Neon Rainbow

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"Neon Rainbow"
Single by The Box Tops
from the album The Letter/Neon Rainbow
B-side"Everything I Am"
ReleasedOctober 1967 (U.S.)
RecordedAmerican Sound Studio
GenrePop rock, blue-eyed soul
Songwriter(s)Wayne Carson Thompson
Producer(s)Dan Penn
The Box Tops singles chronology
"The Letter"
"Neon Rainbow"
"Cry Like a Baby"

"Neon Rainbow" is a song written by Wayne Carson Thompson and made famous by Memphis blue-eyed soul band The Box Tops.[1]


The track is featured on The Letter/Neon Rainbow. The song starts with the lyrics "The city lights, the pretty lights, They can warm the coldest nights" and as they suggest, the song is about neon signs that come on at night and make even the city's coldest nights seem warm. The lyrics continue "But in the daytime everything changes, Nothing remains the same. No one smiles anymore, And no one will open his door. Until the night time comes. And then the..." suggesting that the city's inhabitants stay inside during the day and come out only at night.[2]

Billboard described the single as a "swinging rhythm item with compelling lyric."[3] Record World said that "it looks and sounds like [the Box Tops'] second big single release."[4] Cash Box called it "a lower-keyed [than 'The Letter'] mid-speed rock side with an easy-going rhythm that grows into a hypnotizing sales magnet" with "exceptional vocal power and grand lyrical draw."[5]

Petula Clark recorded the song for her 1970 album Memphis and Rita Pavone made an Italian version with the title "Il mondo nelle mani" (The world in the hands).


Afterlife of song[edit]

From September 2009, "Neon Rainbow" was featured in the TalkTalk TV advertising campaign, and is their hold music.

Chart performance[edit]

Cashbox US Hot 100 Australia[6] Canada UK[7]
#24 #24 #30 #17 57[A][8][9]

Billboard Hot 100[10] (9 weeks): Reached #24

Cashbox[11] (10 weeks): 57, 43, 34, 27, 26, 24, 28, 44, 56, 58


  1. ^ Chart position is from the official UK "Breakers List".


  1. ^ "History". Box Tops. Archived from the original on 2011-04-10. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  2. ^ "The Best of the Box Tops: Soul Deep". Archived from the original on May 29, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  3. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. November 4, 1967. p. 12. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  4. ^ "Single Picks of the Week" (PDF). Record World. November 4, 1967. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-06-09.
  5. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. November 4, 1967. p. 22. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  6. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989, part 2 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 74. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  9. ^ "The Box Tops". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1997). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc. p. 64. ISBN 0-89820-122-5.
  11. ^ Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950-1981. Metuchen, NJ & London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 58.

External links[edit]