos I love (Marvelettes 1967 single) 'The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game,' and songs like 'Baby Love
,' but when I saw Richey and Nick's lyric I totally understood what they were getting at."
Nicky Wire explained the song's lyrics to The Quietus: "It's the classic idea of Pop music as vacuous. We loved Motown, the basslines, but we felt pop had become redundant and didn't mean anything."
The Quietus asked if there was a particular song the band were thinking of with the lyric "Stops your brain thinking for 168 seconds." Wire replied: "I think Richey thought that might have been the perfect length for a pop single. It was my title. We'd written the song. It had been knocking around for a bit, before Richey was in the band, but he transformed the lyrics into something better."
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