I’ve worked in record shops on and off at Christmas for about 20 years, either helping out my husband or just getting a casual job to get a bit of extra money.
I’ve worked in specialist shops, I’ve worked in big chains. In Sydney, in London, in San Francisco. My husband’s shop is one of the last independent stores in Australia and I’ve worked there too.
There is a link between all of these different stores at Christmas and that is one album. In my experience, it is the most popular Christmas album of all time.
No, it’s not Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. Or even the Elvis Christmas Album.
It is THE PHIL SPECTOR CHRISTMAS ALBUM.
It’s got tracks by The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love, Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans and to me provides such a groovy, stylish rendering of Christmas classics that it is irresistible.
I used to be a big Phil Spector fan. He was a legendary music producer responsible for the revolutionary Wall of Sound. He produced hit after hit after hit. Who doesn’t love Be My Baby and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ?
But I went off him a bit when I found out he had murdered someone. For a few years there I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the album but it continued to sell and sell and sell.
And I discovered that I missed listening to it. So I decided not to think about Phil Spector’s personal life and his cruelty and weirdness and listen instead to the joy and genius in the music.
And guess what? It’s still there.
So for your listening pleasure – the bearded man is coming to town….