Neil Diamond | The Very Best of Neil Diamond: The Original Studio Recordings

Columbia/Legacy (2011)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 6, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

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Neil Diamond is a pretty upbeat guy — or at least as upbeat as can be expected from a man who made his claim to fame writing "Solitary Man." His upbeatness cost him, not in dollars but in cred, as far more tortured souls were cast in bronze and plaster as the voices of their respective generations. Diamond — a one-time Brill Building songsmith — and his never-ending stream of hits had to make do with the platinum plaques, sold-out arenas, and fanatical following, all while the myth of '60s, '70s, and '80s rock was written into stone sans Neil. Luckily, recent decades have seen music fans re-evaluating the legacy of one of America's greatest bards — even if said re-eval was tentative at first, and cloaked in ironic appreciation. Diamond never embraced trends or cultural moments, erring in favor of timeless over timely. Which means that '60s tunes like "Cherry, Cherry," '70s smashes like "Forever In Blue Jeans," and late-'00s killers like the fist-in-the-air "Hell Yeah" all sound of one piece, a flowing continuum from a solitary voice that could find you way in the back of an arena and make you think the song was sung just to you. If by some strange fuck-up in your album purchasing history you don't have any Neil taking up real estate on your CD shelf, correct that error with this disc.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Neil Diamond, Neil Diamond,  More more >
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