The Letter (song)


The Letter (song)

Infobox Single
Name = The Letter


Caption =
Artist = The Box Tops
from Album = The Letter/Neon Rainbow
B-side =
Released = 1967 (U.S.)
Format =
Recorded =
Genre = Pop
Length = 1:58
Label =
Writer = Wayne Carson Thompson
Producer = Dan Penn
Chart position =

  • #1 (U.S. Billboard Hot 100, United World Chart)
  • #5 (UK)

Last single =
This single =
Next single =
Infobox Single
Name = The Letter


Artist = Joe Cocker
from Album = Mad Dogs and Englishmen
B-side = "Space Captain"
Released = April, 1970
Format = 7" 45 RPM
Genre = Rock
Label = A&M
Length = 4:46 (live album version)4:11 (studio single version)
Writer = Wayne Carson Thompson
Producer = Denny Cordell, Leon Russell
Chart position = * #7 U.S. Pop

"The Letter" is a song written by Wayne Carson Thompson and made famous by The Box Tops and their singer, Alex Chilton, released in 1967 on the album of the same name. It reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the UK singles chart. The song was popular during the Vietnam War and was also included in the computer game Battlefield Vietnam. Rolling Stone ranked it #363 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Cover versions

*"The Letter" has been covered by The Mindbenders, Al Green, Joe Cocker, David Coverdale,The Beach Boys, Brenda Lee, Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Arbors, Blonde on Blonde, Bobby Darin, Kimberly Briggs, Dionne Warwick, Del Shannon, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, the Shadows, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, Declan Galbraith, Seasick Steve and Dynamo 5.
* Cocker's version, released as a single in April 1970, also did very well on the U.S. Pop Singles chart, peaking at number seven. The single version, done live in the studio, can be found on the 2005 deluxe edition of Cocker's 1970 album, "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," while his live in concert take of the song (credited to 'Joe Cocker with Leon Russell and the Shelter People') can be found on both the original and the deluxe edition of the album.
* The Arbors version was also a chart success, peaking at number twenty in 1969.
* Eva Cassidy also covered "The Letter" on her album "Time After Time", and it is covered somewhat regularly by the rock/jam band Gov't Mule.
* Chris Daughtry of "American Idol" covered "The Letter" for his audition with the judges.
* A cover version of "The Letter" by Dynamo 5 was used as the lead song for the film "Sonnenallee".
* Bachman-Turner Overdrive recorded this as a demo while still using their early band name, Brave Belt. It can be heard on the "B.T.O. Anthology". Randy Bachman also recorded it in 2007 with The Bachman Cummings Band for "Jukebox".
* Melanie covered the song on her 1976 album "Photograph".
* Carly Smithson and Michael Johns sang a duet cover for the finale of American Idol Season 7 (May 21, 2008).
* Japanese psychedelic band The Mops covered the song on their album "Psychedelic Sounds In Japan".
* Declan Galbraith sang "The Letter" on all concerts during his China tour in May 2008.


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