Darlene Love says U2’s cover of her Christmas classic is best around

Darlene Love’s classic tune Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) has spurred numerous covers over the years, but to the singer herself, only one stands above the rest, she recently revealed.

Speaking on the podcast Behind the Table, Love, 82, said U2’s rendition of her hit Christmas song is the best cover.

“I have a connection with U2 and the song, because U2 wanted me to do all the background parts – not me and some people,” Love said of the Bono-led cover recorded in 1987 24 years after her 1963 original. “I did all the background parts. We went in and we did the song.”

Love, the lead singer of the girl group the Blossoms, said she appreciated how U2 did not simply imitate her original to pay tribute to it but instead went for a distinct feel.

“It has a special meaning to me because it’s totally different from what everybody else did,” Love added. “It was a U2 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). That’s what made it so great.”

As the Root website noted after Love’s revelation to Behind the Table, the competition to be her favorite cover of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) was crowded.

Mariah Carey and Leona Lewis each have well-regarded covers of the song. Other artists to cover it include Michael Bublé, Foo Fighters, Jon Bon Jovi and Cher, who sang background vocals on Love’s original version.

Jeff Berry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector wrote Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) for Love. When it was first released as a single, it was not all that successful.

But it has since gone on to become a Christmas-season standard. Annually from 1986 to 2014, Love sang her classic on the last pre-Christmas episode of David Letterman’s Late Show, except for once when there was a writer’s strike.

ABC’s The View picked up the tradition in 2015. The Behind the Table podcast where Love crowned U2’s cover as her favorite is a podcast associated with The View.

On the podcast, Love also explained how the pace of the Christmas holidays at her household had slowed now that her children are grown.

“After your kids grow up, they want to go and have Christmas with their friends,” Love said. “You know, after you sweat and toil all day for the food, they’ll come by the house and say, ‘Hey, mom.’ But I enjoy when my kids come by – it’s always a lot of fun.

“And it’s my busy time, so it’s not like they have to stay – they can come by and come back tomorrow and then the next day or whatever. It means a lot to me because of family.”

The host suggested that Love’s Christmases sounded as busy as they are for Santa Claus.

“I don’t have to deliver the presents – that’s one thing,” Love said. “That’s Santa’s job.”

Ramon Antonio Vargas 

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