Liner Note Author: Mitchell Cohen.
Recording information: American Recording Studios, Inc., Memphis, TN.
Photographer: Joel Brodsky.
The one thing that lifts the Box Tops out of the pack of bubblegum groups that flooded AM radio in the mid- to late '60s was the blue-eyed Memphis soul voice of the then-teenaged Alex Chilton, and coupled with Dan Penn's deep South production, the group managed two memorable singles, 1967's "The Letter" and 1968's "Cry Like a Baby," along with a couple of decent near-misses, "Neon Rainbow" and "Choo Choo Train." The Box Tops' albums were mostly thrown-together affairs, however, with far more potential than execution, and although Chilton's voice is often a thing to behold, the material tended toward covers or half-realized Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham compositions. This 18-track set collects most of the group's key sides, including all of the above recordings, but the truth is, as long as you have "The Letter" and "Cry Like a Baby," you're probably set. ~ Steve Leggett