Groovey Records Christmas Music Picks 1
1) A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector
Phil a typicaly underachieving Jewish boy from the Bronx from the was born on December 26th. This Album was his masterpiece hanging in a gallery full of genius. Featuring Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" in its prime and his early stable of artists, the Ronettes, Crystals, Darlene Love, and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans.
A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector stands as inarguably the greatest Christmas record of all time. Spector believed he could produce a record for the holidays that would capture not only the essence of the Christmas spirit, but also be a pop masterpiece that would stand against any work these artists had already done. He succeeded on every level, with all four groups/singers recording some of their most memorable performances. This is the Christmas album by which all later holiday releases had to be judged, and it has inspired a host of imitators.
As Phil Spector pieced together his A Christmas Gift To You festive album in 1963, his initial intention was to have the Ronettes voice the one custom-written number on display, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Spector’ superlative ”Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.
According to Darlene Love, however, Ronnie Spector was never able to channel all the emotion and strength into the song that her producer (and beau) required, so Love was brought forward instead, to turn in what all the watching musicians expected would become a supercharged powerhouse performance. Though it would pass unnoticed upon its original release in 1963, Love’s so-heartfelt version of the positively shimmering “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” has since become one of the quintessential festive pop hits, an evergreen that still dominates the radio for a few weeks every year, while Love herself recalls that pianist Leon Russell, too, excelled at that session. He threw one line into the mix that so thrilled Spector that he leaped out of the control room and handed the stunned Russell a check for $100 on the spot.