Did Phil Spector Do a Non-Christmas Version of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: Phil Spector recorded a non-Christmas version of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home).”

Easily one of the greatest Christmas albums of all-time is the 1963 collection, A Christmas Gift From Phil Spector, where the producer used his famous “Wall of Sound” on a number of classic Christmas songs…

Perhaps the most famous song off of the album is Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home),” which was not a huge hit at the time it was released as a single but has become a Christmas standard in the years since (Love performed it on David Letterman’s late night show every Christmas from 1986 until his final Christmas show last year – only missing 2006 because of the Writer’s Strike that year)…

However, did you know that originally Spector thought it could work as a NON-Christmas song?

Yep, at the same time that Spector laid down the original “Christmas” track, he had Love do a non-Christmas version of the song called “Johnny (Baby, Please Come Home).” Likely because the Christmas single did not do that well, Spector decided not to release the other version. It eventually showed up on the B-Side of a single in 1977. Listen to it here…

Be sure to listen for Cher on backing vocals on both versions of the song! I detailed her career as a backing vocalist in this old Music Legend here.

The legend is…

STATUS: True

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com

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