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Soul Deep-Best of the Box Tops Import


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Audio CD, Import, January 27, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Before settling for enduring cult fame with Big Star, Alex Chilton enjoyed ephemeral pop stardom as a singer with Memphis group the Box Tops. Their first hit, "The Letter", was a tantalisingly short and perfect pop song-from its drum-tapped intro to its sound effects-drenched fadeout. In an effort to sustain momentum after this 1967 chart topper, the rest of the band was kept out of the studio while the American Sound studio mafia backed the gravel-voiced teenage Chilton under the supervision of producer Dan Penn. The group had a total of ten Top 100 hits, all included here. The finest of these, "Cry Like a Baby", is an impeccable slice of blue-eyed soul penned by Penn and Spooner Oldham. The pair was less successful with its other compositions, leaving it to Wayne Carson Thompson to conjure up "The Letter", "Neon Rainbow", and the stirring "Soul Deep". Alongside the hits, SOUL DEEP includes seven B-sides-all but one of which also appeared onthe group's quartet of original albums-and an album-only cover of the Clifford Curry hit "She Shot a Hole in My Soul".

1. The Letter
2. Neon Rainbow
3. Happy Times
4. Cry Like A Baby
5. Fields Of Clover
6. Choo Choo Train
7. She Shot A Hole In My Sou
8. People Gonna Talk
9. I Met Her In Church
10. Sweet Dream Ladies
11. Together
12. Must Be The Devil

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B0000258IB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,532 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

In other words, this is really all you need if you're interested.
Mark Champion
This compilation has every Box Tops song that charted in 1968-1969, to my knowledge, so it was invaluable to me.
"simnia"
The band was relegated to doing only one thing, making great music.
Patrick Earley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Earley on September 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
If your looking for some great blue-eyed southern soul from the sixties, you've come to the right place. The Box Tops were a band of 5 kids, led by dynamite lead singer Alex Chilton, who was only 16 years old when he joined the group. The band was relegated to doing only one thing, making great music. All the rest of the duties, including the production and most of the songwriting fell on the shoulders of Dan Penn and legendary Stax producer Chips Moman. But the person who wrote the Box Tops best music, including "The Letter, "Neon Rainbow", and "Soul Deep" were done by the great songwriter Wayne Thompson. It may have been pretty much Penn and Moman's show, but it was the gruff-voiced teenager Alex Chilton who took this band to the top of the charts. It seems like all this great music came out at one time in the late 60's. I remember when I was young kid, I used to wait in anticipation for these songs to skirt their way along the airwaves and into my 2 dollar transistor radio. I wasn't satisfied till I heard those words "gimme a ticket for an aeroplane" to come on. That 1:52 of "The Letter" was over all too fast. But I always had those other Box Tops gems like "Sweet Cream Ladies" and "Cry Like A Baby", among the others to look forward to. As quick as this band came with all this great music, they disappeared just as quick without any fanfare, and pretty much without the recognition they, and especially Alex Chilton deserved. I've followed Chilton's career closely over the years since the Box Tops...his voice never was anywhere close to being this good again. But if you want to step back in time and listen to some great and unforgettable Memphis soul, get this best of from the Tops. It's all you need.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Josh P. on January 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
One typical '60s music fan would think that a group like the Box Tops would put out a lot of good songs, many of which were minor hits, but I'm telling you, all of these songs make you feel terrific all over. From the short-lasting #1 song "The Letter", which was the band's trademark song and you can see why is because it is on every '60s music collection, to their 1970 single "You Keep Tightening Up On Me." "Neon Rainbow" is one song that will most likely stick in your head with is catchy lyrics and teh way the instruments are played and especially young Alex Chilton's rough, gravelly and one of the most famous voices of '60s music. I also enjoyed "Fields of Clover" with its psychadelic-sounding G-note on the organ at the beginning and the jumpy beat throughout. "Choo Choo Train" is one marvelous classic that will have you dancing within no time. "I Met Her In Church" is another great one that will have you shouting "Hallelujah!" soon. "Soul Deep", the title track of this album, is delightful and upbeat! Your '60s collection isn't complete without this great Box Tops compilation that provides a small sample of what the era was all about...from a great-sounding group that could have been around longer.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This disc leads off with the Box Tops' signature song "The Letter," cut when lead singer Alex Chilton was only 16 years old!
Typical of many of the bands in the sixties, their chart run was brief--within two years the hits would dry up--but between 1967 and 1969 the Box Tops would turn out some classic blue-eyed soul. "Cry Like a Baby" was the only other top ten, but there were other hits like "Neon Rainbow," "Choo Choo Train," "I Met Her in Church," "Sweet Cream Ladies," and their final hit "Soul Deep."
Chilton would go on to achieve critical success and cult staus with Big Star in the seventies, but that band would never achieve the popular success of the Box Tops.
This disc gathers the hits, failed singles and key album tracks in a wonderful collection of songs that serve as a testimony to one of the most soulful bands of the sixties.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "gordon@ruraltel.net" on April 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you are an Alex Chilton cultist or someone who liked the Box Tops hits all those years ago, this will be a real find. I can't stop playing it!
Alex Chilton went on to a totally different sound and style with Big Star, but honestly, he never sang better than he did here. Working with the brilliant Dan Penn and Chips Moman at the American Studio in Memphis, those cats coaxed the most soulful vocals imaginable out of Chilton (a mere 16-year-old at the time!). Also the backing of the American Studio house band is impeccable. I'm sorry to disappoint those who thought that the Box Tops actually played on these records, but cette la vie.
But don't let that put you off this record. This is a sleeper, a classic, some of the best blue-eyed soul that has ever been cut. While not all cuts are as brilliant as The Letter, Cry Like a Baby, Soul Deep and Neon Rainbow, there isn't a bad apple in the bunch. How many groups from the 60s could put out an 18 song collection with no clunkers? In particular, check out Chilton's vocal on his self-penned "I Must Be the Devil." Unbelievable.
Finally, the sound is inpeccable. I had the Ultimate Box Tops, a really early CD release (1986). The sound on this collection blows that away.
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