PHIL SPECTOR PRESENTS THE PHILLES ALBUM COLLECTION, with its seven CDs and 87 tracks, now far supercedes the 20-year old 1991 box set, Back To Mono (1958-1969) (ABKCO). The latter housed three compilation CDs, and a reissue of 1963’s A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector. In October 2009, the Philles catalog came to Sony Music as the result of a licensing agreement with EMI Music Publishing. Not long after, a newly-remastered version of A Christmas Gift for You found a permanent home in the new Phil Spector Records/Legacy catalog.
Back to Mono (1958-1969) is a box set four-disc compilation of the recorded work of record producer Phil Spector, during the decade of the 1960s, released 1991, ABKCO 7118-2. The first track, "To Know Him Is To Love Him," presents the only exception as it was released in 1958, featuring Spector as performer as well, as part of the group The Teddy Bears. Initially a vinyl album-sized package, the box contained a booklet with photographs, complete song lyrics, discographical information, and a reproduction of the essay on Spector by Tom Wolfe, "The First Tycoon of Teen."
Here Nashville's cast nails a collection of holiday classics for a real-world LP. The album moves with the sonic diversity of contemporary country radio, from string-filled ballads to—in the case of "Christmas Coming Home"—a Bo Diddley-esque syncopated stomp. Sam Palladio's gently sung take on Joni Mitchell's "River" is quietly moving, and Aubrey Peeples' saucy "Merry Christmas Baby" breaks the boundaries of country altogether, exaggerating the horn riffs and guitar flourishes of old-school rock ‘n’ roll.