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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 5 March 2014
Phil Spector' of course was one of the best-known music names of the 60's
producing some of the great groups and well cherished sounds from back
Must admit, I chose this 2-CD set because it had the sounds I remember from
the girl-groups produced by 'Phil Spector' with the bonus of a Christmas disc,
as apposed to a similar album with a similar line-up of numbers as are on disc
two of this release....plus the fact this release is a few pennies cheaper than the
'Wall of Sound' release,
Some of the great memories from those days on board are...,..'The Ronettes'
with numbers such as ...'Be My Baby'....'Baby I Love You'.....'Walking in the Rain'
and ...'The Best Part of Breaking Up'.......'The Crystals' with favourites such as
'Then He Kissed Me'....'He's A Rebel'....'He's Sure the Boy I Love'... 'Uptown'
and....'There's no other Like my Baby'....'Darlene Love'....'(Today I Met) The Boy
I'm gonna Marry'....'Wait Til' my Bobby gets Home'....'A Fine, Fine Boy'....can't
remember 'Darlene's songs breaking into the UK charts, however she did have
three or four 'Billboard' hits three of which I've listed.
There are also songs from 'Bob.B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans' 'The Treasures'
'The Alley Cats' and 'The Modern Folk Quartet' ( I Know one or two of the songs
by the last three artists mentioned, can't remember them charting in the U,K though.
I primarily purchased the item for 'Crystals' and 'Ronettes'
Of course with this release there is the bonus of Christmas songs that of course can
be dug out to play during the festive season. (xmas songs from the cast-list of the 2nd
disc, along with 'Phil Spector' and the artists singing a version of the age-old classic
Christmas Carol.....'Silent Night'
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on 20 September 2014
This is a very enjoyable Christmas album that until the last track, avoids the cheesy stuff that annoyingly seems to find it's way on to every Christmas record. That track, "Silent Night", is Phil Spector delivering his own message in spoken form that for me spoils the rest of the album - hence only four stars. If only Spector had given "Silent Night" to The Ronetts or The Crystals or Darlene Love to give us another quality seasonal number, then this Christmas album would be truly great.

The above caveat aside the only other change that I would have made is to make the album an all female affair. The Ronetts, The Crystals and Darlene Love - all teenagers at the time - give superb performances that hit the right seasonal note, and thankfully all avoid the usual mistake of being too earnest, sincere or cheesy. In fact, the only cheesy contribution comes from Mr Spector, and of all the tracks on the album, I urge you to avoid it. Spector would have served the album better if he had given "Silent Night" to the girls mentioned above. Bob B Soxx has a couple of songs that don't do it for me, which is why I would have preferred an all girl album.

As my title suggests this is an almost perfect retro Christmas celebration that is just a joy to listen too, not so retro as to be irrelevant, but retro enough to give that glow of innocent times experienced long ago.
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on 22 December 2014
Yes. It's another compilation of Christmas songs. No, there aren't many tracks, but hey, the music is fun and cheerful. The name Phil Spector might make you think back to the time they were talking about "The wall of sound". There's a book: Tearing down the wall of sound, which tells the tragic story of how Spector fell from grace, after being such a mammoth producer, and creating a sound that no one else of his time was able to copy. At the end of this collection, the man himself gives a short eulogy about the album.

Four main artists feature: Bobb B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans; Darlene Love; The Ronettes and the Crystals. Lots of old songs that we instantly know the lyrics to are here: White Christmas; Santa Clause Is Comin' To Town; Frosty The Snowman. The song I was looking for is one of the tracks featured here: The Bells Of St. Mary. I saw the rest of the album and thought I'd get the whole thing. I like it. Good album.
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on 5 December 2012
Deserves ten stars.

I like Christmas music but to be honest had been stuck with the same half dozen CDs for too long now.

I decided to splash the cash this year and chose around ten new CDs at good prices online - including Motown/Andy Williams/Bing/Elvis/Johnny Cash.

So far I think this stands out as the best for me.

Sadly, my girlfriend isn't the biggest xmas music fan (e.g. detests Fairytale Of New York, which I find unthinkable) - and ultimately comments unfavourably on whatever xmas music emanates from my music-box each yuletide (The Waitresses and Stop The Cavalry aside) - and yet this LP played through in it's entirety without any snide remarks from her. Remarkable thought I (although I suppose there is the possibility she still disliked it just not enough to say.)

