December 5, 2008

A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector

A Christmas Gift for You: Classic.

[from Wikipedia]:A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector is an album of Christmas songs, produced by Phil Spector, and originally released as Philles 4005 in 1963. Spector treated a series of mostly secular Christmas standards to his trademark "Wall of Sound" treatment, and the selections feature the vocal performances of Spector's regular artists during this period. It is one of only twelve long-playing records released on the Philles label, peaking at #13 on the Top Pop Albums chart. The album was reissued by Apple Records in 1972, with a different record jacket and retitled Phil Spector's Christmas Album; this version went to #6.

However, the album was a relative failure at the time — it was unfortunately released on 22 November 1963, the same day as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Radio stations throughout the US did not play tracks from holiday albums during the period of mourning. In subsequent years, the album grew in popularity, considered now to be a holiday classic. Several of its 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".

In 2003, the album was ranked number 142 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album has been released three times on three different labels: the original release on Philles, the 1972 reissue on Apple, and the current remastered CD release on ABKCO. It also appears as the fourth disc of the Spector box set, Back to Mono.

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, well-known as a fan of both the Ronettes and Spector, has cited this album as his favorite Christmas album of all time.[1]

1. White Christmas - Darlene Love
2. Frosty The Snowman - Ronettes
3. The Bells Of St. Mary - Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans
4. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Crystals
5. Sleigh Ride - Ronettes
6. Marshmallow World - Darlene Love
7. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Ronettes
8. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - Crystals
9. Winter Wonderland - Darlene Love
10. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers - Crystals
11. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Darlene Love
12. Here Comes Santa Claus - Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans
13. Silent Night - Phil Spector And Artists


E.P. said...

These Christmas albums are great. There's something about the Jimmy Smith album that made me think of Duke Ellington's version of the Nutcracker Suite, another great Christmas album.

Henry Krinkle said...

I don't know that I've ever heard his version ( I may have, not realizing it was him). I'll make sure I hear it this year.

By the way, did you get my email address regarding that DVD? I wasn't sure if it posted or not.

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