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Phil Spector, "A Christmas Gift For You"Perhaps the grand achievement of all rock 'n' roll Christmas music, uber-producer Phil Spector never topped his 1963 LP, A Christmas Gift For You. He made better singles (barely), but he never released a full-length album with the power, majesty, and humor of this widely acknowledged classic. Thrill to the sound of the Ronettes, the Crystals, Darlene Love, and Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans running amok through such Christmas favorites as "Frosty The Snowman" and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." Then, witness the crowning achievement, Darlene Love's Spector-penned "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" - gloria in excess! Rockers as renowned as Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and U2 have attempted - and failed - to reproduce Spector's famous "Wall Of Sound" when producing their own Christmas records. All record collectors should be obligated to experience first-hand this album that has influenced so many. Regardless, A Christmas Gift For You is indispensable for aficionados of Christmas rock.

Properly speaking, Spector's masterpiece was originally issued as A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records, after the record label he founded with business partner Les Sill. Over the years, A Christmas Gift For You has been reissued numerous times under several different titles with several different covers (most famously on the Beatles' Apple label as Phil Spector's Christmas Album featuring a Santa-suited Spector sporting a "Back To Mono" button).

The album was ultimately reissued on CD as A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector with slightly amended original cover art - first on the "Phil Spector International" label through Rhino Records in 1987, then by Abkco Records in 1989, then by Sony/Legacy in 2009, and again by Sony in 2012 as a special edition with a bonus disc packed with Spector's early 60's "Wall of Sound" hits. Enthusiasts debate the quality of the various remasterings, but it's all the same music. That said, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the Abcko version is included as the fourth disc in the unspeakably great Phil Spector boxed set, Back To Mono (1991), and the Sony version is part of their 7-CD boxed set, The Philles Album Collection (2009), which is a different sort of animal.

If the only thing you know about Phil Spector is that he murdered somebody - which he did - you owe it to yourself to check out this phenomenal record. [top of page]

Albums Albums

SongsSongs

  • The Bells Of St. Mary's (Bob B. Sox & The Blue Jeans)
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (Darlene Love)
  • Frosty The Snowman (Ronettes)
  • Here Comes Santa Claus (Bob B. Sox & The Blue Jeans)
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Ronettes)
  • Marshmallow World (Darlene Love)
  • Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers (Crystals)
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Crystals)
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Crystals)
  • Sleigh Ride (Ronettes)
  • White Christmas (Darlene Love)
  • Winter Wonderland (Darlene Love)

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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