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The Box Tops — The Letter
Album: Best Of The Box Tops
Avg rating:
7.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1130









Released: 1967
Length: 1:49
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain't got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone
I'm a-goin' home
My baby just a-wrote me a letter

I don't care how much money I gotta spend
Got to get back to my baby again
Lonely days are gone
I'm a-goin' home
My baby just a-wrote me a letter

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn't live without me no more
Listen mister, can't you see
I got to get back to my baby once more?
Anyway, yeah

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain't got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone
I'm a-goin' home
My baby just a-wrote me a letter

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn't live without me no more
Listen mister, can't you see
I got to get back to my baby once more?
Anyway, yeah

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain't got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone
I'm a-goin' home
My baby just a-wrote me a letter
My baby just a-wrote me a letter
Comments (125)add comment
 idiot_wind wrote:
...I still don't get it. 
 
Huh.
 idiot_wind wrote:
Saw a TV special on the band, Big Star, which included Alex Chilton from the Box Tops. 

I didn't get their music then, and I still don't get it. That band was just "OK" because there were so many good bands in the 1970s. Why all the fawning over that band?  

 
As far as Big Star -

For me, it is very sincere music and lyrics with well crafted melodies that go in unexpected directions that sounds home made - by human beings.

Warts and all.

Very personal.

And the production is pristine.

"You want the obvious you'll get the obvious"...

 
The power of music to penetrate is amazing... I was fond of spending sunsets on the front porch of a family house in a village in the south of Bali while on vacation from my gig in Shizuoka around Christmas of 1989, and one enchanted evening, one of the brothers of one of the local cuties I was friendly with pulled out an acoustic guitar and started playing THIS SONG... He didn't know many of the words in English, so I was asked if I'd supply the vocals. I felt shy; it was quite a bit easier to launch into karaoke while in Japan, with some beers in me, but, especially with the gal and her brothers urging me, the power of the music in the moment was irresistible. The song caught fire, and almost the entire neighborhood was amused and entertained, and he played that guitar like never before, I could tell, and I sang like never before, and they all knew it, and at that moment, we could have been anywhere, it didn't matter; we were re-creating the music The Box Tops laid down so well so long ago, and it was moving the people of a radically different culture...  Divine!
 idiot_wind wrote:
Saw a TV special on the band, Big Star, which included Alex Chilton from the Box Tops. 

I didn't get their music then, and I still don't get it. That band was just "OK" because there were so many good bands in the 1970s.
Why all the fawning over that band?  

 

I was 13 at the time, 1967 and into Motown and The Beatles so I liked it from the beginning
never bought the record but loved hearing it on the radio
 
I Love to hear this bit of nostalgia in between the other bits.........
Saw a TV special on the band, Big Star, which included Alex Chilton from the Box Tops. 

I didn't get their music then, and I still don't get it. That band was just "OK" because there were so many good bands in the 1970s. Why all the fawning over that band?  
{#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2}
{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Dancingbanana_2}
 jmsmy wrote:
16 year old singer - amazing

 
SIXTEEN? 
Astonishing fact of the day.
 
My next door neighbor, Reggie Young, played guitar on this song (as well as about a million more, including Drift Away and Suspicious Minds). Those kids, understandably, couldn't really play yet!
{#Bananajam}
 jmsmy wrote:
16 year old singer - amazing

 
How does a 16 year old singer sound like this? Did he start smoking when he was 9?
Bill, ya gotta add their "Cry Like A Baby" to the play list
 
16 year old singer - amazing
Rockin' & Rollin' right at my desk.{#Dancingbanana}
Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes 'round!
 kcar wrote:

DAMMIT Bill! It's a movement turning into a revolution! Big Star! Big Star now! 

Please? "September Gurls" would be rilly, rilly kewl.  

