Friday, December 14, 2012

My All-Time Favorite Rock Christmas Song? Yep, Pretty Much...

Most of you know that I'm a TOTAL music geek.  I listen to just about everything--much to my family's frequent chagrin--and the Christmas season is no exception.  Of course, you can find Christmas music in just about any genre, but let's face it: rock is not always conducive to what we usually name "the Christmas spirit."  Well, there's at least one amazing exception to that notion, and it came out in 1963, courtesy of music industry legend Phil Spector and (now) Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love - "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."

The first performance of this song in my memory was Love's first performance on Late Night with David Letterman in 1986.  I immediately began searching for the original album (most non-vinyl releases were titled "A Christmas Gift For You from Phil Spector"), and was not disappointed; that may well be the greatest rock Christmas collection EVER.  Love's appearances on Late Night became a tradition that continues today, and CBS recently released this mashup covering most of Love's 24 years of performing her signature tune.  I particularly enjoy Paul Shaffer's arrangements of the song; he pays homage to Spector's "Wall of Sound" approach while incorporating instrumentation and vocals that Spector could not. 

Just as Letterman has said on numerous occasions, it isn't really Christmas until I hear Darlene Love since this song.  Enjoy.

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