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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector

Various Artists

1963

Buy At Rough Trade
A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector
Album Summary

A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector is an album of Christmas songs, produced by Phil Spector, and originally released in 1963. Spector treated a series of mostly secular Christmas standards to his "Wall of Sound" treatment, and the selections feature the vocal performances of Spector's regular artists during this period. The album peaked at No. 13 on Billboard magazine's special, year-end, weekly Christmas Albums sales chart in December 1963. In 2003, the album was voted No. 142 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list. In 2017, it was ranked the 130th greatest album of the 1960s by Pitchfork. In 2019, it was ranked the greatest Christmas album of all time by Rolling Stone. 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.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.25

Votes

14926

Genres

  • Pop

Reviews

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Sat Dec 26 2020
3

the cheeriest album ever made by a convicted murderer

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

I mean... considering some of the, uh, "presents" Phil Spector gave to folks, I'm happy with this. Seriously though this is a great record, in heavy rotation in our house during the holidays.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

I'm hoping everyone is getting this for Christmas Day (it makes all the sense in the world if that's the case - I mean, how could anyone properly review this on say August 15th?). Just ignore the Phil Spector factor (although just because he became a convicted murderer doesn't make him less of a musical genius, although I'm still not sure what he was trying to do to the Beatles with "Let It Be"). Focus on all the joy and wonder that is the living national treasure known as one Darlene Love. One of the greatest things David Letterman did was to have Love sing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on his late night show every Christmas for something like 26 consecutive years. It's reportedly the only Christmas song Dave likes, so he'd have Darlene come out and belt her classic holiday tune with Paul Schaefer and company every year. What a gift for Darlene Love. And what a gift she is to us. Just listen to her start this album off by making a Bing Crosby classic all her own. Love's version of "White Christmas" is the only one I want to hear. Besides this album, the only other holiday album I enjoy is the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack. This album is a big reason damn near every artist at least tries to record a Christmas song at some point in their career. Hell, I might have even choked up a bit during Spector's spoken word message over "Silent Night". In 100 years, the world will have moved on from Mariah Carey's Christmas song, but people will still be listening to Spector's Wall Of Sound, and Darlene Love will wear the crown as the true Queen Of Christmas.

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Mon Dec 26 2022
1

Legendary producer PHIL SPECTOR turns to his talents to Christmas music on this record. I played it at my company Christmas party this year and it KILLED. SOMEONE even it said it was the best Christmas record they’d ever heard.

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Sat Dec 26 2020
5

A nice little compilation. Shame Phil Spector sullied his careers works by being a murderer. Musically 5/5. Morally 0/5.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

I unabashedly like Christmas music and always have. This is a bona fide classic in heavy rotation around the holidays in my house which is beloved by all ages. It's in my top 3 Christmas albums of all time, along with The Vince Guaraldi Trio's "Charlie Brown Christmas," and Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song." I love Phil Spector's big sound and densely layered arrangements. I do not love his personal message at the end of the album however, and I usually scramble to try to skip the track when I hear his creepy little voice come on. Hands down the best Christmas album ever produced by someone who would go on to become a convicted murderer.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

Phil Spector sucks, but this slaps

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! I didn’t expect this! Came into this a huge fan so really happy to have this join the 1001 list. This is THE classic Christmas album. Phil Spector at his wall of sound best and Darlene Love getting full credit as a single artist… really defined what modern Christmas music would sound like. Phil Spector talks of bringing “something new” to Christmas in his address at the end of the album. Must have been amazing to hear this when it first came out… I was under the impression that the 1001 Albums list didn’t include “Various Artists” so I wouldn’t have expected this but here it is. Love all the songs on this. Thanks for the Christmas present!

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View Author
Sun Dec 26 2021
5

This is delightful! So many of these songs have become the standard arrangement of these Christmas classics. And there's no doubt that Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" would not exist without the influence of this collection. The stand-out track is the one original song, Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)". The whole album is full of joy and iconic performances from the pop queens of the 1960s.

