Darlene Love vs U2 vs Anberlin
By Sam Devotta |
December 11, 2015 at 1:00 PM
â€œChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)â€ Writers: Jeff Barry, Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich Original Release Date: November 22, 1963
If youâ€™re looking for a Christmas song to croon to an absent paramour this holiday season, look no further than â€œChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)â€.
Originally sung by Darlene Love in 1963, Rolling Stone once referred to it as the Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Song. While itâ€™s not my personal favorite, it remains a classic for its catchy lyrics, old-timey charm, and, of course, Loveâ€™s powerful and emotional vocals.
Recorded during a pre-show soundcheck in 1987, it has since become one of the most well-known Christmas covers. Bonoâ€™s iconic voice is so full of longing, he makes you really believe that heâ€™s heartbroken over his missing love, and the â€œohsâ€ and â€œyeahsâ€ scattered throughout make it sound like a classic U2 song. And, like a seal of approval, Darlene Love herself provided backing vocals! Â
A couple of years ago, I discovered the Anberlin cover. Though itâ€™s more â€œelectronicâ€ (the YouTube comments section is full of cries of â€œauto-tune!â€) than the U2 version, Anberlin brought their own alternative rock vibe to the song and itâ€™s oddly soothing to hear Stephen Christian singing a beloved festive song. The only weird part is the unexpected guitar solo in the outro, which doesnâ€™t really fit with the rest of the song.
Maybe Iâ€™m still sore that they canceled their last ever show in Toronto because of a snowstorm, but the Anberlin cover gives me the feels. Nevertheless, Darlene Love has a powerful voice, and you canâ€™t deny the charm of those chiming bells ringing her in.