Hello, this is Phil Spector.
It is so difficult at this time to learn that my performance of “Silent Night”--more specifically, the lengthy and self-serving monologue I deliver at the tail-end of my Christmas Gift for You album, while an angelic choir sings softly in the background—is the most frequently skipped track on streaming music platforms during the month of December. Something about my voice—which has been variously described as “high-pitched”, “nervous”, “quivering”, and “menacing”—combined with my unfortunate reputation as a murderous sociopath seems to leave listeners cold. Rumors of an “alternate take” that allegedly lasts just north of the five-minute mark and features my repeated use of the word “cocksucker” haven’t helped matters.
But all that’s out of my hands. I can’t be faulted if modern audiences struggle to separate the packaging from the gift. All I ever wanted to do was to bring something new and different to the music of Christmas. By any metric, I succeeded wildly; I earned my victory lap. And yet, the true measure of success isn’t the finished product, the realized vision, or the gold record; it’s the enemies you make along the way. So as you spend this holiday season among those who are most important to you, don’t forget to show gratitude for the ones you can’t forgive. Thank the father who left you and the mother who blamed you. Thank the wives you couldn’t love, and the husbands you were afraid to love. Thank the children who weaken you and the lovers who sicken you. Thank your rivals for their bruised egos and your idols for their obsolescence. All the shitheads, shlock merchants, and short-armed fatties littered in your wake paid for the home you live in, the bleeding cuts of meat you feed to your wolfhounds, and the set of fancy new drum heads stretched tight over glistening mahogany. And though the calendar you’ve nailed to the wall may be screaming out summer, remember that there is only ever an endless blizzard inside the empty, echoing room where you sit, hunched on a stool, a mallet in each clenched fist, pummeling that snare, over and over, hour after hour, until it kicks like gunfire.