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Mon Dec 28 2020
4

Nothing to hate here. It's full of great reditions of classic songs. Hard to hate. Nothing truly outstanding but I wouldn't expect there to be from an album put together by Spector.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is with a wall of sound for all to hear. A collection of popular Christmas songs, all performed and recorded in a consistent fun, joyful, upbeat, style. A lot of these have become the go-to versions, and the one original composition on the album, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)) by Darlene Love, is an underrated Christmas classic. Thanks for generating this on Christmas Eve (surely not a coincidence at odds of approx. 1 in 260?). This will become essential Christmas listening and couldn't fail to put even the bah-humbuggiest of Scrooges in the festive mood. 4/5

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

Haha! Well I'll be listening to this later as I do every year! If you don't love these Christmas classics given the wall of sound treatment, you are a soulless mister and definitely on the naughty list! I realise the artists were horribly exploited, and that Phil Spector is an awful human being. But this album is a precious diamond regardless.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

A great collection of different takes on some holiday classics, I was able to tolerate listening to this one which speaks highly to its quality. An aside on Christmas music: When will someone create a new holiday staple? The current Christmas song canon has been unmodified since Mariah Carey cursed the world back in the early 2000s. Perhaps I'm just a 20-something cynic but I'm tired of hearing the exact same recording every single year.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

The best collection of Christmas songs of all time. Darlene Love steals the show though. Every year its the same fucking boring debate about what the greatest Christmas song ever is. At least 6 tracks on this album are streets ahead of anything shat out of Mariah Carey or even Wham.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

Merry Christmas! It was a Christmas album with some good versions of some traditional songs. How fortunate to have the 1001 gods put it on our plates on Christmas Day. Even so, it was nice for a listen, but not anything overly exciting for me. I imagine that the “Phil Spector” label in the name of the album may be off-putting for some, as it was a bit for me…

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Sun Dec 26 2021
1

Good production can’t cover the fact that this is still a collection of fucking Christmas songs. Also, fuck Phil Spector.

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Mon Dec 28 2020
5

one of, if not the best Christmas albums love it !

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

So many classics I have heard here and there over all the years, and I never knew they all came from this one album! Though it's not really a surprise, since they all share the same Wall of Sound production. This was a wonderful Christmas surprise.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

Oh, today is the day I learned the generator is not completely random! No way I get this album on December 25th just out of the blue. That said, I'm sad I only got to this at 10pm on Christmas, because I would have loved to listen to this album all day long or over the past week. It's a pretty perfect Christmas album, as good as it gets. This album is what all artists aspire to when they make a Christmas album, whether they know it or not. The rich, sonorous arrangements, the warm and engaging vocals, and infectious melodies you want to keep singing. This is it. I mean, what's not to love about Darlene Love, the Ronettes, the Crystals and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans? I've heard most of these songs individually over the years, but as a collection you appreciate them so much more. Phil Spector had an ear for what makes beautiful music, and an ability to find really talented artists to present his musical vision. First and foremost, these are great pop songs, that also happen to be great Christmas songs. That is what makes a Christmas song a classic that never grows old, it has to be an excellent pop song first, and Spector understood this better than anyone. These songs are beautifully made and so much fun to listen to. They are standards for the most part that many artists had performed before Spector got a hold of them (the exception being the brilliant Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” but these versions are the ones that really have endured over time. Thanks for the gift 1001 Albums Generator, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, White Christmas, The Bells of St. Mary, Frosty the Snowman, A Marshmallow World, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Here Comes Santa Claus, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, Silent Night

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Mon Dec 27 2021
5

This is where being a week or so behind on this list really bites you in the ass. Because I don't really want to listen to Christmas music on January 6th. Though, it's a good way to boost the mood on a day when we get to remember the Capitol Insurrection. Fuck those MAGA assholes. I'm rating this record (which I've never heard) in comparison to other Christmas records. As a result, I'm giving it a 5 and I'm going to try remembering it exists for the next 50 weeks, so I can listen to it at an appropriate time of year. One more thing: Phil Spector is a creep and a murderer.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
5

Spector killed it with this one.

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Sat Dec 26 2020
4

Absolute classics for Christmas Day, better than all the modern crap

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Sun Dec 26 2021
4

I've had this on vinyl for decades and it gets brought up from the basement with the tree stand every year. The legendary Wall of Sound makes this head and shoulders above other Christmas albums from the era.  I unfortunately don't have the very rare and valuable original pressing and would take the money in a heartbeat if I did. It's unfortunate that Phil was such a whack job. He sure did make good music.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
4

It is the sound of Christmas - sugary, of course, but rammed with sleighbells and tambourines and extra pianos and a second choir

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Tue Dec 26 2023
4

I love Christmas and I love music, so I am very fond of Christmas music.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
1

It's Christmas music. Literally not even on Christmas day do I WANT to hear Christmas music. It's not even *interesting* Christmas music. Just covers of the exact songs you hate hearing blaring over retail and fast food overhead speakers. I'd give this a 0 if I could. I'd give it a -30 of possible, and even that seems charitable. Call it the spirit of the holidays that even one song on this album got listened to.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
1

