"Of course, the biggest thanks goes to you, for giving me the opportunity to relate my feelings of Christmas through the music I love."
Phil Spector’s spoken word address to his adoring public at the end of A Christmas Gift For You was probably more testament to his delusions than a touching sentiment. Especially when you consider that, at the time in 1963, few people outside the recording industry had any idea who Phil Spector was. The album was a flop, too. Released on the same day as the assassination of President John F Kennedy, the world wasn’t exactly in the mood for massive productions of upbeat Christmas staples.
But as is so often the case, time is the biggest test. And as Spector’s fame grew and his Wall Of Sound became the most-imitated and admired technique of the era, so did the public’s appreciation of A Christmas Gift For You.
To this day, as this poll testifies, Spector’s heavy production, delicate layering of instruments (including sleigh bells) and the painfully good, soulful vocal talent of the Philles Records’ artist roster - Darlene Love, The Crystals, The Ronettes and Bob B Soxx - has yet to be topped. Like the eccentric producer himself, A Christmas Gift For You is a cult classic. And from a festive perspective, it’s a masterpiece.
Listen: Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)