 
BIG STAR!
This reminds me sooo much of my high school days in Frankfurt, Germany...an army brat attending Frankfurt American High School. This was the unofficial theme song for the GIs stationed there.
 Proclivities wrote:

This was their biggest hit, but they had a few others: "Cry Like A Baby", "Neon Rainbow", "Soul Deep" to name a few.



 

Cry like a baby   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WoD8yZkvuI


 dingusbother wrote:
Same here. Big Star on RP!

 
DAMMIT Bill! It's a movement turning into a revolution! Big Star! Big Star now! 

Please? "September Gurls" would be rilly, rilly kewl.  
 justin4kick wrote:
For a long time I thought this was Joe Cocker singing.

 

Uh.... that's because he had a fairly popular hit with his cover of the song.
Please please please Bill - you've to play more Big Star.

I just don't get it.


Ah, early puberty memories. wtf did all that hair come from? {#Eek} {#Shifty}
Fun song for any acoustic guitar players out there!
 expatlar wrote:
This takes me back to East Rochester, NY. A music loving kid in bed with a transistor radio. It's a wonderful thing the way music can take you to a place or time.

 
Have you been back since? Rochester has seen better days.
For a long time I thought this was Joe Cocker singing.
 big stud Romeo Tuma wrote:
I used to play this on the piano in E minor about a million years ago...  I like it... it's groovy...
 

Dang, I can't remember how to play it now...  that was a long time ago...  still love it...  time flies when we're having fun...
Love it......
This takes me back to East Rochester, NY. A music loving kid in bed with a transistor radio. It's a wonderful thing the way music can take you to a place or time.
 rdo wrote:
I like how they pronounce it air-O-plane.  Kinda like Newt calls my town WaRshington.  My grandpa always said warsh, instead of wash too.   I lost the habit somewhere along the line. 

 
The meter sorta requires it, right?
Same here. Big Star on RP!
Agreed. Big Star should've been one of the biggest bands of the 70s - even the wonderfully sloppy masterpiece Third/Sister Lovers.
Come on Bill - Big Star Bill

Bill

I love you and will continue to support you as I have for years.  But I don't understand the lack of Big Star on your play list.  Massively overlooked in their time despite the critically acclaimed excellence and downright catchiness of their tunes.

We need more Alex on RP 

Come on Bill.
Just played this yesterday here at the home.

Still sounds great after all these years.
 gatorade wrote:
Cutting Edge. 
 
Do you mean "Boxcutting Edge"? {#Wink}
Cutting Edge. 
Oh man, this brings me back... 1967, I was an Army brat attending HS in Frankfurt, Germany. My friends and I used to hang out at a bier stube called Kurtz. This song was the fave of every GI in town and played endlessly on the jukebox.
I like how they pronounce it air-O-plane.  Kinda like Newt calls my town WaRshington.  My grandpa always said warsh, instead of wash too.   I lost the habit somewhere along the line. 

Miss you Alex!  :(
A 16 year old Alex Chilton. Unbelievable!
Number one song the week I was born, as I found out during the recent Facebook round.
Great song!  My baby just sent me an email!

I didn't know it before it started playing, but that was exactly what I wanted to hear.
Yes!
Same here, still got it on a shelf...... 

Propayne wrote:
One of the first 45s I had as a kid.

Love it. 
 


One of the first 45s I had as a kid.

Love it. 
Alex Chilton - Steve Wynn/Dream Syndicate - The Replacements

Thank you very much!
 On_The_Beach wrote:
As far as I know this was their only "hit". Too bad; the lead singer had a great voice for rock.

 
This was their biggest hit, but they had a few others: "Cry Like A Baby", "Neon Rainbow", "Soul Deep" to name a few.


 On_The_Beach wrote:
As far as I know this was their only "hit". Too bad; the lead singer had a great voice for rock.

 
Pretty much.  Couple of minor hits, I guess.  And he does have a great voice.  I think he was quite young when this recording was made.

As far as I know this was their only "hit". Too bad; the lead singer had a great voice for rock.

