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Various Artists: A Christmas Gift for You

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Phil Spector’s 1963 A Christmas Gift for You, considered by many to be the greatest Christmas album of all time, has been reissued once again, this time remastered to its original monaural glory. So, with the season upon us, let’s take a thrilling” Sleigh Ride” with the Ronettes as we ponder the utter profundity of the Crystals’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and especially the sheer sonic majesty of Darlene Love’s original version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” the latter being a song which has now been recorded by everyone on Earth and their grandmother. Unfortunately, the legendary Mr. Spector will be celebrating the season in prison (for second-degree murder), where he reportedly has been approached by songwriter/mass murderer Charles Manson for a possible collaboration. Presumably, the rest of us will enjoy a somewhat more traditional Christmas. —Review: Jack Varsi

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