With (Darlene) Love, A Christmas Gift For You
Last week, I blogged about Billboard's Hot Holiday Songs chart, which was topped, yet again, by Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." The chart is pretty lame: All that gag-inducing treacle and Trans-Siberian Orchestra - and, as I noted, not a James Brown or Sufjan song in sight.
A commenter correctly pointed out that Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" was also noticeable by its absence. It's only one of the greatest Christmas recordings of all time. And yet there's no place for it in the seasonal Top 30? The campaign calling for a Congressional investigation begins here and now.
The song, from the 1963 compilation "A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector," is a stunner, matching Love's pleading powerhouse vocal with Spector's signature wall of sound. Written by Spector with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, it's a simple, aching sentiment ("It's Christmas day/Please, please, please, please - baby please come home") that's artfully and expertly rendered. Love talked with Jacqueline Trescott about the summer-of-'63 recording session in a Sunday Q&A.
The singer, of course, performs "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" live on Letterman just before Christmas every year - a tradition that dates back to 1986. But "Baby" isn't coming home to late-night TV this Christmas because of the striking writers. So, for your viewing pleasure, The Royal We present the greatest of all of Love's Letterman appearances, from 2004. It's a knockout performance. (Though the YouTube video isn't so great; you're much better off clicking here for a superior version).
By J. Freedom du Lac |
December 20, 2007; 9:43 AM ET
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