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Christmas Music Playlists with Darlene Love Songs
It Might Not Snow This Year But At Least We'll Have Darlene And The Crystals
Although 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' has been covered by a whole host of big artists like U2, Michael Bublé and Jon Bon Jovi none have come close to capturing the magic of the original 1963 recording by Darlene Love. Love was one of Phil Spector's singers (including girl groups of the ilk of Ronettes and the Crystals with whom Love also sang with) on his famous Christmas album 'A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector' and she would contribute a total of 4 tracks on an album that would raise the bar for Christmas recordings. With her vocals soaring on tracks 'White Christmas', 'Marshmallow World' and 'Winter Wonderland' and Spector's wall-of-sound techniques giving them an unforgettable individuality Darlene Love would be forever associated with the season no matter what she subsequently recorded.
And so it has come to pass that Love’s most famous cut from that 1963 album 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' continues its dominance of festive playlists year on year. It’s popularity has been further boosted as Love has performed 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' on the last episode before Christmas of the David Letterman show since 1986 and each session brings a bright new nuance to a song that just keeps on giving. The U2 cover of 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' is regarded as one of the better versions and it was given even more credence by Darlene's appearance on backing vocals. The Dublin band’s version would appear on the Special Olympics charity album 'A Very Special Christmas' which was released in 1987.
In 1992 Love would again contribute to the same charity when her duet with Ronnie Spector of ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ light up ‘A Very Special Christmas 2’ and proved that Spector’s ladies still had plenty of yuletide spirit to offer. Love also released another festive number in 1992 called 'All Alone on Christmas' which was included on the soundtrack to 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York'. Written by Steve Van Zandt and performed with other members of Bruce Springsteen’s the E Street band it was a richly instrumental piece that wasn’t a million miles from Love's most famous Christmas song. 4 years later in 1996 Love was again singing on a movie soundtrack, this time for the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle ‘Jingle All The Way’ when she took on Leroy Anderson's 'Sleigh Ride' accompanied by the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
It would not be until the new century that Darlene Love released her first full length Christmas album. 2007's 'It's Christmas, Of Course' did not include any of her signature tunes but that didn’t take away from its undeniable grandeur. Perhaps it was the fact that Love had been singing Christmas songs for over 40 years that her take on a variety of Christmas songs by other people sounded so vibrant. With a supercharged energy and a spirit so often lacking in Christmas albums Love showed all the young pretenders to her crown how to do Christmas correctly. From the rollicking opener ‘Christmas All Over Again’ (Tom Petty), to her imaginative reworking of the Pretenders ‘2000 Miles’ and John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over), and back to the funky strut of James Brown ‘Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto’ this was an album that belied an artist with almost half a century in a most draining of industries.Author: Kevin