I'm hearing John Mellencamp covering this. That would be neat.
Wow, just realized how much this guy sounds like the modern day Spoon singer...IMO anyway
"Rule of thumb: there are no Joe Cocker songs."

Perfect! But, the guy can do a cover like nobody's business!

RIP Alex. Loved ur work.
Oh, and thanks for the play Bill. (Playbill?)
Nice!
 hcaudill wrote:
I take it this is the original? If so, I'm embarrassed to say this is the first time I've ever heard it - always thought this was Joe Cocker's song.
 

Rule of thumb: there are no Joe Cocker songs. Lots of covers, some immortal, but not sure he ever actually penned anything.
 WonderLizard wrote:
Pure pop perfection.
 


The golden age of 60's AM radio— I feel blessed to have grown up during that time.
Vanna, pick me a letter!
RIP Alex.
hcaudill wrote:

I take it this is the original? If so, I'm embarrassed to say this is the first time I've ever heard it - always thought this was Joe Cocker's song.

 Hairfarmer wrote:


Yes.
 
No.

When I was a kid, I had a commercial tape sampling hits from the sixties (the actual time being the late seventies) and I think I must have been growing into my twens already, when I was surprised to recognise a song from that tape interpreted by Joe Cocker. And actually liked it.

Also much to my surprise: this was a pleasant rehearsal.

{#Music}
woah! totally woke up with this song in my head. was definitely singing it as I got ready for class. Thanks for reading my mind, RP!
Love it!{#Drummer}
 hcaudill wrote:
I take it this is the original? If so, I'm embarrassed to say this is the first time I've ever heard it - always thought this was Joe Cocker's song.
 

Yes.
What an AMAZING voice for a 16 year old.

Bill - Play Thirteen or something else from Big Star — Please!!!!!
We're sure gonna miss you Alex..RIP
Yeah....I love this! Feel good music!

video on youtube—-he looks supercute. I saw him as an older man playing in DC with Camper Van Beethoven on 4th of July I just remember Camper being really good and playing "Pictures of Matchstick Men."
Ahh one of my fav's was my sis & her now ex -husband's song - good memories for me - the PBS British Invasion & their 60's groups specials were excellent IMO showing all those groups performing!


I take it this is the original? If so, I'm embarrassed to say this is the first time I've ever heard it - always thought this was Joe Cocker's song.
Sitting here laughing my sis bought this on 45 & I liked it so much I kept playing over and over to learn the words to the song
Pure pop perfection.
Ah, the lost and lamented art of letter writing. "My baby just wrote me a text" just wouldn't have the same romantic feeling ;)

It sucks that this was the reason for remembering one of the most influential artists ever is terribly underepresented in the RP playlist.


Thirteen is in the archives - send an email to requests to hear a little Big Star on this day.


RIP Alex - I'll never forget the 1st time I listened to #1 Record.  It (and you) blew my mind.
Thanks for playing some Alex Chilton on this sad day!  It's amazing that he was 16 years old when he recorded this track.
How about some Big Star?!

RIP
Thanks Bill....I requested this but I bet a zillion folks did....RIP Alex
R.I.P. Alex, 3/17/2010

If he was from Venus, would he feed us with a spoon?
If he was from Mars, wouldn't that be cool?
Standing right on campus, would he stamp us in a file?
Hangin' down in Memphis all the while.

(chorus:)

Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes 'round
They sing "I'm in love. What's that song?
I'm in love with that song."

Cerebral rape and pillage in a village of his choice.
Invisible man who can sing in a visible voice.
Feeling like a hundred bucks, exchanging good lucks face to face.
Checkin' his stash by the trash at St. Mark's place.

(chorus)

I never travel far, without a little Big Star

Runnin' 'round the house, Mickey Mouse and the Tarot cards.
Falling asleep with a flop pop video on.
If he was from Venus, would he meet us on the moon?
If he died in Memphis, then that'd be cool, babe.

