Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

NEIL DIAMOND

The Bang Years 1966-1968

2011-04-01

Nick's Picks: 01 Solitary Man, 03 Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon, 04 Kentucky Woman, 08 Red, Red Wine, 23 Shilo

Review of The Bang Years 1966-1968 by Neil Diamond: What can I say about Neil Diamond? Like Bob Seger, he has been true to his genre. And like Bob Seger, he has written almost all of the songs he plays/records. And this cd is no different. As a matter of fact, I don't even know why the five songs he didn't write appear on this cd. They certainly weren't needed, and I don't think their inclusion will help sales of the cd – on the contrary, I think they will impair sales. The songs to which I am referring are:

11 New Orleans (Frank Guida & Joseph Roster) 12 Monday, Monday (John Phillips) 13 Red Rubber Ball (Paul Simon) 15 La Bamba (Richie Valens) 21 Hanky Panky (Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich)

The songs themselves have proven to be durable standards – they just don't seem to fit in with the very unique style of Neil Diamond. Like Judy Collins, Neil Diamond is good enough to keep cranking out hits year after year, and these songs represent examples of his earliest work. They are re-mastered in the original mono (or in my generations vernacular, “hifi”) so they sound just like you are sitting in front of the band. Gimme some of that 3.2 beer, and I'll be up and dancing my fool head off. That's the way Neil Diamond's songs (albeit short in length) came off. A generation later, John Cougar Mellencamp had the same affect on that generations youth. Like Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond has been an enduring songwriter; however, Neil's singing style has always been clear and consistent. The songs themselves (like Dylan's) transcend generations. Just my two nickels ----------------- Nick

ARTIST BIO: Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. As a successful pop music performer, Diamond scored a number of hits worldwide in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. According to David Wild, common themes in Diamond's songs are "a deep sense of isolation and an equal desire for conne ection. A yearning for home – and at the same time, the allure of greater freedom. The good, the bad and the ugly about a crazy little thing called love." As of 2001 Diamond has 115 million records sold worldwide,[1] including 48 million records in the U.S.[2] In terms of Billboard chart success, he is the third most successful Adult Contemporary artist ever, ranking behind only Barbra Streisand and Elton John [1] Though his record sales declined somewhat after the 1980s, Diamond continues to tour successfully, and maintains a very loyal following. Diamond's songs have been recorded by a vast array of performers from many different musical genres. Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984, and in 2000 he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. On Monday, March 14, 2011, Neil Diamond was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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