Various Artists - The Phil Spector Christmas Album


Various Artists - The Phil Spector Christmas Album

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Various Artists - The Phil Spector Christmas Album
Album A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records cover.jpg
Compilation album by Phil Spector (original cover not for sale)
Released November 22, 1963
Recorded September–October 1963
Studio Gold Star Studios, Hollywood
Genre Christmas, R&B
Length 34:12
Label Phillies (original)   Chrysalis (repress)
Producer Phil Spector
Phil Spector production 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. The album peaked at number 13 on Billboard magazine's special, year-end, weekly Christmas Albums sales chart in December 1963.

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 number 6 on Billboard's special Christmas Albums sales chart in December of that year, which was its highest chart ranking. It was also in 1972 that it made its debut on the UK charts. It would also re-chart in 1983 peaking at UK #19.

In 2003, the album was voted 142 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2017, it was ranked the 130th greatest album of the 1960s by Pitchfork. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys has cited this album as his favorite of all time. The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

 

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars

The album, released in the United States on 22 November 1963, and was a relative failure at the time. Original pressings are scarce and collectable, now selling for $400–$500 in excellent condition.

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 Comin' to Town" is based in part on the Crystals' version of the song, and 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.

 

Release history

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; this was the first release to feature a stereo mix of the songs, although it ironically used the "Back to Mono" Apple cover), Pavilion (1981, also in stereo, using the Apple artwork, but with the "Back to Mono" button airbrushed out), Impression (1983), Passport (1984), and Chrysalis (1987).

 

Track listing

Recorded at Gold Star recording studio

No. Title Writer(s) Artist Length
1. "White Christmas" Irving Berlin Darlene Love 2:52
2. "Frosty the Snowman" Steve Nelson, Walter Rollins The Ronettes 2:16
3. "The Bells of St. Mary" A. Emmett Adams, Douglas Furber Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans 2:54
4. "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" J. Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie The Crystals 3:24
5. "Sleigh Ride" Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish The Ronettes 3:00
6. "Marshmallow World" Cael Sigman, Peter DeRose Darlene Love 2:23
7. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" Tommie Connor The Ronettes 2:37
8. "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" Johnny Marks The Crystals 2:30
9. "Winter Wonderland" Felix Bernard, Dick Smith Darlene Love 2:25
10. "Parade of Wooden Soldiers" Leon Jessel The Crystals 2:55
11. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector Darlene Love 2:45
12. "Here Comes Santa Claus" Gene Autrey, Oakley Haldeman Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans 2:03
13. "Silent Night" Josef Mohr, Franz Gruber Phil Spector and Artists 2:08

 

Personnel

Session musicians
  • Jack Nitzsche – arrangements, percussion
  • Larry Levine – engineer
  • Barney Kessel – guitar
  • Bill Pitman – guitar
  • Irv Rubins – guitar
  • Tommy Tedesco – guitar
  • Nino Tempo – guitar
  • Ray Pohlman – bass
  • Hal Blaine – drums
  • Leon Russell – piano
  • Sonny Bono – percussion
  • Frank Capp – percussion
  • Louis Blackburn – horns
  • Roy Caton – trumpet
  • Steve Douglas – saxophone
  • Jay Migliori – saxophone
  • Johnny Vidor – strings

 

 

Various Artists - The Phil Spector Christmas Album

UK Chrysalis CDL 1625 (1987).

This record for sale is the 1987 re-issue of the album first released in 1963.

Album produced by Phil Spector.

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

The record centre labels are free from tears, stains or stickers.

The album cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minimal signs of wear.

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