"The Phil Spector Christmas Album," the producer's 1963 collection featuring such artists as Darlene Love, the Ronettes, the Crystals and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, has long been rock 'n' roll's yuletide monument.
Now, 24 years later, record producer Jimmy Iovine is preparing an album that aims to give Spector a run for his money, at least when it comes to star power. Among the participants: U2, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Whitney Houston.
Proceeds from the project, which will be officially announced next month, will go to the Special Olympics. That charity connection helped Iovine convince half a dozen record labels to loan out their biggest artists (though one major label reportedly balked until the last minute).
"A Very Special Christmas" will be released this fall on Special Olympics Records (distributed by A&M). For the LP, Iovine recruited most of the artists with whom he's worked over the last few years, as well as several with whom he's never worked, and asked each to record his/her favorite Christmas song.