by Robert Wilkinson
If you don’t know who this Force of Nature is, I’ll bet you’ve heard her voice!
The world was first introduced to the powerful voice of Darlene Love via crazy genius Phil Spector when she was one of his “stable of chick singers” in the “Wall of Sound” era. Originally with the Blossoms, Phil put her front and center with the Crystals, where she belted out some of the most dynamic songs of the mid-60s. Tonight we dance with an attitude perfect for this Holiday Christmas time!
She’s done this on Letterman every year for quite a while, since it’s truly one of the great danceable Christmas tunes ever written. Originally on the Phil Spector Christmas album “A Christmas Gift for You,” It is generally considered the number one rock and roll Christmas song of all time, and has an attitude unto itself! So for your enjoyment as we rock on into Christmas 2013, here is the legendary Darlene Love on Letterman backed by Paul Shaffer and "The World's Most Dangerous Band" doing the original arrangement almost note for note, two years ago at Christmas 2011!
Here’s the original studio version from the album. "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."
That original arrangement had Leon Russell's genius giving us that amazing piano piece resulting in one of the truly great dramatic crescendos of all time a little over 2 minutes into the song, with Steve Douglas wailing on the sax break. After you're done here, please check out the original! Once Darlene goes into the "Please, please, please, please" part, listen for the piano piece. Simply remarkable!
Also featuring the voice of Darlene Love on that amazing album, here's the original studio version of "Winter Wonderland."
Keep dancin’ and twisting if you can! Here’s a great video clip of Darlene and the Crystals performing the immortal "He's A Rebel, which has as much attitude as any tune ever written!
Taking a short break from dancing, we have Darlene live at the 1996 MAC awards offering up the Sam Cooke immortal classic statement of civil and human rights, “A Change is Gonna Come”
Back to dancing! Flash forward back to Christmas 2013, and we find Darlene in a great music video, backed by the E Street Band cranking out another great Christmas tune, written by Steve Van Zandt! “All Alone At Christmas” (And if you are, pick up the phone and call someone you love or appreciate in your life! And if you're not, pick up the phone and call someone who is!)
From her 2007 album, here’s the studio version of Darlene giving us the very upbeat “Christmas is the Time To Say I Love You”
I tried to find a very funny animation clip from SNL featuring Darlene in a more lighthearted look at Christmas called “Christmastime for the Jews,” but it doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the web, except for a very brief clip of very poor quality. I’ll keep trying and if I find it I’ll post it on the site. (And no, it’s not the video titled “Xmas time for Jews,” which is a ripoff of the title of the more famous song.)
We’ll close this dance with last year’s Letterman performance! He’s the 2012 version of Darlene Love singing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on Letterman That woman wails!! (And I've always believed that if I could hear God's voice, it would sound like the late great Barbara Jordan when speaking, but Darlene Love when singing!)
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson