Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

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"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
Song by Darlene Love from the album A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records
Released November 22, 1963
Genre Christmas, baroque pop
Length 2:49
Label Sony Legacy / Philles
Composer Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector
Producer Phil Spector
A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records track listing
"Parade of the Wooden Soldiers"
(10)
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
(11)
"Here Comes Santa Claus"
(12)

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" is a Christmas holiday song originally sung by Darlene Love and included on the 1963 Christmas compilation album, A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records. The song was written by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry along with Phil Spector, with the intentions of being sung by Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes. According to Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector was not able to put as much emotion into the song as needed. Instead, Love was brought into the studio to record the song which became a big success over time and one of Love's signature tunes.

In December 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" first on its list of The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs, saying that "nobody can match Love's emotion and sheer vocal power."[1]

In other media[edit]

Darlene Love has performed the song every year since 1986 on the final new episode before Christmas of Late Night with David Letterman (NBC 1986-92) and the Late Show with David Letterman (CBS 1993–present). One exception was 2007, when Love was unable to perform due to the Writers' Strike,[2] with a repeat of her 2006 performance shown instead. She performs the song with Paul Shaffer and the show's house band (The World's Most Dangerous Band at NBC, now the CBS Orchestra). The band has been augmented over the years by additional strings and other instruments, as well as a full choir. In 2000, the US Air Force Singing Sergeants were the choir.

The song was also used during the main titles for the film Gremlins. It also appears in a memorable scene in the film GoodFellas, when some of the members of the crew foolishly spend money from the Lufthansa Heist on lavish items, thereby drawing unwanted attention.

On the December 17, 2011 holiday episode of Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon sang a version of the song with lyrics reflecting upon his past experiences with the show.

"Johnny (Baby Please Come Home)"[edit]

During the 1963 recording sessions for "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", Spector thought the track was strong enough to warrant a non-seasonal version, and cut a version titled "Johnny (Baby Please Come Home)" at the same time as "Christmas" (also performed by Darlene Love). This version of the song was first released to the public in January 1977 as the B-side of Love's single "Lord, if You're a Woman" (Phil Spector International catalog number 2010 019). "Johnny (Baby Please Come Home)" was also included on a 1997 European version of Love's 1992 compilation album The Best of Darlene Love (The Philles Recordings) (a.k.a. The Story of Darlene Love, and issued on Brussels' Marginal Records catalog number MAR 074).

Cover versions[edit]

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" was not widely recognized after its initial release; however, it has since been covered many times by different artists over the years. The first cover was recorded by Quiet Jungle in 1968 for the LP The Story Of Snoopy's Christmas. The second and most widely known was recorded by U2 in July 1987 during a sound check at a stop during their Joshua Tree Tour in Glasgow, Scotland. Darlene Love provided backing vocals for U2, and the song was eventually released on the A Very Special Christmas compilation album in 1987, and later on the Unreleased & Rare album on "The Complete U2" digital box set in 2004. Bruce Springsteen covered the song at many of his Christmas shows in New Jersey, however none of the concerts have officially been released.

The following other artists have also covered the song on the respective albums/singles:

Charts of Mariah Carey version[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot Digital Track 59
US Billboard Holiday Songs 44
Chart (2012) Peak
position
US Billboard Holiday Songs[3] 20
US Billboard Holiday Airplay[4] 27
Chart (2013) Peak
position
US Billboard Holiday Songs (Holiday 100) 37

Personnel[edit]

Darlene Love version[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greene, Andy. "The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  2. ^ "God save the Queen - she's on YouTube!". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  3. ^ "Holiday Songs: Week of December 29,2012". Billboard. November 30, 2012. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Holiday Airplay: Week of December 29, 2012". Billboard. December 6, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 

External links[edit]