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Darlene Love – “Greatest Vocal Performances”

Singer Darlene Love has lent her voice to literally hundreds (and possibly thousands) of recordings over the years.  We’ve assembled a list of some of her “Greatest Hits”:

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love – One of Darlene’s greatest moments.  A stone-cold holiday classic from Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift to You.  You can close your eyes and feel the snow falling on you.

“He’s a Rebel” – credited to the Crystals, but it’s actually Darlene on lead vocals.  Her first #1 hit.

“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah – Bob B. Soxx & the Blue JeansDarlene sings on this Disney classic turned inside-out.  Extra points for Billy Strange’s guitar solo that sounds like it’s coming from another planet.

“(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” – Darlene Love – One of the few Spector tracks to actually sport Miss D’s name.  Darlene reaches back to her days in the gospel choir for a gutty performance.  Imagine her preaching to the congregation about her good news.

“The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)” – Betty EverettDarlene and the Blossoms do the question-asking, like “Is it in his eyes”?  sharing the lead vocalis with Betty.  The vocal ascending that they do when Betty sings “Kiss him / and squeeze him tight” will send shivers.

“Poor Side of Town” – Johnny Rivers Darlene & the Blossoms show off their gentler side as they echo Johnny’s verses with sweet sophistication.

“The Right Time” – Bobby DarinDarlene duets with Bobby on this under-appreciated cut from a lost Darin LP called Bobby Darin Sings Ray Charles

“Brown-Eyed Woman” – Bill Medley – The deep-voiced half of the Righteous Brothers testifies his love for Darlene, while she and her sisters turn up the heat.

“Basketball Jones – Cheech and Chong – Showing that she truly is one of the most versatile of vocalists, Darlene lends her talents to C&C’s parody of the Brighter Side of Darkness “Love Jones.”