CSOTD 12/26/2015: Lost on E Street

I don’t believe that the Christmas season should end on December 25. Unfortunately, radio stations do, as on December 26, most of those that switched to a holiday format drag out the same old stuff they were playing in early to mid November. Well, I grew up at a time when the 12 Days of Christmas began, not ended, on Christmas Day.  I will continue to post songs of holiday cheer until December 31, as sort of a compromise between today’s here-today, gone-tomorrow attitude and the traditional end of the Christmas season on January 6.

My Christmas Song of the Day for December 26 is Darlene Love’s other great holiday song, one that receives a fraction of the attention given to her undeniable classic, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

Lyrically, it mentions some of the sights of the holidays in New York, and it also name-drops “Baby Please Come Home,” which it stylistically resembles. But if that were all, it might not have been as great as it became.

An all-star cast helped Love on her 1992 single “All Alone on Christmas,” which was one of the featured tracks in the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. “Miami Steve” Van Zandt wrote the song, and he assembled a stellar group of musicians to help approximate Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” production technique.  The recording included pretty much the entire E Street Band, which was then on hiatus from Bruce Springsteen: Van Zandt, Danny Federici, Garry Tallent, Max Weinberg, Clarence Clemons, and even Springsteen’s wife Patti Scialfa. The Miami Horns, a regular fixture of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes albums, also joined in.

“All Alone on Christmas” was one of two singles released from the Home Alone 2 soundtrack in 1992. (The other was Alan Jackson’s version of “A Holly Jolly Christmas.”)  I remember it getting a lot of airplay during that holiday season, even more than the songs from the Special Olympics benefit CD A Very Special Christmas 2, which came out the same year. It got to #83 on the Hot 100 charts; in 1992, that was still a respectable performance for a Christmas song.

Because there was no 45 in the United States, only a cassette single, I bought the full Home Alone 2 CD just to get Darlene Love’s awesome song. And here it is, for your day-after enjoyment.



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