Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Chess Records: Love For Christmas

Because the soul group the Gems only produced regional hits for Chess Records, they are often overlooked in the history of the genre. One notable aspect of the Gems is that their lead singer was Minnie Riperton. Riperton later rose to fame in 1975 with the #1 hit single “Lovin’ You.” At the time she joined the all-girl group, Riperton served as the receptionist at Chess.

Written by producer Billy Davis, “Love for Christmas” was released for Christmas 1964, and like the band’s other singles, it failed to gain any national recognition. Arranger Phil Wright borrowed generously from the Motown sound for this single. I particularly like the tubular bells used throughout the song, but featured prominently during its intro.

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