Santacular Christmas Countdown – #3/#2 – Phil Spector/Darlene Love

Phil Spector – A Christmas Gift For You album/”Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love

We put #2 and #3 together here, because we can.  At #3 is the album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, released in 1963 (on November 22, the day Kennedy was shot, so not the best possible moment for the music).  Echo-filled, kitchen sink-added, girl group-heavy music from Spector, and one of his genius moments.  The record has been re-released this year, and features a number of iconic performances, detailed below.  The song that comes in at #2 is the Darlene Love-led “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” from that record, and earns its spot here in part because of its current relevancy through the inclusion by David Letterman of Love and the song on his Christmas show each year.  She still can belt it out, and Paul Shaffer and the band are able to elevate her performance through their own playing.  A thrilling homage to the greatness that was girl groups – filtered through Spector – in the 1960’s.

WIKIPEDIA: Several  tracks became iconic Christmas songs for generations, such as the original (and flop) single “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” and the well-known “Ring-a-ling-a-ling Ding-dong-ding” background vocals in The Ronettes’Sleigh Ride.” The arrangement of Bruce Springsteen‘s version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” is based in part on the Crystals‘ version of the song , and U2‘s late 80s cover of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” that appeared on the first “A Very Special Christmas” album is patterned after the Darlene Love original that appeared on the Spector LP . The Ronettes version of “Frosty The Snowman” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” also usually get some radio airplay during the holiday season.

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