Album #37 – A Christmas Gift for You

 

 

Album #37

This album is a stark reminder of what is to come. A month from today, exactly, is the day after Remembrance Day. That is when my workplace decides to switch to Christmas music on the music loop heard throughout my workplace. On that Christmas Music loop are several songs from this album. I am glad I am listening to this album now before some of these songs become annoying. With that being said, this is the only Christmas album on the list. When the album was released in 1963, it was a virtual flop. JFK had just died and the country was in mourning. They were not ready for a happy upbeat Christmas album. That is what this album is. It symbolizes Christmas for me. The album captures the spirit of Christmas. Every track has the trademark Phil Spector “Wall Of Sound”. I love that production technique. While the production is superb, the only artists I like on this compilation are The Ronettes and Darlene Love. The Crystals tracks were all played on the Christmas music loop at work the past few years and have gotten really annoying. Darlene Love is the best on this album. White Christmas, Marshmallow World and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) are the best songs on the album, bar none. The Ronettes, featuring Ronnie Spector on lead vocals, also do a great job on the four tracks they sing on. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is the stand out track on this album and the only original. It is sung by Darlene Love and was covered by U2 almost 25 years later with Love on backing vocals. Love’s performance on this song is emotional and heartfelt. Love sings this song every year on The Late Show With David Letterman’s last show before Christmas and I make a point to watch that episode every year. Letterman says every year that this is the best Christmas song ever. He is right. This song was so successful that Love has become more associated with Christmas music than any other genre. The album is great for listening to at Christmas time and after being out of print on CD for many years, it was re-released last year on the Legacy Recordings/Sony Music label. This album is a must have for any Christmas music collection and radio stations play a great selection of songs from it at Christmas time. This album has inspired many artist’s Christmas albums, from Mariah Carey to the Very Special Christmas Series. Overall, I give this album 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Next: Live at the Harlem Square by Sam Cooke

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    • pete
    • October 13th, 2010

    “Marshmallow World” from this album is one of my favourite pieces of music ever 🙂

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