Tag Archives: 1963

Another year, another spin

Aaaah. The familiar sound of Spector’s yuletide classic has emanated at my home today,.. and as you can see by way of the PSI reissue in stereo. I almost prefer this version over the regular mono version.


Anyways, if you’ve only come onboard the good ship Cue Castanets in recent months you may not have read last December’s lengthy post on Spector’s Christmas album and how its shadow still looms large over today’s holiday music. The post was one of the earliest ones on the blog and can be read here:


Suffice to say, each December brings forth yet another batch of newly released Christmas tunes whose sound is inspired by what Spector, his Philles roster and the Wrecking Crew so lovingly created in Gold Star in the summer of ’63. Some of these new tunes are blatant and often spot-on Wall of Sound homages, others may be a bit farther removed but still share a sound-wise kinship with the warm spirit of ‘A Christmas Gift for You.’

I wish I could find an online video of ‘White December’ by Kylie Minougue off her new Christmas album because this nice track falls into the former category of new Christmas songs that try to mirror Spector’s grandiose take on the Holiday season. No video on youtube yet but give it a listen via Spotify, Amazon or other sites online. It’s a keeper!


In terms of the latter category – songs that don’t appear to be ‘Spector does Christmas’ homages at first listen – I’ll throw in a new song by Peter Andre into the pile. Peter Andre? The guy who had that cheesy ‘white guy sings reggae’ hit ‘Mysterious Girl’ in the late 90s? Yep. That guy. Never thought I’d actually like something from him, but I have to admit that this one is pretty good, – and has enough saxophone and retro flourishes in the mix for me to lump it together with other Christmas songs of recent that aren’t too far removed from the sound on the Spector Christmas album.

If you have any recommendations of new Christmas songs you’ve discovered that might interest me and those who follow the blog, then please,… bring them to the table via the comment section to this post.

That iconic beat

Picking up on the latest post about the use of ‘Be my Baby’ in the Portuguese movie Tabu, here’s a little bit about the iconic beat of what is perhaps the most classy of Spector’s releases.

US rock critic Dave Marsh once pointedly described ‘Be my Baby’ as Spector ‘building a rock’n’roll cathedral’ around Ronnie’s voice – and it certainly is a fantastic production. None the least due to it’s catchy drum beat – ‘bum-ba-bum-BOOM!’ A beat so distinctive, it’s been copied over and over ever since.


Looking back, how did Spector himself feel about this iconic beat and the production of the song? For some answers to this question, head on over to the blog of Gavin Edwards, who works as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. Turns out he received some personal recollections from the former Tycoon of Teen in 2004 about the recording of ‘Be my Baby.’



Rare Ronettes Clip

With the words of Dick Clark, here’s some stellar ‘Native American music’ for you.

I was recently alerted to this rare 1963 American Bandstand lip-sync performance by our favourite trio. Very cool! I’d never seen this clip before. As usual, Ronnie steals the show,… for me though, Nedra has always been the most gorgeous, hip-swingin’ Ronette. ;-)

Let’s hope more performances like this one will emerge over time.