Absolutely fucking brutal listening to this the week after Christmas

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Sat Dec 26 2020
5

It’s a bunch of classic christmas songs from bands that Phil Specter produced. Classic stuff, lots of songs that are still played every year

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

Baby Boomer Santa, thank you for everything in the world.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
5

This is s perennial favourite of mine, the Cd comes out every Christmas and gets played a good few times. I'm always disappointed when I hear Phil Spector speak on the Silent Night cos I know the album is almost over. Wish it had been a double album! There's no duffers on here, every song is a cracker (pun intended, sorry) that you will hear on the radio during the festive season.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
5

It's Christmas. It's a Christmas album. It's one of the best Christmas albums. The wall of sound is in full effect here and it works so well. An excellent album and the perfect day for it. Almost like that was planned...

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Mon Dec 27 2021
5

aye fuckin magic, phil spector gotta be my favourite murderer

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Mon Dec 27 2021
5

Weirdly, it's been ages since I actually enjoyed a good Christmas album. Especially one I haven't heard before. Sure, some of the tracks are cheesy, but in an enjoyable way. I have to give this album props for hitting the nostalgia for me, which is a real accomplishment for an album I don't think I ever heard as a kid. Fave track: Silent night

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Sat Dec 24 2022
5

The 2nd best Christmas album of all time and one I listen every year. To me this is the best example of Phil Spector's influential wall of sound production. I definitely see how it influenced Brian Wilson and how It's considered a classic to this day. This album contains the definitive versions of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Christmas". Holiday classic. 9/10

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Mon Dec 26 2022
5

The greatest Christmas album of all time. Only tarnished by Spector’s later crimes, the songs on here feature that incredible, signature Wall of Sound, only where on non-Christmas Spector productions, it conveyed the excitement of young love/lust, here it provides the sound of wholesome festive cheer.

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Mon Jan 09 2023
5

p62. 1963. 5 stars. Ah c'mon, you know every track on this. Listening to this is like catching up with a favourite family member or friend each year. And it's brilliantly done, the sound of a pre-Beatles, pre-JFK assassination American Christmas captured in one perfect moment. There isn't a weak track on this. As for this being randomly generated... this turned up on my list on 23rd Dec. Co-incidence? I think not :)

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Tue Dec 26 2023
5

Merry Christmas to everyone!

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Tue Dec 26 2023
5

Love Phil Spector. That man could do no wrong.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
5

Lyrics: The lyrics of "A Christmas Gift for You" are quintessentially festive, capturing the joy and warmth associated with the holiday season. The songs explore themes of love, celebration, and togetherness, providing a mix of traditional Christmas tunes and original compositions. Standout tracks include Darlene Love's emotive rendition of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and The Ronettes' lively performance of "Frosty the Snowman." The lyrics, although not groundbreaking, effectively convey the festive spirit and contribute to the overall charm of the album. Music: The musical arrangements on this album are a testament to Phil Spector's signature "Wall of Sound" production technique. The use of lush orchestration, vibrant horns, and infectious rhythms creates a grandiose and immersive sonic experience. The artists' vocal performances are spirited and soulful, adding a layer of depth to the music. From the jingling bells in "Sleigh Ride" to the upbeat tempo of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," the album showcases a diverse range of musical styles, making it accessible to a wide audience. Production: Phil Spector's production on "A Christmas Gift for You" is both the album's greatest strength and, arguably, its primary flaw. The "Wall of Sound" technique, characterized by densely layered arrangements, contributes to the album's lush and cinematic quality. However, in some instances, the production may feel overwhelming, with the instrumentation occasionally overshadowing the vocals. Despite this, the production style has become synonymous with the album's iconic sound and has influenced countless artists in the decades that followed. Themes: The overarching theme of "A Christmas Gift for You" is the celebration of the holiday season. The album successfully captures the magic and excitement of Christmas, creating a festive atmosphere that resonates with listeners of all ages. While the themes are not particularly profound, the emotional resonance of the performances elevates the material, turning familiar tunes into enduring classics. The album's thematic consistency is one of its strengths, providing a cohesive and enjoyable listening experience from start to finish. Influence: The influence of "A Christmas Gift for You" extends far beyond its initial release. Phil Spector's production techniques, showcased prominently on this album, have left an indelible mark on the music industry. The "Wall of Sound" approach influenced future producers and artists, shaping the sound of popular music in the 1960s and beyond. Additionally, the album's enduring popularity has inspired numerous covers and reinterpretations, cementing its status as a holiday staple. The influence of this album is not limited to the Christmas genre; its impact on production aesthetics has reverberated throughout the broader musical landscape. Pros: Timeless Sound: The album's production and musical arrangements have a timeless quality, ensuring its continued relevance and appeal across generations. Iconic Performances: The standout performances by artists like Darlene Love and The Ronettes contribute to the album's lasting impact. Diverse Song Selection: The inclusion of both traditional and original compositions adds variety to the album, catering to a broad audience. Influence on Production: Phil Spector's innovative production techniques have had a profound and lasting influence on the music industry. Cons: Overwhelming Production: At times, the "Wall of Sound" production can be overwhelming, potentially detracting from the clarity of the vocals. Limited Diversity in Themes: While the album effectively captures the joy of Christmas, the thematic scope is somewhat limited, focusing primarily on celebratory aspects. In conclusion, "A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector" remains a holiday classic that has stood the test of time. Its iconic production, stellar performances, and enduring influence on the music industry make it a must-listen during the festive season. While the album is not without its minor flaws, its overall impact and contribution to the Christmas music canon are undeniable. As a result, it continues to be a cherished and essential part of holiday music collections worldwide.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
5