The production is just awesome. Many others seem to agree. There is just something timeless about this set of excellent songs that you probably know but didn't realise you knew. I am guessing they have appeared in many seasonal films because I felt familiar with some of them but not too familar.

If only all music could be so lovingly made.

A wonderful Christmas gift for the whole world or those who believe in the power of music.
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on 9 December 2014
This album brought back so many memories for me. My parents had it on vinyl and eventually CD throughout my childhood, and it would always surface at Christmas, I decided to go old school and purchase it on (new 180g) Vinyl so that i could relive those childhood memories once again. I have not been dissappointed! The sound quality is superp and being released in the 60's this is THE christmas album, has a very up-beat party feel, all the versions of these classic christmas tunes you will recognise.

A big bonus for me was the surpise of receiving the Frosty White Vinyl 180g pressing, a limited issue (only 500 manufactured), as this was not in the description when i bought it i feel like i really did buy a special album that i will treasure for years to come. I have heard the regular black (new 180g) vinyl version being played also, there is no difference in sound quality, just the aesthetic appearance.
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on 13 October 2014
Can you please explain the pricing logic of this one. £7.99 for the original CD as an MP3 download. Or £6.99 for an MP3 download of the 2012 version so now here is a second CD with the greatest hits of the appearing artists. Or £4.59 for the actual double CD with a free MP3 download. What a brilliant CD and for the bargain price. You can't beat these Christmas songs... apart from the U2 version of 'Baby please come home'.
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on 3 January 2012
I LOVE this disc. I can't believe I waited for so long before I bought it!

Darlene Love's version of "White Christmas" is the second best version ever, only Bing Crosby is better. That says a lot, considering how many versions of the song exists today!

All the other songs are just as great. I love them all and never get tired of them.

The only possible exception is "Silent Night", which is just Phil Spector talking and wishing you a Merry Christmas, with all the bands singing the song in the background. Thankfully, it's the last song on the record.

Everybody should own this disc. There is just no excuse not to own it. It makes me wish it could be Christmas every day.
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on 29 May 2013
This is the long-awaited Vic Anesini remastering of Phil Spector's legendary Christmas album, plus a second bonus disc of his greatest hits with the Christmas Album artists (and a couple of rarities) originally on the Philles label. To date it hasn't been issued in the US.

For the first time, "A Christmas Gift..." has been digitally remastered to the very high sonic standard of the original Philles / London LP. It's big and beefy with superb analog warmth, and avoids the sanitized sound of earlier CD versions. You can crank this one loud and hear the Wall Of Sound in all its bombastic glory with no distortion or annoying shrillness. It's a rock'n'roll record after all - not a symphonic exercise.

Disc 2 - "The Hits" - compiles Anesini's recent masterful work on the Spector / Philles catalog. All the Ronettes / Crystals / Darlene Love smashes are here, plus The Alley Cat's first Philles hit, and two rarities ("Hold Me Tight" / The Treasures & "This Could Be The Night" / MFQ) which can only be found on "The Essential Phil Spector".

For the casual collector who needs to upgrade to significantly better sound - as well as the hardcore Spectorphile - this set must be considered essential.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 December 2013
This classic Christmas album is accompanied by a second disk of all time greats. And because it is part of Amazon's MP3 download service you can download or listen to the album at no extra cost while you wait for the actual discs to arrive.

The recording quality is very good and I cannot imagine anyone buying this double album for Amazon's current price of £3 and being disappointed.
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on 21 December 2015
A great selection of rock'n'roll Christmas tunes from 60s American artists with the excellent quality and rousing sound you should expect from a top-class producer. For some reason these tend not to appear on the usual compilations (unless being massacred by Mariah Carey or Michael Buble to pad their latest CD) but are an absolute must-have. For example, Darlene Love's 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' is the track that opens Joe Dante's 'Gremlins', but outside of that movie, where will anyone under 45 have heard it?
(The spoken-word thanks from the producer over the last track is a little corny, but just program your deck to skip it, or rip everything but that one!)
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