Neil Diamond: The Works

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That is, S & D, C or D, etc.

Saw bits & pieces of his _Behind the Music_ episode - such a nice boy, and such sparkly shirts! Remembered that, oh yeah, he wrote "I'm A Believer" (among other Monkee songs), and some other notable ditties. The idea behind _Beautiful Noise_ (a concept album about Neil's Tin Pan Alley days, produced by Robbie Robertson) sounds awfully intriguing. He has a NEW album out! And, damn it, if you're feeling down & depressed, just pretend that you ARE Neil Diamond, and SING! "Cracklin' Rose, get on board-ah!" (Make sure your "ah!"s don't veer into MES territory, though.) (And "America" is probably the best song to sing in such a situation - easy to make up lyrics to, as well.)

So, any thoughts?

David Raposa, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I am unashamed to say that I love Niel Diamond

JM, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

his early stuff on Bang! records - esp. "Do It" - is amazing. what's up with that "hot august night" album cover though? It's creeped me out for years.

fritz, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

If only the Meat Mistress were here to share her thought s on this issue.

Mike Hanley, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Obviously, I love Neil. "Cracklin' Rosie" is my favorite song of his. Some people prefer the Bang records proto-bubblegum Neil, and that stuff is fine, but I like the gems that are sprinkled all over his late-60s period, on albums like Velvet Gloves and Spit. I love Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show. I hear his new album is called Three Chord Opera, but you know, no matter how hard he tries to make a comeback, the fact is, his voice is downright scary.

I had the great privilege of seeing Neil in his spangly shirt prime in the mid-70s. That was my first concert.

Kerry, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Cracklin' ROSIE! Damn it, I keep on screwing that up.

By the way, the best SNL skit in recent memory has to be the Neil Diamond spoof, with Will Ferrell overacting/singing. Ah, if only I could remember some quotes...

David Raposa, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Was that the one where he was a racist? That was hilarious. Poor Neil.

My god, though - his voice now. If it were any lower, he'd be able to communicate with elephants.

Kerry, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

His perky sing-song anti-drug testimonial "The Pot Smokers Song" kicks ass. "La la la/Pot, pot gimme some pot/Forget what you are/You can be what you're not/Tough, tough the world is so tough/And when it gets harder/You can try stuff,uh uh". Interspersed with the real life horror stories of recovering addicts.

"Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" is righteous! Testify, Solitary Man! And I love Lulu's version of "The Boat That I Row".

I remember reading a review of Hot August Night in Rolling Stone when I was ten that said it looked like he was pretending to jerk off with a 12-inch cock or something like that. And so I was fascinated with that album cover for years after that. Gross.

Arthur, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm remembering the cover as weird too; isn't his mouth open in a strange way, and his hair is flying all over? And what is with that hand thing? Why would they choose this as the cover shot?

Sean, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

After looking at that photograph, the world no longer makes sense to me. Nothing in my knowledge of culture, psychology, or human behavior in general can explain why anyone would choose to put that photograph on an album cover.

I will now happily convert to the first religion whose cosmology can make sense of this.

Nitsuh, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I have a real fondness for Neil Diamond. His music reminds me of my childhood, for there was a long period when "Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits" was the only record in the house and we would listen to it every saturday evening.

'Sweet Caroline' - total classic. It makes my day when I'm at a wedding and the band play it. Other great Neil songs include 'Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show', 'Crackin' Rosie', 'I am, I Said' and so on.

The Dirty Vicar, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I hope you all noticed I put a link to that masturbation pic

Mike Hanley, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, that's a weird goddamn album cover.. but it illustrates the raw, unbridled passion the man exudes. "Shiloh" is my favorite... it sort of bums me out whenever I hear it. I saw a show a couple years ago called like "Camping with Neil" or something, where he rode around on a big Honda Goldwing and went fake-camping for the benefit of the cameras... he was clearly, visibly drunk... it was pretty cool.

Andy, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I've always found his fluff more entertaining than his lite radio peers. The original 12 Greatest Hits sounds great in a bar. Hot August Night is an enjoyable, epic live album that's always avaliable in the dollar bin. Did wonders with the most basic chord chord progressions in the 60s (I'm a Believer, Cherry, Cherry.) Good stuff that's even more fun when you toss in the 70s nostalgia (count me in as another kid who heard 12 Greatest Hits at home all the time.)

Mark, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Sorry, have to turn a fire hose on this love-fest by mentioning the utterly execrable 'Song Sung Blue'

dave q, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'd like to poo some more by mentioning "Heartlight". (That IS Diamond, yes?) But, hell, even Lennon & McCartney missed the bowl once in a while.

David Raposa, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

review of hot august night from rolling stone. written by lester bangs. *13* inches long.

and, yes, he sang "heartlight." but it was written by burt bacharach and carole bayer sager. did he write one good song with that woman? i would've divorced her too.

fred solinger, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

three years pass...
Revive in anticipation of the Rubin Sessions.

Mark (MarkR), Monday, 20 June 2005 13:29 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah brotherlove's travelling salvation show is fantastic.

piscesboy, Monday, 20 June 2005 13:37 (fourteen years ago) link

two years pass...

New album out on Tues. Europe tour soon. US tour later in summer.

I just realized that "Cracklin' Rosie" doesn't have a chorus. Or else it has three choruses. Where exactly do you draw the lines here? The muted "Oh I love my Rosie child" section renders the second verse immediately preceding it more chorus-like. Then the "Cracklin' rose, you're a store-bought woman" section builds up to what one would anticipate is the chorus. But the "Play it now, my baby" section in which it climaxes is too short to serve as a true chorus. Instead, it caps off the geyser and slams right back into the verses. Writing in sections - clear evidence that the man did many laps around the Brill Building. Brilliant! And such a clever twist on the "movin' on down the road, woman" mythos of rock.

Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 2 May 2008 22:29 (eleven years ago) link

New album NEEDS DRUMS.

etc, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 04:07 (eleven years ago) link

Nice piano, tho. One track reminded me of, uh, that Stephin Merritt/Bob Mould track "He Didn't".

etc, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 04:19 (eleven years ago) link

ok, this goes on the list of things to get. i love me some neil diamond.

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 07:55 (eleven years ago) link

so, yeah, his first US #1 album. anyone else heard this yet?

etc, Friday, 16 May 2008 04:29 (eleven years ago) link

at work tonight i made an eyepatch for the cardboard display we have of him. everybody said it looked great.

f. hazel, Friday, 16 May 2008 05:06 (eleven years ago) link

pic please

braveclub, Friday, 16 May 2008 09:48 (eleven years ago) link

f. hazel, Friday, 16 May 2008 17:56 (eleven years ago) link

then i thought he looked lonely so i added the deeply stoned squirrel from the enchanted display:

f. hazel, Friday, 16 May 2008 17:58 (eleven years ago) link

awesome! thanks

braveclub, Friday, 16 May 2008 17:59 (eleven years ago) link

A++! V.early 80s John Carpenter.

etc, Friday, 16 May 2008 21:40 (eleven years ago) link

nine months pass...

Picked up the reissue of Hot August Night out of the dollar bin the other day, and holy crap, it's amazing. Never thought I would say that about a Neil Diamond record, but there you go. Where do I go from here?

Vulgar Display of Flowers (J3ff T.), Sunday, 15 March 2009 23:22 (ten years ago) link

look for a copy of Play Me: The Complete Uni/MCA Studio Recordings; it is the complete studio work from the years around the recording of Hot August Nights. Though be warned - you started at the top of the heap.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 16 March 2009 00:44 (ten years ago) link

I've heard the thing he did with Rick Rubin, and I wasn't a big fan. Having now heard the man at his prime, I get the feeling that Rubin liked the part of Diamond's career that wasn't nearly as fun.

Kickstart My Heartwork (J3ff T.), Tuesday, 17 March 2009 00:39 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

The BBC are having a Diamond night, that started with a so shallow it was barely there hagiography narrated by Mark Radcliffe in his best 'when can I pick up the cheque?' manner, and Neil was very articulate but gave away nothing at all; but still, you couldn't but be impressed at a few things: one, how damn good he looks for someone born in 1941, and, two, how he seems to have lived a life pretty much untouched by scandal, by self- indulgence, or by much in the way of excess (except the shirts. So is that true? is he really clean as a whistle, dutiful father, tough but fair employer? or is there a more interesting story?

I once did follow spot for a run of shows he did: 10 nights, same set: I thought I'd hate it, but the band cooked - some American Studio dudes at the time (early '90s) - and his kind of gloop is a lot less offensive than sincere rock gloop.

sonofstan, Saturday, 13 November 2010 23:37 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

How did I not know that today saw the release of Neil Diamond - The Bang Years 1966-1968. Finally, all 23 of the recordings cleaned up and in glorious mono.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 16:47 (eight years ago) link


Tom D (Tom D.), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 16:48 (eight years ago) link

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 17:32 (eight years ago) link

maybe heresy on Neil's thread but the 1970 Elvis rocks Sweet Caroline. Dig the shirt & the moves.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 9 March 2011 07:13 (eight years ago) link

Ah, shit, Elvis was so on-the-button from 69-71 that even when he was phoning it in (as obviously in this clip) he buried everyone else.

clamwich (staggerlee), Friday, 11 March 2011 04:16 (eight years ago) link

By which I mean, Hot damn! Thanks.

clamwich (staggerlee), Friday, 11 March 2011 04:16 (eight years ago) link

yeah, he's pretty bored until he gets to the choruses when he starts moving and comes alive. Neil wrote a fantastic song but his versions now sound dull in comparison.

that's not my post, Friday, 11 March 2011 06:03 (eight years ago) link

six years pass...
four weeks pass...

Truly crappy medley from Tory light entertainer, Vince Hill, from sometime in the 70s - the transition from Song Sung Blue to Cracklin' Rosie obviously ended up on the cutting room floor.

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 11:08 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

What a catalog, and "Headed for the Future" didn't even chart.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 00:58 (one week ago) link

America rules you monster

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 14:14 (one week ago) link


TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 14:23 (one week ago) link

Can't find too much to argue about with the rankings, though I've never heard (of) this song "We".

Euripedes' Trousers (Tom D.), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 14:24 (one week ago) link

His "I'm a Believer" was not a single or didn't chart?

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 14:25 (one week ago) link

I think it was recorded after the Monkees version so not much hope of it being a hit - if it was a single at all.

Euripedes' Trousers (Tom D.), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 14:27 (one week ago) link

always liked "the Last Picasso" more than "Longfellow Serenade", America disagreed

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Wednesday, 14 August 2019 14:38 (one week ago) link

12-year-old me loved “Longfellow Serenade” (I notice you have it in both *Meh* and *Sound, Solid*, which makes sense, because together those rankings add up to *Good to Great*). As exuberant songs (about sex, though little did I know) go, I went straight from there to Johnny Bristol’s “Hang On In There Baby” and Gladys & The Pips’s “I Feel A Song”.

Also, “Beautiful Noise” was not a US hit?

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 14 August 2019 15:25 (one week ago) link

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