The Box Tops Biography

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Birth Place: Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Years Active: 1967–1970, 1996–2010
Genres: Blue-Eyed Soul, Psychedelic Rock


The Box Tops were a Memphis rock group of the second half of the 1960s. They are best known for the hits "The Letter," "Neon Rainbow," "Soul Deep," "I Met Her in Church," and "Cry Like A Baby," and are considered a major blue-eyed soul group of the period. They performed a mixture of current soul music songs by artists such as James and Bobby Purify and Clifford Curry, pop tunes such as "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Keith Reid, Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum, and songs written by their producers, Dan Penn and Chips Moman. Vocalist Alex Chilton went on to front the powerpop band Big Star and to launch a career as a solo artist, during which he occasionally performed songs he had sung with the Box Tops.

The Box Tops' music combined elements of soul music and light pop. Their records are prime examples of the styles made popular by Moman and Penn at American Sound Studio in Memphis. Many of their lesser known Top 40 hits are considered minor classics; these include "Neon Rainbow"; "Sweet Cream Ladies, Forward March"; and "I Met Her in Church." As rock critic Lester Bangs wrote in a review of the group's ''Super Hits'' album, "A song like 'Soul Deep' is obvious enough, a patented commercial sound, yet within these strictures it communicates with a depth and sincerity of feeling that holds the attention and brings you back often."

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