The greatest Christmas album of all time? It's possible. Every song is a banger, the production is impeccable (obviously) and the voices are note perfect. Those drums, reverbed vocals, all of it. Nothing gets me into a Christmas mood more. I'd listen to this in July, I love it that much.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
5

Did not know that so many great classics come from a single album.

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Mon Dec 28 2020
4

Very 60s-ish. A good thing to listen to on Christmas morning.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
4

This is the best example of Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound' production technique. Though it was incredibly influential, this technique can muddy the background quite a bit. Playing the studio like an instrument was new in the early sixties and would truly come to fruition in the hand of Brian Wilson and the Beatles several years later.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
4

I don’t know if there was programmatic collusion, but getting this album on Dec. 25th is a special treat. I enjoyed it a lot this morning while opening gifts. Very 60’s, a classic through and through. But only needed once a year.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
4

This is actually very good music in terms of the melodies, the variety of instruments used, and the vocals. And the idea of having cheerful songs about Christmas and winter to play around the holidays is great. The problem is that there aren't that many popular Christmas songs, so existing ones end up being overplayed.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
4

I'm not a big xmas music guy, but this was really good. All of these songs are performed very well, especially the ones done by The Ronettes. It was nice to be able to include my family in this project for one day.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

What a lovely Christmas treat! I'm pretty sure the admin programmed this in to be the album people get on Christmas, but that doesn't make it less special to me. Really consistent sound, timeless and classic songs done in that very specific "wall of sound" that made Spector who he was. I love that style, and I think it works perfectly with yuletide tunes. The thank you message at the end was nice, even if it reminded me that he was (later) a murderer. Also he died this year, totally forgot about that. Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone! I hate to think what Phil would've done if he saw his mommy kissing Santa! Favorite tracks: Frosty the Snowman, Sleigh Ride, White Christmas, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Album art: It's a Christmas album, so not much creativity is necessary, but I like that all these great artists are packed in little presents. Phil really cares, doesn't he? Giving us this music? I hear he had a present for Lana Clarkson too. 4.5/5

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

Well hell if I'm gonna be the Grinch who criticizes this album... Obviously I'm not wanting to hear these songs for maybe 49-50 weeks of the year but if we're gonna have Christmas songs this isn't a bad way to go at all. Short, not too filled with saccharine; so shed the cynicism and enjoy a half-hour of simple early 60s holiday pop rock. (Um...you can skip Killer Spector's silly thank you "song" at the end tho) 7/10 4 stars

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

I love this. Adding orchestra makes most music better, this is just super classy and happy. I got this album on Christmas Eve; did that happen to other people or is this a divine coincidence? Also, fuck anybody who says this album should be canceled because of phil spector. This album was the work of all these great singers and instrumentalists, not just mr. spector; their wonderful work shouldn't be thrown away for the sins of one guy.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

I really liked this album and the timing was perfect. Great to hear these takes I had not heard before on the classics. Got me in the holiday mood when I needed it.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

How awesome to get this album on Christmas, I can't imagine giving a different review in August, but you need a certain environment to listen to this album. A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector by Various Artists is on heavy rotation in my house during the holidays and it's easy to separate the genius from the malcontent. Spector was a handful always, but he nailed the recipe with the wall of sound and his eye for talent in Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector and the rest make everything he touched perfect. 4.5/5

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

Like many people, I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas music and how you can't escape it in the holiday season. With that said, this album was a pleasant surprise. I feel like I must have heard most of these versions in supermarkets or retailers, but it all sounded like brand new versions of songs I was familiar with and they were all produced very well. The amount of character and the "wall of sound" style really lends well here. Darlene Love in particular was a standout, she killed it on each of her tracks. Would definitely make this my definitive Christmas album.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

We don't start Christmas in our house until at least 21st December. This is always the first Christmas music played.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

It's easy to be cynical about Christmas music. Some music fans, with a wave of the hand, may claim it is pumped down our ears every year by retailers to sell products, or mined by the film and TV industry as a lazy shortcut to elicit emotion. It's also a well-known truth that Michael Buble is leading a fascist regime to placate the masses and brainwash us all with his colourless, dishwater festivities. But this album? For me, it's THE essential Christmas record, the one I'll happily make a tradition out of every December. All the vocalists here are at their peak and deliver exceptional renditions, but Darlene Love is the star at the top of the tree. Hearing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" in its home setting, a lone original in a sea of reworked standards, is electrifying: E even amongst some of the most famous pre-1960 Christmas standards of all time, it still shines as a powerhouse number. Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans have perhaps the least to offer of all the artists featured, but the production and festivities help to tie it all together and the roster of artists participating keep it fresh. Spector's wall-of-sound arrangements are undeniably world-class. Every detail is immaculately constructed and presented. Some highlights: the Ronettes doing a "Be My Baby" on "Frosty the Snowman"; the irresistible backing vocals in "Sleigh Ride; chimes and bells EVERYWHERE; the glockenspiel in "Marshmallow World"... so much more besides. We're left with an album that, in little over half an hour, seems to perfectly capture the spirit and excitement of Christmas- even the clear commercial and corporate appeal shouldn't sully the huge talent on show. As delightfully jolly as it all is, I'm going to round down from a 4.5 to a 4. Why? Because it's not appropriate for at least 50 weeks of the year and it's also the brainchild of a murdering maniac. But damn... arrangements from a killer's head never sounded so... Christmassy.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

As great as a Christmas album can get. There are so many classics here that I had no idea came from the same album/producer. While Phil Spector is definitely not someone to idolize (that's an understatement), it is hard to deny the impact he had on music production which is just as evident here as it is anywhere else. The joy, warmth, and fun of Christmas is felt throughout this entire record, and many of these songs are THE definitive versions of these holiday classics. There is also an original song (Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)) that has gone on to become a staple in itself and is the strongest song on the whole album IMO. I am thankful that they assigned this one to me during the holiday season, but I think I would have enjoyed this at any point in the year. This is a difficult one to rank due to it being a compilation of artists and specific to a certain season, but I would definitely throw this one again next Christmas. 4/5.

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Sat Dec 24 2022
4

Solid Christmas album that influenced every other Christmas album. Quintessential Spector production & arrangement. Sounds played out in the 21st century, but this was the pioneer of modern pop production. Translates well to Christmas music. Fun vocals and high energy throughout 3.75/5

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Sat Dec 24 2022
4

The pure nostalgic joy washes over you as your transported to a northern winter wonderland replete with backing foley of bells and clopping horses, sure very seasonal but it is a must listen every christmas season. Favourite tracks are the classics The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride and Darlene Love - Christmas.

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Mon Dec 26 2022
4

Ah yes, an album featuring women (&1 man) of colour, but it's curated and produced by a white man who's an abuser and a convicted murderer. Phil Spector’s involvement made me want to immediately 1-star the album, but I decided to listen to it as saying no to the album because of him would also be saying no to these women, which I really didn't want to do. my 4 star rating is for The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love, and Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
4

Our host’s neat trick in saving this for Christmas Day has been a welcome one, sticking our household and maybe yours, Si, in this cheerful, compressed Groundhog Day. I don’t have the stomach to unpick Spector’s depredations, which would anyway do a disservice to those who actually played and sang these songs. This is a blast of cheer, and I’m surprised it lasted the day here, testament to its honing for mid-distance listening at varying levels of festive exhaustion.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
4

Nice that this is "randomly" generated on Christmas day. It's a good Christmas album with "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" being my favourite. Merry Christmas!

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Tue Dec 26 2023
4

I’m not a huge fan of Christmas music, but as far as Christmas albums go, you can’t do much better than this. (Made me smile to see it pop up as the album for Christmas Day.)

