Two singles emerged from Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley, together known as The Righteous Brothers, on their 1963 debut, Now!. (My Babe, and the charted Little Latin Lupe Lu.) The group would find the ear, and subsequent success with legendary murderer and occasional record producer Phil Spector in ’65 for Spector’s label, Phillies Records (no association with the Philly Phanatic is known to exist). The Righteous Brothers would go on to tour with some lesser known bands (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones), until their breakup in 1968. They would reform in 1974, then again in 1981 through to Hatfield’s death in 2003 of an apparent drug overdose. Now that everyone’s in a groovy mood, check out Now!, well, now!
We the jury find the accused, Phillip Harvey Spector, guilty on all counts… of spreading holiday cheer! What was originally dubbed as A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records back in 1963, was re-released in 1972 on Apple Records with 1) a new title, Phil Spector’s Christmas Album, and 2) a new, Christmas-killing cover depicting the legendary producer dressed as a drunken Santa Claus. Personally, I feel Art Carney’s role as loaded Santa in the Twilight Zone episode, The Night of the Meek was a little more convincing, but ol’ gunslinger Phil does a decent job.
These 13 re-imagined Christmas classics by the likes of The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans are all produced by Phil Spector (obviously), and make for a fantastic, and well-rounded Christmas album. If you don’t already own it, or its 1963 original, seek it out. One can never have too many quality Christmas songs, even if their producer is a convicted murderer.