Happy Holidays! Since it’s the first year of my blog, and since it’s the last year for my Annual Holiday Show on my little 20-year-old 80s radio program, STUCK IN THE 80s (on WMPG community radio in Portland, Maine), I wanted to present to you THE 31 DAYS OF 80s XMAS SONGS, or, 31 of my favorite 80s holiday musical treats.
For Day 25 of THE 31 DAYS OF 80s XMAS SONGS is one more gem from the 1987 benefit Xmas album, A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS – U2’s cover of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
The original version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” dates back to November 1963, and a version produced and co-written by Phil Spector, and sung by Darlene Love. It was intended for Ronnie Spector, but Darlene Love ended up singing the song instead. (Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector would team up on 1992’s A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS 2 for a cover of Brenda Lee’s 1958 holiday classic, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”). Between 1986 and 2014, Darlene Love performed the song 28 times on TV for David Letterman, first on his Late Night NBC show, and then on his Late Show on CBS.
A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS producer and then some, Jimmy Iovine, flew to Glasgow, Scotland, to record U2’s cover of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” during a soundcheck. Darlene Love contributed backing vocals on the song she made famous 24 years before.
Since 1987, there have been many covers released of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” including covers from Joey Ramone, Mariah Carey, Jon Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, Death Cab For Cutie, Raveonettes and Cher (who was one of the backing vocalists on the original 1963 version), but it’s the U2 version that has resonated with me this time of year for nearly 30 years…