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Tue Dec 26 2023
4

Cozy Christmas vibes all over the whole record! Also it is incredible to think about how young Spector was when he revolutionized music production.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
4

A welcome Christmas gift with a bunch of classics and good covers 4/5

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Mon Dec 28 2020
3

Very good for making your christmas

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

Bad, bad Christmas nonce...but that's okay, because he shot a woman.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

The output of Phil Spector’s production feels like some kind of devilish stress test of the semi fictitious chimera of “Cancel Culture”. Sure, it’s branded with the name of a clearly terrible (and if you believe the reports of some of his family, genuinely evil) person. On the other hand do you punish the individual artists by tossing it all in history’s dustbin? Putting all that aside, none of this grabbed me that hard. I didn’t feel like Christmas classics were much improved by that famous Wall of Sound treatment.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

Sparkly Christmas Murderer Cheese

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

Bangers, fizzers and crackers throughout. Timely too! A great Christmas album.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

Living in the "eastern" half of the world, I received "A Christmas Gift for You" a day late. But I don't mind. After all, I live in a country where Christmas starts long before the winds get colder and ends several days after the New Year fireworks lighted up the sky. Also, I don't have time to listen to it on Christmas Day anyway. All I can say is, it's a decent gift that has everything one could expect from a set of Christmas songs. The notable things in this album is that it's so '60s. The sound of '60s pop songs rule this album. That, and Phil Spector's so-called "Wall of Sound" approach is well-compiled in this album. And perhaps that's the reason why this is included in the list. Overall, pretty good. Out of the four gifts, my favorite is Darlene Love and her powerful voice -- just look at her in the cover, at the top, waving her name like a banner. Not listening to it again next year though, nor blast it on speakers. I mean, Mariah Carey is overplayed as hell, but I liked the more recent versions of some classic Christmas tunes more than the outdated '60s pop version of them. Thinking about it, Christmas song is probably a great lens to look at the evolution of pop sounds throughout the years.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

Phil Spector being a terrible, awful, horrible person knocks the star off the Christmas tree for me, and the oversaturation of Christmas music takes another half. So this album getting 3 stars is impressive, because it's a very good album. Spector was a revolutionary producer and his wall of sound works immaculately on the record's best cuts. Darlene Love is the MVP, as her melancholy, soulful rendition of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) has become a staple and the other songs she worked on were great, especially Marshmallow Land. Everyone else does a great job throughout and the joy that Spector's production conveys creates a classic Christmas album from the Grinch of the record label. Also Brian Wilson worked on it and cited the record as an inspiration for Pet Sounds. It's a festive joy that was released on the same day JFK died, and its classics (Sleigh Ride, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), White Christmas, Marshmallow Land, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, The Bells of St. Mary) will entertain and live in the hearts of eager children for years to come.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
3

Phil was as mad as a box of frogs. But I am sure most people will agree he was a very talented producer.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

Awesome holiday music🎄🎄🎁🎅🏼🧑🏼‍🎄👼🏻The Ronettes were my fav! Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night🥂On to the next album and New Year

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

What are the odds? (The website probably did this on purpose) Phil Spector, notable producer and murderer, had designed the "wall of sound", where Spector pushed the limitations of audio recording technology by having a large an ensemble as possible. This would result in a much fuller sound unique to the 50's and 60's. This "wall of sound" was subsequently used by Spector when he gathered a few artists on his label to do a selection of (mostly) secular Christmas songs. I do not like the wall of sound. I think it obscures the arrangement and is a poor use of dynamics. Which is a shame because I like some of the songs on where with their arrangement choices! If they were just a bit more stripped back and sonically legible, I could enjoy it more. Perhaps for the time, the wall of sound was even helpful, but here I find it more annoying than anything. Everything else about this is great though!

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

Spector really killed it with the production here (har har). I'm not really a Christmas music person but as far as that goes these are good renditions in my opinion.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

It's a Christmas Album. And it's good christmas music, and good example of Spector's production. But I can't give a huge rating to an album I'll only listen to once a year at best.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

Phil Spector's album of Christmas songs may be the most famous Christmas album there is. In recent years around the holidays, this album always makes an appearance on the charts. And on lists of best Christmas albums, this album is always near the top. The songs "Marshmallow World," "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," "Sleigh Ride," and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" are iconic from this album and have become tradition. Other songs like "Frosty the Snowman" and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" are also almost as popular. Normally I don't go out of my way to listen to holiday music even at Christmas, but I do agree this might be the best album for this music.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

Not a fan of Christmas music, but this wasn't bad at all. I liked White Christmas, Sleigh Ride and Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) in particular. It does get boring as it goes on though. I was also happy Spector's Wall of Sound made these songs more lively and listenable as an album itself.

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Mon Dec 26 2022
3

Do you know what people do for Christmas in Japan? They go to KFC. In the 1980s, KFC ran an advertising campaign in Japan, exhorting their customers to spend Christmas with a loved one at KFC. It proved phenomenally successful, to the extent that attending KFC on Christmas Day is now a bona fide Japanese tradition. People make reservations weeks in advance to get a table at KFC on Christmas Day. Also, as I recall, Japan is the only country where one can order beer at KFC. Now, I'm not above a KFC, no way. Indeed, out of the big fast food chains, KFC commands the most fondness from me. But as a Brit, the idea of visiting KFC on Christmas Day strikes me and plenty of others as hopelessly depressing, the practice of the loneliest men in the land. Also, the overt commercial nature of the Japanese Christmas KFC tradition surely runs counter to the western ideal of Christmas as an occasion to celebrate the things money can't buy (yes, we're all hypocrites in that regard, but that doesn't make us evil). So, I don't think I can understand emotionally how the Japanese view Christmas. So can I understand how the Americans view Christmas? Well, if I were to emigrate there, how I'd celebrate Christmas would automatically be some American form of Christmas, even if I retained all the trappings of a British Christmas: turkey and the complaints that it's not as nice as chicken, overheated rooms, at least one massive row, opening a can of lager before 10am (actually, I'm objectionably sober this year, what with my ruined feet). The story of America as a nation of immigrants means that the multiplicity of immigrant Christmas traditions, from German stollen to Italian panettone, all become possible additions to an American Christmas. Still, Americans have generated traditions of their own without recourse to the rest of the world's tired, poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. And this, Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift to You, is a uniquely American record with a uniquely American conception of Christmas. Well, that's my reasoning as to why this album left me completely ungripped. Any description of Phil Spector, who died at the beginning of this year, has to mention his murder of the actress Lana Clarkson in 2003. He was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison in 2009. Even before this tragedy, Phil Spector had a reputation as the most deranged producer in all of music, but he also had a reputation as one of the greatest producers in all of music. Known as the Dean of Teen, Phil Spector found fame and acclaim as the svengali behind numerous girl groups and songs, writing and producing classic tracks with his Wall of Sound method of multiple instrument layering to achieve as full a sound as possible. His talent as a producer led to many other cherished acts seeking either inspiration from him or just seeking him to produce. Brian Wilson admits to a lifelong Spector obsession that proved one of the key influences on Pet Sounds. Spector produced perhaps Tina Turner's finest moment, River Deep, Mountain High. The Beatles' last album, Let It Be, was produced by Spector, but nobody considers this the Fabs' finest album (in 2003 Macca released a version of Let It Be without all the strings Spector stapled on, but this fits perfectly into the curio box). John Lennon continued working with Spector on his solo albums, from his most celebrated to his most excoriated. The last major album Spector produced was End of the Century by the Ramones, long noted for their love of Spector's girl group singles. And throughout this time, Spector's behaviour was often fanatical, domineering and worrisome. Later in life diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Spector had serious problems with alcohol and suffered from paranoia, leading to a fixation on guns. Some figures, including Dee Dee Ramone, have accused Spector of pulling guns on them. Ronnie Spector, leader of the Ronettes and one-time wife to Spector, declared that Spector had been psychologically abusive, had kept her prisoner in his mansion and that she literally had to escape in order to leave the marriage. Several of his children also allege serious abuse on Spector's part. I have in no way covered all the details of Spector's iniquities, and nor do I want to. Now, it is perfectly possible for great art to be made by the monstrous. Separating the artist and the art is not only healthy, it's easy. We don't need to consider A Christmas Gift to You in light of Spector's crimes. But I do feel I personally have to consider it through the prism of how I perceive Christmas; it is a Christmas album, after all. The songs are very well-known, decorating so many American Christmas movies. And that's where I felt the album rode straight into the uncanny valley. These aren't my idea of cracking Christmas songs. The best Christmas song is Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody: it's great fun, it's not at all pompous, Slade sound as if they're genuinely enjoying themselves. Also, it's a definitive British Christmas song. It's a stellar example of that sadly lost practice of British bands mucking in and recording Christmas singles in order to entertain the nation. The main drive was enthusiasm and so the main result was glee. Yet this is an American Christmas album. Plenty of American acts have recorded Christmas albums. Plenty of Jewish American acts have recorded Christmas albums, continuing the custom inaugurated by Irving Berlin with White Christmas. But with this album and many other American Christmas albums, what I sense is not enthusiasm but slickness. When Spector used his Wall of Sound technique for love songs, the craft amplified the emotional impact. But these are songs about Santa and Frosty the Snowman. The songs are difficult to fault directly, but the Wall of Sound becomes routine, a procedure as fitting for a toothpaste jingle as for a declaration of love. And I find this bizarre, but I think Americans appreciate this aura of professionalism. It's a sign that you haven't been ripped off. Or maybe it's just not my Christmas. Perchance I were American, this would be as cosy and reassuring as a cup of pumpkin spice hot chocolate and a handgun. But I'm not, so this is essentially Japanese KFC. And remember: not everyone has it easy at Christmas. If you do find yourself feeling down at this time of year, you can always reach out and google "Phil Spector hair". NoRadio, signing off.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
3

