20th September 1978 - Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ
posted by stefaantje007
Isn't it weird how Bruce's arrangement of this song is the default version that everybody does now? I heard Little Richard do it recently and he was doing the Bruce version. And I've heard a bunch of others as well. As I remember it, it was a thing they just released to radio stations, originally. I just searched Amazon and it's on this Now That's What I Call Christmas! Compilation. You can also buy it at the iTunes store.
I mean, I like it, but it's got very little to do with the version I used to hear and sing as a child. That one had a totally different melody and phrasing on the chorus. And on the verse, for that matter. Bruce kind of just stripped the melody and the vocal timing right out of it and totally Brucified it. But somehow people decided that's the way they're gonna do it now.
Update: commenter bjimba says: "Bruce didn't invent this arrangement, Phil Spector did. Listen to the Crystals' version of "Santa Claus is coming to town" on the ubiquitous Phil Spector Christmas Gift to You / Phil Spector's Christmas Album / god knows what other titles they've come up with for the same collection. Mind you, the E Street Band definitely put their own stamp on the arrangement, and it's probably where most people have heard it. But give Spector his due."