At this point, who hasn't covered the Phil Spector co-written classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"? Mariah Carey sang it on her 1994 Merry Christmas album, U2 on the 1987 Christmas compilation A Very Special Christmas. Original singer Darlene Love performs the tune every year on "The Late Show with David Letterman;" even Smash Mouth has their own, no doubt terrible, version.
But my favorite version is from 2004's Maybe This Christmas Tree--check out the awesome cover by Shag up in the corner--by Death Cab for Cutie, just before they hit it big with their major label debut Plans and "Soul Meets Body." It's not necessarily "cool" to like Death Cab these days, given their appropriation by the masses and teenage girls--especially for us that have been fans pre-The Photo Album--but I still fall for Ben Gibbard and his high-pitched, adorably nerdy charms every time.
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Yes, that video isn't much to look at, but the song is still great. Their take is faithful to the original while retaining their own distinct Death Cab sound, and it's for sure the most earnest entry into the Musical Advent Calendar thus far.
Death Cab for Cutie are playing at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City this weekend as part of KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas night 2; part of a stellar line-up along with The Cure, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand, Paramore and Vampire Weekend.