I guess you have to grudgingly admire the craft, despite me preferring instead to hear a collection of TV themes and/or advertising jingles for variety at least at this point. Please never again... [edit - got it again, thanks Mark! Merry Xmas]

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Tue Dec 26 2023
3

Another Christmas album in american pop stile. Maybe the first in this stile?

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Tue Dec 26 2023
3

All the christmas classics on one album. A solid album, but nothing special.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
3

No. 78/1001 White Christmas 3/5 Frosty the Snowman 3/5 The Bells of St. Mary 3/5 Santa Claus is Coming to Town 4/5 Sleigh Ride 4/5 A Marshmallow World 4/5 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa 3/5 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 3/5 Winter Wonderland 3/5 Parade Of The Wooden Soldier 3/5 Christmas 5/5 Here Comes Santa Claus 3/5 Silent Night NR Average: 3,42 Liked the songs by The Ronettes & Darlene Love the best. On some other songs I thought the production didn't age too well. Comparable songs from Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra from this era did age way better. Was debating between 3 and 4, but since it contains so many classics I had to give a 4.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
3

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone! I think it's really fun that the guy who runs this website decided to give everyone the Christmas album on Christmas itself. You know, I can't say I've ever wanted a Christmas gift from a convicted murderer, but I will gladly take "A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector", because this is some good stuff. There really isn't much to say. This is an album with some absolute Christmas classic. They're some pretty good covers too. Some of these, like the Ronettes version of "Sleigh Ride" are even considered by many to be the definitive versions of these songs. The songs themselves are good Christmas songs. None of them have aged particularly poorly (although as long as you're not including Baby It's Cold Outside, I'm pretty sure you're set). It does end weirdly with Phil Spector thanking the listener over an instrumental of Silent Night. Obviously that's weird now with what we know about Mr. Spector, but even on its own it's kind of a weird way to end the album. Overall, it's nothing crazy, but a nice little treat for the Christmas season. High 3/5.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
3

Wait, did they purposefully give me this for Christmas? I guess if a Christmas album is on this list, it makes sense to give it in December, not in July. I was just watching a video about how Phil Spector screwed Darlene Love out of royalties in the making of this album, as iconic as she was in Baby Please Come Home. Phil Spector sketchiness aside, this sounds pretty epic for a 60s Christmas album in the singing and instrumentals. Still, it's a Christmas album, 3*.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
2

A trifle, sure, but a tasy one. Maybe a little too much cream.

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Mon Dec 28 2020
1

I know this album will mean a lot to some people, but when someone is a serial abuser who should have been stopped long before he ended up committing murder, I think we should write them out of musical history. There are plenty of other Christmas albums to listen to instead. Should not be on this list.

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Tue Dec 26 2023
1

#80. Was it a coincidence or a conspiracy that the algorithm tried to force me to listen to a Christmas album on Christmas day? You know what? I'm not going to anyway. I fucking hate Christmas music. Also Phil Spector is an absolute diarrhea person. Fuck that guy. 1/5: Fuck your Christmas music and your Christ, and fuck Phil Spector the most.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

Somehow I actually have this one on vinyl.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

About as good as Christmas albums get 9/10

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

Quintessential Holiday album. God bless.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

A wonderful Christmas surprise.

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Sun Dec 26 2021
5

I’m kind of a grinch but this music slaps I’m a sucker for this sorta old-school pop 9/10

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