Sunday, January 3, 2016

Neglected Hits - Junior's Farm - Paul McCartney & Wings

Love him or hate him, Paul McCartney reigns as one of the most prolific and successful songwriters of all time. After leaving The Beatles and doing some work as a solo artist, McCartney stated he wanted to get back into a band environment and started Wings. You could argue that Wings was just Paul McCartney and a group of session musicians, as much of their material sounds just like McCartney solo, or you could argue that the Wings albums themselves have a far different energy than the McCartney ones.

There's one single in particular that supports the claim that Wings was an entity unto itself, and I've only heard it on the radio twice; once was during a rerun of Casey's Coast to Coast, the other was just randomly in the middle of the afternoon on a station that played a mix of '70s, '80s, and '90s. The song of which I speak is "Junior's Farm."

It was released as a non-album single (meaning it didn't appear on an album leading up to or following its release but was released for purchase and for distribution to radio stations) in 1974 and successfully hit the top 3 on the American Billboard Charts, and number 16 in the UK. 

"Junior's Farm" has a lot of McCartney's typical pop sensibilities and nonsense, including a line about talking to an Eskimo, but it also has a much harder rock edge to it. It's fairly guitar riff-centric and sports a couple of interesting solos too. 

I can't figure out why this doesn't get more airplay than it does; it was released in the prime of McCartney's post-Beatles guitar and would fit right alongside any other number of his classic rock staples from that period. It's also a tremendously welcome breath of fresh air from the constant rotation of "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Band on the Run," and "Live and Let Die."

What do you think though? Does this sound too much like other McCartney songs or does it actually seem like Wings infused the track with some needed drive?

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