Sony, EMI to release Spector catalog

'Christmas Gift' due out Oct. 27

Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music Publishing have inked a licensing pact to release the catalog of Phil Spector’s ’60s imprint Philles Records.

First title out under the agreement will be “A Christmas Gift to You,” which will arrive on CD via Sony Legacy on Oct. 27. It will also be available digitally.

Spector-produced 1963 holiday perennial features traditional songs and ’60s-penned Yule numbers performed by the Ronettes, the Crystals, Darlene Love, and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, and concludes with a seasonal salutation from Spector. Title reached No. 6 on the charts in 1972 when reissued by the Beatles’ Apple Records.

Christmas release will be succeeded by Legacy compilations, including best-of collections and new packages of studio rarities featuring Spector’s trademark “Wall of Sound” productions. Physical releases will include vinyl LPs and 7-inch singles.

Philles, founded in 1961 by Spector and music executive Lester Sill, racked up an impressive run of 18 extravagantly produced top 40 hits — including the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and the Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel” — before closing its doors in 1967.

Spector is currently serving a California prison term of at least 19 years following his April conviction for the 2003 shooting death at his Alhambra home of actress Lana Clarkson.

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