A music blog

Advent calendar: December 16—Darlene Love, “Winter Wonderland”

Darlene Love, “Winter Wonderland” 
from Phil Spector’s Christmas Album (1963; 1981)

The story goes that the failure of this album on its initial release, on the inauspicious date of November 22, 1963, broke Phil Spector’s heart. I’m not so sure—never mind subsequent events that cast doubt on the existence of his heart or its capacity for heartbreak. There’s only one original song—a great one, to be fair—and the others are largely standards retrofit with existing hooks from the Wall of Sound vault—here, “Wait ’Til My Bobby Gets Home,” elsewhere “Be My Baby” (“Frosty the Snowman”), etc. In short, it  is low on originality even in the dubious context of rock and roll Christmas product. Elvis and the Beach Boys would produce more heartfelt and personal Christmas albums (maybe because, in their guileless way, Christmas actually meant something to them?). Still, as a platform for great singers it can’t be beat, and for once the sleigh bells—a whole rhythm section of sleigh bells—make seasonal sense.

Oh, and as a Christmas gift to you, this is in stereo.

buy it: Amazon | iTunes | eBay

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