(chorus)

Artist: The Replacements
Album: Pleased To Meet Me


rcurrier wrote:
Much better than "my bb snt me a txt".

Brilliant!!! Move to the head of the class!!! {#Clap}
 victoryluna wrote:
A treat. 1x/year. Since it's already played 4x this year, hope not to hear it again until 2010.
 
and.... it's 2010, 4 more times please!
Nice classic! Can't help but singing along when this comes on.
True, old skool soul, terrific stuff which shouldn't age. Takes me right back to the college disco :). 8 from the Nottingham jury.

Hey, I like Cocker's cover of The Letter!

But this one is just as good or better if Cocker's hard-livin' voice invite you to cede territory.


"Do you realize, that in less than two minutes, 'The Letter' by Box Tops says more than what Jethro Tull spends hours not saying."
- Lester Bangs

Iliff Park Saloon, Aurora, CO 1987 - pathetic. Basically just this song over and over and over....
 RobRyan wrote:
It's a nice pop song and its best feature is that it's not Joe Cocker.
 
{#Clap}

It's a nice pop song and its best feature is that it's not Joe Cocker.
 RobRyan wrote:
SO much better than the Joe Cocker abomination!
 

Goes without saying, really.

But this really is a great song, compared with Joe Cocker or not. Just wish it were longer.
What's really amazing about this record is that the lead singer, Alex Chilton, was only 16 when it was recorded!

The best thing to come out of Memphis since I-40 West! {#Wave}
 RobRyan wrote:
SO much better than the Joe Cocker abomination!
 
The Arbors did a really great version of this one in '69. It had a swirling, psychedelic twist to it.
Quite enjoyable!
I still have it on a 45.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Arbors

I think I'll upload it.



Fun, fun, fun, fun
Shortest. Song. Ever.
Thanks for perking up my Saturday morning again!! {#Bounce}


I used to play this on the piano in E minor about a million years ago...  I like it... it's groovy...


WonderLizard wrote:
That was so-o-o-o confusing. I thought like if I save up 10 copies of the 45 and sent 'em in to the label, they'd send Alex Chilton back.


I just choked on my candy bar! {#Roflol}
gimme the ticket....!

annoffalese wrote:
can you still get free stuff through the mail with with box tops?
That was so-o-o-o confusing. I thought like if I save up 10 copies of the 45 and sent 'em in to the label, they'd send Alex Chilton back.
Much better than "my bb snt me a txt".
thewaxtadpole wrote:
Why didn't his baby phone him instead of writing a letter? Then he'd have plenty of time, even for a slow train.
Just not the same somehow if the guy says "My baby just sent me an email..."
children by the millions, wait for Alex Chilton to come around
smackiepipe wrote:
I like that Monkee's-era bebop bubblegum organ during the chorus and outro.
I think that's a Farfisa organ....I like it, too.
Why didn't his baby phone him instead of writing a letter? Then he'd have plenty of time, even for a slow train.
What a CLASSIC!
The singer is 16-year old Alex Chilton who later did a number of solo albums and did some great stuff with Big Star.
alex chilton!!!
A treat. 1x/year. Since it's already played 4x this year, hope not to hear it again until 2010. :biggrin:
Janssen wrote:
What original isn't better than the Joe Cocker abomination? :stupid: :stupid:
Oh, I'd say .. well.. none.
A little...too...oldies. 6.
can you still get free stuff through the mail with with box tops?
RobRyan wrote:
SO much better than the Joe Cocker abomination!
What original isn't better than the Joe Cocker abomination? :stupid: :stupid:
Geez! Some of this 60's stuff is really good! And great memory prompts, too!
This song was my first drunken karaoke moment - in a downtown Honolulu bar. . . fortunately my friends forgave me and drove me home anyway. . . :mrgreen:
Twenty-first century version: my baby just sent me an email. :lol:
boblaker wrote:
song released before I was born-- Good memphis sound, though.
:yes:
SO much better than the Joe Cocker abomination!
:bounce: