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    Darlene Love on Her 60-Year Friendship With Cher, New ‘Christmas' Duet

    From RollingStone.com-

    Earlier this year, Darlene Love picked up the phone and heard a voice on the other end she didn’t quite recognize at first. “Doll, hi!” she heard. “This is Cher.” Love asked her to repeat who was calling. “Cher, bitch!”

    She was calling to see if Love would sing “Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]” with her on her upcoming holiday album Christmas, revisiting a tune they sang together exactly 60 years ago on A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector, one of the greatest Christmas albums in music history.


    Love said yes, and their duet appears on Cher’s Christmas, out next week. It’s the latest chapter in a friendship that goes back more than half a century. The two singers got a chance to catch up recently when Love flew in to L.A. for a listening party that Cher hosted. “We recorded the song virtually, so I hadn’t actually seen her yet,” Love says. “I said, ‘Do you want me to make a reservation at a hotel?’ She said, ‘Hotel? You’re going to stay here with me!’ It was so funny. The driver they sent to pick my husband and I up at the airport pulled up to her house and went, ‘Wow, this is a beautiful hotel.’ The two of us had so much fun that night. We were like, ‘Let’s gossip a while.'”


    They first met in 1962, when Love was working alongside Phil Spector to craft hits like “He’s a Rebel” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” which were credited to other artists at the time of their release despite her signature lead vocals. “Sonny Bono was working for Spector at that time,” says Love. “He was one of those guys that would go get whatever Phil needed. We used to call him ‘The Gopher.’ And then one time, he brought this girl to the session. She was very quiet, very humble, very shy. I said, ‘Sonny, who is that?’ He goes, ‘This is Cher. This is my new girlfriend.’ She was just 17 years old.”

    Later that year, Spector brought Love, the Ronettes, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, and the Crystals together to record A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector. When Love was called in to lay down a lead vocal on “Christmas [Baby Please Come Home],” which Spector wrote with Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, she was surprised to see Cher recording background vocals. “Phil said to Sonny, ‘Didn’t you tell me your girl can sing?'” recalls Love. “He said, ‘Yes, she can sing.’ And before I even got there, she was putting her voice on it.”

    Six decades later, Love still has a vivid image in her head of Spector repeatedly telling Cher to back away from the mic and sing in a softer voice. “Her voice was so strong and so heavy,” says Love. “Phil didn’t realize, ‘This is a 17-year-old girl that’s never been in a recording studio before. She’s never recorded. She doesn’t know how to sing background.’ But this is how she started singing.”

    Cher and Love were joined on the song by an incredible group of musicians that included pianist Leon Russell, saxophonist Steve Douglas, drummer Hal Blaine, and guitarist Barney Kessel. “I think I only sang my vocal part about 10 times,” says Love. “Leon Russell was just a master on the keys. He added stuff to that song that made it even better. Everyone in the room contributed something to it. When it was done, all of us, including the choir, just kind of looked at each other. We were like, ‘What did we just do?'”


    They’d created a classic pop song, destined to be covered by everyone from U2 to Mariah Carey, Joey Ramone, Michael Bublé, Foo Fighters, and countless others. But it took a little while to catch on, since A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector had the misfortune of landing in record stores on on Nov. 22, 1963, the same day President Kennedy was assassinated.


    “I was in my kitchen that morning ironing a blouse,” says Love. “The TV was on in the living room, and I couldn’t hear it well. I said to myself, ‘What did they say? Did they say JFK just got shot? Nah. They couldn’t have said that.’ Then they really started talking about it and showing pictures. I put the ironing down and sat frozen in front of the television set. They kept playing it over and over, and I kept getting more and more depressed. I knew it wasn’t going to be a great Christmas.”

    An attempt was made to repromote the Christmas album a year later, when the country was in a more festive mode, but by then it was the peak of Beatlemania and the beginning of a very rough time for acts like Darlene Love and the Ronettes. Sonny and Cher had branded themselves as Caesar and Cleo and were trying to make it as a duo. “I bumped into them on Shindig!, a television show I was doing,” says Love. “I went, ‘What’s happening?’ And from there, it just went to glory.”

    Love’s own career hit some bumpy times in the Seventies and Eighties, but Cher never forgot her old friend. In 1989, she hired Love as a background singer on her Hearts of Stone world tour. “I wasn’t just a background singer,” Love says. “I was Cher’s friend. And whenever we got together over the past few years, we’d sit down for an hour or so just to reminiscence. We have a unique relationship. We’re buddies.”

    That’s why Love didn’t hesitate earlier this year when Cher asked her to contribute to her new recording of “Christmas [Baby Please Come Home].” The call came in July, when Cher’s album — which also features guests spots by Stevie Wonder, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Bublé, and Tyga — was practically done. Love recorded her parts in a New York studio while Cher was in Los Angeles.

    “The whole thing only took an hour,” says Love. “They legitimately just wanted me to sing it the way I sing it when I perform it live, which is amazing. We got it in just four takes. They said, ‘That’s it. We got what we want.’ And I had no idea what they were going to do with it until I heard the final product, but we sing the verses together in unison. I was really surprised by how wonderful it turned out.”

    Love is in remarkable shape for 82, due in part to her daily kickboxing class and decision to quit cigarettes 25 years ago, but she’s booking fewer Christmas shows than she has in years past. This year, she has only seven on the books. She’ll also be performing “Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]” on The View for the eighth year in a row, a tradition established back in the Eighties on David Letterman.
    In the meantime, she’s looking forward to hitting the road. “I want everyone to have a good time, forget about what’s happening in their lives, and just have fun,” she says. “That’s the whole idea. When it becomes work, that’s when I’ll retire.”

  2. #2
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    2 major corrections. The original album, which I have, is titled "A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records" & my brother bought it on his birthday, Saturday, November 16th, 1963 at Burdines Dept. Store in Miami.

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    I know what you mean, motony. It bugs me every time somebody miscredits the original title as "From PhIl Spector" instead of the correct original, "From Philles Records". I'm looking forward to hearing Darlene's & Cher's new version, although it will never replace nor equal the Philles original. I could bet money on it!
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 10-17-2023 at 04:18 AM.

  4. #4
    Very much looking forward to Cher's new Christmas album!

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    I'm a huge Cher fan, but I'm disappointed in the track listing. No spiritual/religious Christmas songs or traditional Carols; all secular and what appears to be several new songs. I would have loved to hear Cher's commanding voice on some real Christmas songs, would love hearing her renditions of "Silent Night", "O Little Town of Bethlehem," or "We Three Kings," the latter of which I think would suit her style perfectly [[especially as she sometimes takes the "male" role in a song like in "You Better Sit Down Kids").

    The thing about Cher's recording career which has always bothered me is that she seems to underrate her own talent and ability, by recording whatever someone tells her to record. More than once, after issuing great albums [[which admittedly didn't sell well) she reverted back to her silly "story-songs" like "Dark Lady" or "Pirate." I thought her Abba tribute album was a major disappointment full of pedestrian similar sounding arrangements. Likewise, the high energy dance album she released before that. I wish she'd give herself more credit and only record material truly worthy of her.

    I'll buy this because I love Cher but for her first Christmas album ever, I think they could have done much better.


    1 DJ Play a Christmas Song
    2 What Christmas Means to Me
    3 Run Rudolph Run
    4 Christmas [[Baby Please Come Home)
    5 Angels in the Snow
    6 Home
    7 Drop Top Sleigh Ride
    8 Please Come Home for Christmas
    9 I Like Christmas
    10 Christmas Ain't Christmas Without You
    11 Santa Baby
    12 Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart
    13 This Will Be Our Year

    "Drop Top Sleigh Ride"? "I Like Christmas"? Okay, sure I can see her doing "Santa Baby." But the track list kind of reminds me of the second, lesser known Beach Boys Christmas album, which IMHO should have stayed unreleased.
    Last edited by kenneth; 10-19-2023 at 11:39 AM.

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    wow i guess this is what you get when your latest boy toy--- whom you met at some silly fashion bash --- produces this obviously deeply felt project.








    so this is fake???:


    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-19-2023 at 02:19 PM.

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    answer yes its fake. scary stuff.


    and so music continues its dissension into pointlessness ....where computer noise is instrumentation , copying Marvin Gaye tunes is just your imagination, where folks who can't sing get auto toned as if .....and now they don't have to sing at all....

    [please, dirt bags , leave Donna Summer alone ...]
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-21-2023 at 01:14 PM.

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    @jack020,

    Thanks for the link! I can’t believe the album is up already!

    She sounds in great voice from the few snippets that I sampled so far.

    Thanks again!

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    there's a couple of promo pieces and each time Cher mentions being pressured over the years by her record label so this time she finally gave in.
    She needed to produce some new product .... you can't just spend the rest of your life screwing younger guys ! Come on Cher!

    She also boasts that she still has the voice of a "25 - year old girl"....
    well, yes .... a 25 year old girl that's using Auto tune :




    This one is more impressive all around including vocally, and was the direction she should've gone more towards imo :




    maybe she could've done a double header .... offering one featuring more substance and universal appeal .... and one for the twinks ....

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    @Boogie,

    Totally agree with both your comments above. That first track is absolute dreck. The second, much much better. Of course, "Please Come Home for Christmas" has a long legacy as a real Christmas classic, originally by Charles Brown, I believe.

    The auto-tune on the first track is just horrendous.

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    hey Kenneth I'm glad you weren't offended as a huge fan by my observations. Just calling them as I see them.


    Here's more :

    the duets on here are fakes: phone-ins......“Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]” is not a sentimental reuniting of these two talents to do something special by revisiting this history-rich song of theirs. Calling this a duet as if the two are singing with each other is fraud in my book.

    “The whole thing only took an hour,” says Love.


    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-24-2023 at 11:24 PM.

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    If auto-tune is not your thing, you will not be happy with the release of the Believe album as a 2CD !
    https://cher.store/products/believe-...nniversary-2cd



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    I guess the thing I don't get about auto-tune is why they think that leaving it sound so robotic and machine generated appeals to listeners. Does it? It seems counter-intuitive that if you're trying to overcome the gaps in a singer's voice that you let it sound so artificial. What's the point?

    It is nice to see some of Cher's albums get the Deluxe treatment though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    hey Kenneth I'm glad you weren't offended as a huge fan by my observations. Just calling them as I see them.
    Cher seemed laser-focused on her movie career which of course reached its zenith in her winning the Oscar for "Moonstruck." I think her recording career has had its ups and downs and could have benefited from a similar focus.

    That "DJ" song seems like it might have been written in 10 minutes. "Play me a Christmas song, so I can dance all night long?" It also has that same mechanized, muffled shuffling beat like so much dance music. It reminds me of some of the stuff Mary Wilson put out which I also found dull and ill-suited to her voice.

    The phoned-in "duet" doesn't bother me all that much, as it seems par for the course nowadays. I guess we could call them "duets on Zoom" or something!

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    kenneth The phoned-in "duet" doesn't bother me all that much, as it seems par for the course nowadays. I guess we could call them "duets on Zoom" or something!

    "ya I want to revisit that Christmas song we were on together 75 years ago and with us dueting it .... so just phone in your part when you've got a spare minute, ....but hey, we really do have to do lunch sometime OK ??"




  17. #17
    Darlene confirmed via a post dated August 1st, posted to her Facebook page, that she was heading to LA on the Thursday of that week, to record the duet with Cher. There was no 'phoning-in' or use of Zoom for that particular recording.

    https://www.facebook.com/10004454325...40aB7S9Ucbxw6v

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    but you're reading it wrong....she went there to finish the project ....as in attending a listening party as described in the RS article
    which also reads:

    Love recorded her parts in a New York studio while Cher was in Los Angeles {pre-occupied by her latest boy-toy and getting longer hair extensions in pale blue.}

    “The whole thing only took an hour,” says Love. {sounding exhausted} “They legitimately just wanted me to sing it the way I sing it when I perform it live, which is amazing.{uh there's another way to sing it other than live?} We got it in just four takes. {still sounding exhausted} They {they , not Cher who could care less !!!}said, ‘That’s it. We got what we want. {we , not Cher who could care less}’ And I had no idea what they {they , not Cher who could care less} were going to do with it { wow not the best sounding plan} until I heard the final product, {product being a suitable word} but we sing the verses together in unison {not really, but yes in a manufactured way.} I was really surprised by how wonderful it turned out.{ ...even though on her end, I think Cher's part had to be autotuned }”

    What would we expect Love to say ?? "It's a piece o' sh*t" hee haw !

