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"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" is a rock song originally sung by Darlene Love and included on the 1963 seasonal compilation album, A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records. The song was written by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry (Phil Spector also is co-credited) and Love was given a demo of it over phone performed by them. She went on to record the song in studio, which became a big success over time and one of her signature tunes.[1] Love's later song, "All Alone on Christmas", which was used in the 1992 Christmas movie, Home Alone 2, referenced the song.

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
Song by Darlene Love
from the album A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records
ReleasedNovember 22, 1963
GenreChristmas, R&B
Length2:49
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Phil Spector

The song as recorded by Love was released as a single in 1963 (Philles 119)[2] and in 1964 (Philles X-125).[3] But the records did not chart in both years.

In December 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" first on its list of The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs, noting that "nobody can match Love's emotion and sheer vocal power."[4]

As an example of the track's staying power, it reached #45 on the Billboard Holiday Airplay chart in 2016.[5] In 2018, the track debuted on Hot 100 for the first time at #50.

In other mediaEdit

Beginning in 1986 and continuing for 29 years, Darlene Love performed the song annually on the final new episode before Christmas of Late Night with David Letterman (NBC, 1986–92) and Late Show with David Letterman (CBS, 1993–2014), 28 times in all. The exception was in 2007, when Love was unable to perform due to the Writers' Strike;[6] a repeat of her 2006 performance was shown instead.

She performed the song with Paul Shaffer and the show's house band (The World's Most Dangerous Band at NBC, the CBS Orchestra at CBS).[7] The band had been augmented over the years by strings and other instruments, as well as a full choir. In 2000, the US Air Force Singing Sergeants were the choir. One of the highlights of the performances was a sax solo by band member Bruce Kapler, who would make his entrance in entertaining ways, including being pulled in on Santa's sleigh, "flying" from the rafters on wires, walking down the steps of the audience risers, and appearing in a giant snow globe. It was known that Love's last appearance on Letterman's show would air on December 19, 2014, as Letterman had announced his retirement from hosting The Late Show. In addition to the publicity and anticipation for this final performance, Love's original version of the song reappeared on the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 21 on the publication's Holiday Digital Songs chart.

Love also performed the song on December 24, 2013 in front of traders at the New York Stock Exchange as the market closed for the day.

Beginning in 2015, the tradition of Love's annual performance of the song moved to The View (ABC, 2015-present), where it has continued during its last edition before Christmas in the years since.[8]

The song has been used in several movies – including during the main titles of Gremlins, in a scene in GoodFellas in which some of the characters spend money from the Lufthansa Heist on lavish gifts, in Christmas with the Kranks, in the 2012 ABC Family TV movie The Mistle-Tones, and most recently in the 2017 Hallmark Channel TV movie Christmas Getaway.

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.

Jonathan Jackson covered the song for the ABC/CMT drama, Nashville, for their Christmas album Christmas with Nashville

"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 was not released to the public until 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, issued on Brussels' Marginal Records, catalog number MAR 074).

Cover versionsEdit

"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 earliest cover version was by the Quiet Jungle, for the 1968 LP The Story Of Snoopy's Christmas.

The song was recorded by U2 in July 1987 during a sound check in Glasgow, Scotland during their Joshua Tree Tour. Darlene Love provided backing vocals,[citation needed]. The song was released on the A Very Special Christmas compilation in 1987, and on the Unreleased & Rare album in The Complete U2 digital box set in 2004.[citation needed]

Joey Ramone's version appeared on his 2002 album Christmas Spirit... In My House.

Mariah Carey covered the song for her 1994 album Merry Christmas. The digital single reached No. 59 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart in 2011, and has sold more than 200,000 copies.[citation needed] Mariah sang her classic Christmas album cover of Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" in 2008 at "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!"[9]

Cher, one of the original background singers at the Phil Spector studio session with Darlene Love, covered the song 36 years later in a dance version for A Rosie Christmas in 1999. The track featured vocals by Rosie O'Donnell using the Auto-Tune effect that had been used in Cher's hit "Believe".

Other versions include those released by The New Bomb Turks, Lady Antebellum, The Mavericks, Dion, Michael Bublé, Jon Bon Jovi, Hanson, Little Mix, Foo Fighters, Death Cab for Cutie, Lucy Hale, Melissa Etheridge, the Raveonettes, Jars of Clay, Anberlin, Slow Club, Josh Ramsay, Leona Lewis, Olivia Holt, Noah Cyrus and Smash Mouth, among many others.

Mariah Carey versionEdit

Chart (1994–2019) Peak
position
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[10] 50
Greece International Digital Singles (IFPI)[11] 76
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[12] 26
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 32
Portugal (AFP)[14] 61
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[15] 40
Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 6
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 63
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[18] 20
US Billboard R&B Streaming Songs[19] 21

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[20] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

PersonnelEdit

Darlene Love versionEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Darlene Love on Phil Spector, Elvis, ‘20 Feet from Stardom’ | Episode 26 | Music Is My Life Podcast, retrieved 2019-09-02, 27:53 you got to hear it, and they actually played the song for me over the phone.
    27:58 Wow.
    27:58 [LAUGHTER] From New York.
    28:01 It wasn't nothin' on it was just a demo.
    28:04 Ellie singing and Jeff playing.
    28:07 So it was a demo, so you really couldn't feel what it was all about.
    28:10 But once I heard the song,
    28:12 I said, "Wow, this is great."
    28:14 I thought it from the time I heard it,
    28:17 and I really heard it good before I recorded it.
    28:19 I thought it was going to be a great song.
    28:21 Yeah. I think the rumor out there,
    28:24 was that Ronnie was going to sing that one initially,
    28:26 but she couldn't bring it quite the way you could or is that just-
    28:29 I don't know where that came from.
    28:30 I have no idea.
    28:32 I didn't know that until I started hearing people ask me that question,
    28:36 "Wasn't this song written for Ronnie?"
    28:38 Yeah.
    28:38 I don't know maybe it was,
    28:40 but I listened to it on the telephone and we went in and recorded it so.
    28:46 Right.
    28:46 I don't know unless they said they were going to write a song for her, and that was it.
    28:51 But that's the only way can figure that started.
    28:55 'Cause I never heard it from Phil or heard it from Ellie or Jeff.
    28:59 Right. It's the danger of that Wikipedia website.
    29:02 That's right. [LAUGHTER]
    29:05 A lot of that stuff is,
    29:06 and I even tried to correct stuff on it
    29:08 but people are going to believe what they want to believe,
    29:11 and I said, "Listen, let them write what they want to write.
    29:14 Let people believe it,
    29:15 It ain't hurting me." [LAUGHTER]
  2. ^ "Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)".
  3. ^ "Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)".
  4. ^ Greene, Andy. "The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  5. ^ "Darlene Love Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Chart History".
  6. ^ "God save the Queen – she's on YouTube!". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  7. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com.
  8. ^ Scoop, T. V. "Scoop: Upcoming Guests on THE VIEW, 12/10-12/14 on ABC". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  9. ^ "Mariah Carey "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"". GRAMMY.com. 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  10. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 20185152 into search. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  11. ^ "Official IFPI Charts – Digital Singles Chart (International) – Week: 52/2018". IFPI Greece. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  12. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Mariah Carey – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Mariah Carey – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  15. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 20185152 into search. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  16. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker – Vecka 52, 28 december 2018". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  18. ^ "Mariah Carey Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  19. ^ "Holiday Songs: Week of January, 2019". Billboard. January 5, 2019. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  20. ^ "American album certifications – Mariah Carey – Christmas". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 4, 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit