Sunday, December 25th, 2011
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
Slow Club, Death Cab For Cutie, The Raveonettes, and Arab Strap cover Darlene Love
WikipediaGood: the holiday season is just lousy with cover versions. Bad: they’ve all been posted by every blog under the mistletoe ad nauseum. So while in past years I’ve done mini-omnibus holiday mixes – 2010 and 2008 are still up – this year I’ll just focus on one song, Darlene Love’s most famous contribution to the classic Phil Spector-assembled A Christmas Gift To You, and four diverse covers of it.
Slow Club do the most faithful version of it, thanks to Rebecca Taylor’s soulful vocals and the Spector-ish production. It’s taken from last year’s Christmas, Thanks For Nothing EP and also last year’s Christmas covers post, but is topical because the band released their second album Paradise this year and will be bringing it on tour through North America this Winter; they’re at The Rivoli on February 19.
Death Cab For Cutie took a swing at the tune for the 2004 Maybe This Christmas Tree compilation and, basically, it sounds like Death Cab – for good or for bad. They also released a new record this year in Codes & Keys.
The Raveonettes turn their synths up to 10 in reinterpreting the song as the leadoff track of their 2008 Wishing You A Rave Christmas seasonal EP. They put out their fifth studio album in Raven In The Grave back in the Spring and their Rarities/B-Sides compilation just a couple of weeks ago.
Arab Strap split up back in 2006, so this version recorded for BBC Radio 1’s Evening Session – featuring Lauren Laverne of Kenickie on vocals – must date from before then, but I don’t know exactly when, sorry. In any case, Maclolm Middleton and Aidan Moffatt unexpectedly got back together this year, though not under the Arab Strap name, to record a Slow Club cover of all things. Then they got back together under the Arab Strap name for a one-off show in November. Could more be coming? Why not?
Darlene Love also had an eventful 2011, what with being inducted into the Rock’N'Roll Hall Of Fame this Spring. Phil Spector’s appeal to overturn his murder conviction was denied this Summer and he remains in prison for murder. His year has been less good than the others in this post.
MP3: Slow Club – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
MP3: Death Cab For Cutie – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
MP3: The Raveonettes – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
MP3: Arab Strap – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
Stream: Darlene Love – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”