Our Top 10 Box Tops Songs article looks back at the songs of a band that was formed in Memphis Tennessee in 1967.They were led by the brilliant Alex Chilton who would also later form the band Big Star. The Box Tops were a band that fused elements of soul, pop and soft rock into a style that many found very captivating. They were an instant success in the United States with their debut album because of the popularity of their number one single entitled “The Letter.” The band only released a handful of albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They had a few more hits singles such as “Soul Deep, “Cry Like A Baby,” and a few others. The band recorded many cover versions of classic songs putting their stamp of originality onto many of them.
# 10 – I Met Her In Church
We open up our Top 10 Box Tops songs with the great gospel style song “I Met Her In Church.” The song was released on the Box Tops third album entitled Non Stop. The album was released in 1968. This great song that starts our with some soulful gospel piano and is surrounded by a wonderful choir was released as the second single from the album. The song became a top 40 hit for the band. It peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968
# 9 – I Shall Be Released
Continuing with our Top 10 Box Tops songs list we present a soft rock pop version of Bob Dylan’s classic song “I Shall Be Released.” The song was released on the Box Tops third album entitled Dimensions. It was the second single released from the album.
# 8 – You Keep Me Hanging On
There have been many versions released of this classic song entitled “You Keep Me Hanging On.” From The Supremes Motown infused classic version to Vanilla Fudge’s progressive rock masterpiece, the song has infiltrated culture on a mass level. The Box Top’s version tilts more towards the Vanilla Fudge arrangement but just not as heavy and much shorter. Love the scream at the end!
# 7 – Sweet Cream Ladies, Forward March
Moving along on our Top 10 Box Tops songs list we take a listen to the interestingly titled song “Sweet Cream Ladies, Forward March.” A song in which they rhyme the word March with starch. Hmmm…. Well nonetheless, this is a fun one. A fun march with a groove and some nice horn licks.
# 6 – I’m Your Puppet
This is one of those great 1960s songs that has been covered by so many fantastic artists. However, we have always loved the great Box Tops version. The song was released on the Box Tops debut album in 1967. The song was written in 1966 by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. The Box Tops never released “I’m Your Puppet,” as a single. Other great artist who recorded the song includ Marvin Gaye, Elton John, Cliff Richard, Sam & Dave and many more……
# 5 – Choo Choo Train
At the halfway point on our top 10 Box Tops songs list is a long time fan favorite entitled “Choo Choo Train.” This great driving rock and roll song was released on the band’s third album called Non-Stop. “Choo Choo Train.” was released as the album’s first single. It broke the Billboard top 40 in the United States peaking at number twenty six.
# 4 – Neon Rainbow
The song “Neon Rainbow,” was released on the band’s debut album in 1967 entitled The Letter/Neon Rainbow. The song “Neon Rainbow,” also served as the follow up single to The Box Tops huge number one single “The Letter.” However, the single “Neon Rainbow,” failed to achieve the same chart success as the “The Letter,” did. It did not even come close to the same commercial success as “The Letter.” The song “Neon Rainbow,” hit number twenty four on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song also failed to even chart in the UK. Nonetheless, its a great song and one of our favorite Box Top songs of all time.
# 3 – Soul Deep
The Box Tops great single “Soul Deep,” was released on the group’s fourth album entitled Dimensions. The album was released in 1969. A great year in music that saw the album debuts by Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Elton John, and many more. The song “Soul Deep,” was the third and most successful single released from the album. The song “Soul Deep,” was a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 18. The song broke the top 10 charts in Australia and Canada. It would also be the Box Tops last top 20 hit on the U.S. Billboard Music Charts.
Gary U.S. Bonds recorded a version of “Soul Deep,” on his comeback album in 1982. The song and album was produced by Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt. The Gin Blossoms also recorded a version of the song. The great song “Soul Deep,” was written by Wayne Carson.
# 2 – Cry Like A Baby
Eight months after they released their debut album in 1967, the Box Tops returned in February of 1968 with their sophomore record entitled Cry Like A Baby. The album’s lead single and title track was a smash hit. It came close to matching the success they had with their debut single “The Letter.” The song “Cry Like A Baby,” reached all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. The song was composed by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham.
# 1 – The Letter
We close out our top 10 Box Tops songs list with a song that everyone loved. There was no bigger song in the Box Tops catalog than “The Letter.” This amazing song was released on the band’s debut album in 1967. “The Letter,” would become The Box Tops first big hit single. It would top the charts in the United States hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. It was a also a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom. The song was written by Wayne Carson. The Box Tops would not be the only band to score a hit with the song “The Letter.”
Brilliant songs have legs. Joe Cocker recorded the song for his Mad Dogs and Englishmen album. Joe Cocker’s version would also break the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 peaking at number seven. It would serve as Joe Cocker’s first top 10 hit just as it had done for the Box Tops.
Top 10 Box Tops Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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