Phil Spector – 1963 – A Christmas Gift For You
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A Christmas Gift For You is probably the greatest collection of Christmas hits ever. Legendary producer Phil Spector and his “wall-of-sound” technique is perfectly suited to the music of the season, as he proves with layer upon layer of piano, sleigh bells, buoyant percussion, and, of course, those legendary Spectorsound harmonies.
The Crystals turn their sassy interplay into sheer magic on “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” The Ronettes stroll sweetly through numbers like “Sleigh Ride,” while Darlene Love delivers a real knockout punch with her yearning version of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home).” Sure to become the soundtrack for your holidays.
1 Darlene Love – White Christmas 2:56
2 The Ronettes – Frosty the Snowman 2:20
3 Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans – The Bells of St. Mary 2:58
4 The Crystals – Santa Claus Is Coming to Town 3:28
5 The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride 3:05
6 Darlene Love – Marshmallow World 2:27
7 The Ronettes – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus 2:41
8 The Crystals – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 2:34
9 Darlene Love – Winter Wonderland 2:30
10 The Crystals – Parade of the Wooden Soldiers 2:58
11 Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) 2:50
12 Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans – Here Comes Santa Claus 2:07
13 Phil Spector and Artists – Silent Night 2:10
This album was something of a revolution in its time, at least where Christmas music was concerned, although all that Phil Spector actually did was apply his normal production style to Christmas music. The Crystals, famous for Then he kissed me and Da doo ron ron, sing brilliant, energetic versions of Santa Claus is coming to town, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and Parade of the wooden soldiers. The Ronettes, famous for Be my baby, are equally brilliant on Frosty the snowman, Sleigh ride and I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus. Bob B Soxx and the blue jeans, famous for Zip-a-de-doo-da, also excel on Bells of St Mary’s and Here comes Santa Claus.
Darlene Love, whose biggest success was as lead singer of the Crystals on He’s a rebel, sings four songs here, a rare chance for her to be credited as a solo performer. Christmas (Baby please come home) is the only original song here. White Christmas includes the rarely heard verse about being in Beverley Hills. The other two, Marshmallow world and Winter wonderland, are also outstanding.
The closing Silent night is just a series of spoken acknowledgements set to a backing track. Don’t worry about that – the twelve songs that go before set the standard for Christmas rock albums when it was first recorded and still do, because nobody has bettered it in the forty years since.
I wish to you and your families Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year 2009. Peace and Blessings!