A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector

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A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records
Compilation album by Phil Spector
ReleasedNovember 22, 1963
GenreChristmas, Baroque pop
Length34:12
LabelPhilles Records
ProducerPhil Spector
Phil Spector chronology
Philles Records Presents Today's Hits
(1963)
A Christmas Gift for You
(1963)
Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica
(1964)
 
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A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records
Compilation album by Phil Spector
ReleasedNovember 22, 1963
GenreChristmas, Baroque pop
Length34:12
LabelPhilles Records
ProducerPhil Spector
Phil Spector chronology
Philles Records Presents Today's Hits
(1963)
A Christmas Gift for You
(1963)
Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica
(1964)

A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (originally released as A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records) is an album of Christmas songs, produced by Phil Spector, and originally released as Philles 45 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 No. 13 on Billboard magazine's special, year-end, weekly Christmas Albums sales chart in December 1963.[1]

The album was reissued by Apple Records in 1972, with different cover art -- a photograph of Spector dressed as a heavily-bearded Santa Claus, wearing a "Back to Mono" button -- and retitled Phil Spector's Christmas Album. This version went to No. 6 on Billboard's special Christmas Albums sales chart in December of that year, which was its highest chart ranking.[1]

Contents

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic5/5 stars[2]

The album was released on 22 November 1963, the same day as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and was a relative failure at the time. Original pressings are scarce and collectable, now selling for $400–$500 in excellent condition.[3]

In subsequent years, especially after its reissue on Apple, the album grew in popularity and is 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." The arrangement of Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" is based in part on the Crystals' version of the song, and U2's late 80s cover of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" that appeared on the first A Very Special Christmas album is patterned after the Darlene Love original that appeared on the Spector LP . The Ronettes version of "Frosty The Snowman" and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" also usually get some radio airplay during the holiday season.

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, well known as a fan of (and occasional backing musician for) both the Ronettes and Spector, has cited this album as his favorite of all time.[4] In 2003, the album was ranked No. 142 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Releases

The album has been released several times on different labels: the original release on Philles and the 1972 reissue on Apple were followed by additional reissues on Warner-Spector (1974, the first version to feature a stereo mix of the songs, although it ironically used the "Back to Mono" Apple cover), Pavilion (1981), Impression (1983 as a cassette PSLK2), Passport (1984), and Rhino (1987). The first CD issue was also on Rhino in 1987, co-credited to Phil Spector International RNCD 70235 and restoring the album's original mono mix. The second CD issue was in 1987 as well, on Chrysalis (CCD 1625) in monophonic for the UK market. This one is co-credited "Spector Records International" and features the slightly different international artwork. The more common third CD issue came in 1989, a remastered release on ABKCO which restored the original title, artwork, and mono mix. The album also appeared as the fourth disc of ABKCO's 1991 Spector box set, Back to Mono, and as the second disc of the 2006 UK-only ABKCO compilation The Phil Spector Collection. Sony Music took over distribution rights to the Philles Records catalog in 2009 and re-released the remastered mono album on its Legacy Recordings imprint on October 27 of that year.[5] The Sundazed label also reissued the album on vinyl in 2009. In 2012, Legacy Recordings issued a two-disc set containing a new remastering of the mono album on the first disc and a selection of non-Christmas Spector hits and rarities on the second disc.

Track listing

Recorded at Gold Star recording studio

TrackSong TitleWriter(s)ArtistTime
1.White ChristmasIrving BerlinDarlene Love2:52
2.Frosty the SnowmanSteve Nelson and Walter RollinsThe Ronettes2:16
3.The Bells of St. Mary'sA. Emmett Adams and Douglas FurberBob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans2:54
4.Santa Claus Is Coming to TownJ. Fred Coots and Haven GillespieThe Crystals3:24
5.Sleigh RideLeroy Anderson and Mitchell ParishThe Ronettes3:00
6.Marshmallow WorldCarl Sigman and Peter DeRoseDarlene Love2:23
7.I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa ClausTommie ConnorThe Ronettes2:37
8.Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerJohnny MarksThe Crystals2:30
9.Winter WonderlandFelix Bernard and Dick SmithDarlene Love2:25
10.Parade of the Wooden SoldiersLeon JesselThe Crystals2:55
11.Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Phil SpectorDarlene Love2:45
12.Here Comes Santa ClausGene Autry and Oakley HaldemanBob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans2:03
13.Silent NightJosef Mohr and Franz X. GruberPhil Spector and Artists2:08

Personnel

References

  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920-2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc.. p. 229. ISBN 0-89820-161-6.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ "PHIL SPECTOR~CHRISTMAS ALBUM~MINT ORIG'63 LP~BLUE LABEL - auction details". popsike.com. http://www.popsike.com/PHIL-SPECTORCHRISTMAS-ALBUMMINT-ORIG63-LPBLUE-LABEL/130336116493.html. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  4. ^ Michael deMartin, [1], Pet Blog: Pet Sounds at 40: An Appreciation , July 12, 2006
  5. ^ Up for Discussion Jump to Forums (2009-09-14). "Phil Spector Phillies Catalog Finds New Home". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/news/phil-spector-catalog-to-be-reissued-1004017963.story#/news/phil-spector-catalog-to-be-reissued-1004017963.story. Retrieved 2012-02-09.

External links