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Morning Song – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

December 8, 2016

When reviewing Bruce Springsteen’s breakthrough Born To Run album for Rolling Stone, music critic Greil Marcus famously called it “…a magnificent album that pays off on every bet ever placed on him — a ’57 Chevy running on melted down Crystals records that shuts down every claim that has been made“. (Emphasis added.)

You can hear where that fuel came from in The Crystals’ high-octane version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (which Springsteen and the E Street Band basically lifted wholesale—from the spoken word introduction, to the glockenspiel, to the rolling thunder drums, to the syncopated chorus, to the full-throated saxophone…basically, the entire Spectorian “Wall Of Sound”—for their own live performance, released a decade and a half later).

The Crystals also were the first to reshape the melody of the chorus from the original Harry Reser-Tom Stack recording, even further endearing themselves (if such were possible) to devotees of this little blog’s First Rule Of Cover Songs*.

 

*You’ve got to bring something new to it.

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