    Not my idea of accomplishing something particularly special ... but lots of people must like fake stuff as there's plenty of it !!
    ..... {not in reference to 80% of Cher's body parts}
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-25-2023 at 06:44 PM.

  19. #19
    Thanks for clarifying that, Boogiedown. I hadn't read the article and missed that entirely. It's funny because when I heard their duet, I didn't care for it, and now this helps explain why. I like the first five tracks on the album, my favourites being the duet with Stevie Wonder and Angels in the Snow. The rest are sort of a mixed bag for me. Overall, it does come across to me as being a rushed project. I think it had the potential to be much better than what it ended up being. The autotune works on the dance tracks, but I cringe hearing her voice autotuned to death on "Santa Baby".

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    Cheers Carlo.
    It's easy to understand some confusion as Darlene's post is vague [intentionally?] and judging from the comments a lot of people think this is some real duet she's going off to do with Cher ...of which Darlene makes no effort to bring clarity.

    I read the RS article as Darlene [unintentionally?] revealing how pissed/ disappointed she was by the whole thing ....she goes on a bit too much about how little effort and time was put into it and how she didn't even know how it would be formulated. {oh and not to mention --- "where the hell is Cher?"}
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-26-2023 at 02:35 PM.

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    Well, I just finished listening to snippets from each track of Cher's new "Xmas" album. It's certainly a collection you can play all year long regardless of the season!

    I could understand Cher avoiding the sacred Christmas classics like "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night", but you'd think she could have at least thrown in a few secular Christmas chestnuts like "Jingle Bell Rock" or "I'll Be Home For Christmas" -- just to make it an official "Christmas" album.

    The new duet version of the Philles war-horse is okay, but I won't be racing out to buy it any time soon.

    Boogie, where did you hear that Darlene's participation turned out to be a disappointing recording session over the phone? The last I heard, Cher had told Darlene that she'd be staying over night with Cher at Cher's place in LA. It sounded like a fun plan that Darlene was excited about. Did Cher really cancel all of the fun get-together stuff once Darlene agreed to sing on the session? If she did, that's a pretty crappy way of treating Darlene.

    One thing is for sure -- there's only one definitive version of "Christmas [[Baby Please Come Home)", and that's Darlene's Philles original..
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 10-28-2023 at 05:05 AM.

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    Darlene has been posting a lot about the duet on her Facebook page. She even posted photos of she and Cher together, with the following caption:

    "I just returned home from a beautiful trip out to California for 3 days. I was invited by Cher to stay at her gorgeous home with my husband. We had such a wonderful time catching up, sharing delicious meals together prepared by her amazing chef and just relaxing and reminiscing about the good ole days. Cher also hosted a private VIP listening party for her Christmas album and we also did some press together too. We truly had a marvelous time!! You’re all gonna love this holiday album!"

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    Could it be said that Cher "used" Darlene Love, putting in as minimal an effort as possible to gain some perception of credence to her heartfelt Xmas project that her label demanded????

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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Darlene has been posting a lot about the duet on her Facebook page. She even posted photos of she and Cher together, with the following caption:

    "I just returned home from a beautiful trip out to California for 3 days. I was invited by Cher to stay at her gorgeous home with my husband. We had such a wonderful time catching up, sharing delicious meals together prepared by her amazing chef and just relaxing and reminiscing about the good ole days. Cher also hosted a private VIP listening party for her Christmas album and we also did some press together too. We truly had a marvelous time!! You’re all gonna love this holiday album!"
    I'm glad and relieved to hear that Cher embraced Darlene into her home, as promised. Ronnie, Darlene, and Cher remained tight throughout the years, albeit long distance. It does my heart good to know that those magnificent Philles sessions formed permanent friendships that have withstood the test of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Maybe she could've done a double header .... offering one featuring more substance and universal appeal .... and one for the twinks ....
    Hey Boogie, there actually ARE two versions of Cher's Christmas CD, but not in the way you think. I broke down and ordered my copy from Amazon. Today, I discovered that Amazon is making it available in two different covers -- a plain-jane one in which Cher is dressed down in bluejeans, and an Amazon exclusive beautiful cover in which Cher is wearing a stunning gown. Thankfully, without realizing it, I ordered the beautiful one which I now realize costs $3.00 more than the dressed-down bluejeans cover.

    Amazon's Exclusive Beautiful Cover
    https://a.co/d/f5jQNlC

    Bluejeans Cover
    https://a.co/d/1uLbsBf

    Amazon indicates that 5,000 copies of the bluejeans cover were sold in the past month. 4,000 of the beautiful gown cover have been sold. I can aleady sense the disappointment [[and anger) in people who bought their bluejean copy elsewhere, unaware of Amazon's beautiful exclusive offering.
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 10-30-2023 at 02:23 PM.

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    Gary,
    imagining you enjoying your festive homestead with some fresh Christmas tunes by a favorite wavering throughout adding to the ambience .....




    & you scored ! A special select pressing !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Gary,
    imagining you enjoying your festive homestead with some fresh Christmas tunes by a favorite wavering throughout adding to the ambience .....

    & you scored ! A special select pressing !
    You know me all too well, Boogie! It'll all start after Halloween!

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    two days and counting !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    two days and counting !!
    I hate to disappointment you, Buddy, but, as it turns out, I've been a bit tardy this year. I did, however, start lighting my Christmas lights this [[Saturday) afternoon. Better late than never, right!

    As we speak, I'm sipping an ice-cold Scotch On The Rocks while listening to my brand new copy of The Salsoul Orchestra's "Christmas Jollies" Expanded 3-CD box set which is an early gift from Santa! Did you know that in addition to the wonderful Salsoul "Christmas Medley" from the first "Christmas Jollies" LP, they took each song within the long Christmas Medley and released them as individual 45 singles? It sounds kinda crazy, I know, but they made it work! I love this reissued Christmas title more now than ever before!
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 11-19-2023 at 03:01 AM.

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    Gary you inspired me. I dug into the shed and am retrieving all my Christmas stuff. Time to trim the place and deck the halls ....


    Don't know about those extended cuts but I'm intrigued. Don't see them on youtube. What year are they from?? This year??

    I think a hot toddy is in order!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 11-22-2023 at 02:47 PM.

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    Cher and Darlene Love Reunite for ‘Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]’ at Tree Lighting


    From RollingStone.com-

    Days after Cher heralded the arrival of the holiday season with a performance alongside Santa Claus at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the icon made Christmas official by closing out the annual Rockefeller Center tree lighting with Darlene Love.
    Sixty years after Love first recorded the classic “Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]” — which, ironically, had Cher on backup vocals — the two singers reunited once again to re-record that song for Cher’s recent Christmas album. On Wednesday, the singers linked up onstage to give that rendition a live airing.

    In October, Love spoke to Rolling Stone and talked about recording both the old [1963] and new [2023] "Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]" and how the two singers formed a lifelong friendship following that original recording session together.

    “Sonny Bono was working for [Phil] Spector at that time,” Love said. “He was one of those guys that would go get whatever Phil needed. We used to call him ‘The Gopher.’ And then one time, he brought this girl to the session. She was very quiet, very humble, very shy. I said, ‘Sonny, who is that?’ He goes, ‘This is Cher. This is my new girlfriend.’ She was just 17 years old.”

    Love continued, “Phil didn’t realize, ‘This is a 17-year-old girl that’s never been in a recording studio before. She’s never recorded. She doesn’t know how to sing background.’ But this is how she started singing.”

    As for the new rendition, “The whole thing only took an hour,” Love said. “They legitimately just wanted me to sing it the way I sing it when I perform it live, which is amazing. We got it in just four takes. They said, ‘That’s it. We got what we want.’ And I had no idea what they were going to do with it until I heard the final product, but we sing the verses together in unison. I was really surprised by how wonderful it turned out.”




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    076. Darlene Love - Christmas [[Baby Please Come Home) [[Re Entry) in UK Top 100 [[07-December-2023)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Cher and Darlene Love Reunite for ‘Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]’ at Tree Lighting




    I have to admit witnessing this [ and especially seeing Darlene getting some reinvigorating limelight] does my heart good.

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