Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Music Box: Neil Diamond

My obsession with pop music definitely didn't come from my mother -- I could probably count the number of albums she owned on my two hands. But the ones she did have certainly made an impression on me, from Carole King's "Tapestry" and K-Tel's "Believe in Music" to Andy Kim's "Rock Me Gently" and her handful of Neil Diamond records -- especially her handful of Neil Diamond records. (How I loved listening to "Love at the Greek" over and over in our living room on East 13 Mile Road in Madison Heights.) A chance encounter with a framed Neil Diamond album cover over the weekend reignited my fire for the Solitary Man, and now several people I've run into since I blogged about that have confessed their own affections.

With that in mind, I'd like to ask everyone TO VOTE for their favorite Neil song in the comments section. (Put a "most underrated" too if you feel like it.) With so many classics to choose from, this is liable to be the greatest poll question since the great Hall and Oates debate of 2008, which was settled HERE!


My pick would be "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," one of the weirdest songs of all time, especially by a Brooklyn Jew!

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28 comments:

Tom said...

Tapestry was one of my favorites growing up, also.. and I got to see Carole King & James Taylor on tour this year! I also loved the Neil Diamond albums.. the pic of him on '12 greatest Hits' was so hot!
The best Neil diamond song is "Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show"

LHH said...

As cliche as it might be, my favorite Neil Diamond song remains "Sweet Caroline," despite the creepiness of it being written about a young Caroline Kennedy.

My favorite underrated song is "All I Want is You."

Steve said...

"I Am, I Said"

BW said...

Favorite: "Cracklin' Rosie." By far.

Underrated: "Stones," I think, but there are a lot of contenders.

Dave in Texas said...

"Play Me" is a particular favorite, but if you look at Neil Diamond's catalog, it's pretty deep.

dishy said...

I AM I SAID !!!!!

dishy said...

I AM I SAID !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sweet Caroline...Bam Bam Bam, Good times never seemed so good.

em

tobyweiss.com said...

Most Underrated: Gitchy Goomey from the album Moods.

Anonymous said...

Song Sung Blue

nojarama said...

A song he didn't actually sing, but like the many he wrote, brilliant: "I'm a Believer"!

Joe said...

Although I'm not extremely knowledgeable about Neil Diamond's musical contributions, I have to say that "Sweet Caroline" is my favorite. I've always liked the song, but when Puck from "Glee" sang it on the show, he melted my heart!
Also, Will Ferrell does the greatest impression of Mr. Diamond! Very, very funny!

Anonymous said...

"Hello Again"

Anonymous said...

Sweet Caroline is by far his best song

Anonymous said...

Cracking Rosie....maybe because it makes me think of my very sweet sister named Rosemarie.

tommy411 said...

Toss up between Cracklin' Rosie and Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show, but BLTSS is by far the most under-rated!

Anonymous said...

"Songs she sang to me / Song she brang to me"--it's the wonderful (if forgiven) "Play Me"!!!! (And Kenneth, I don't have a Google account, but it's me, Lois.)

Thomas Meacham said...

Love on the Rocks! It has all the makings of a great karaoke song!

Anonymous said...

My favorite is also an underrated one: "Shiloh".

Rob said...

Brooklyn Roads, hands down winner.

Also love the Bang material...Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon, Thank The Lord For The Nighttime, Kentucky Woman etc....

Rob said...

Most underrated album....VELVET GLOVES AND SPIT. Props to Neil for that great album title.

BW said...

He did indeed sing "I'm a Believer" in addition to writing it. Good version.

Anonymous said...

"story of my life" is awesome and very under-rated.

Joy said...

Diamond is underrated period. Ferrell's caricature didn't help that situation at all...

I've been a fan for forty years so it is difficult to pick just one song. "I Am I Said" captures youthful angst like no other song I know. "Play Me" is about as steamy as you can get outside of the act itself...so much sexier than the bump and grind explicit lyrics today.

Rolling Stone magazine called "Cherry Cherry" the greatest 3-chord rock and roll song ever and I agree. Can't stand still while that one is playing.

However, my favorite is one of his newest. "Pretty Amaging Grace".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YLQhVlC36g

It is pretty amazing the man is still writing and recording and drawing sold-out audiences around the world (08-09 tour) and he is 69. Like fine wine, better with age!

Anonymous said...

it has to be cracklin rosie for me to.

nojarama said...

As for underrated, I'd say "Heartlight". I know it was a sell-out, but it still makes me smile every time I hear it!

stevon said...

O.K. Let's hear it for Neil He is the real deal! Most Underrated song is Neil's first Billboard chart entry and it sounds as haunting now as it did when it arrived on the airwaves in 1966~ The brilliant "Solitary Man", dig those horns !
There are quite a few Guilty Neil
Pleasures my guiltiest are ~ Soolaimon it's made for drinkin' sing-a-longs. Then we have oh no no
etc. the feel good "I Got The Feelin' (oh no no)" get real guilty and have pleasure listening to "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother"
Now on to the Top Neil Fave Rave
Although "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation" gets so close to bieng my fave and it puts a smile on my face every time Neil sings ~
"pack up the Babies and grab the Old Ladies" and "Love On The Rocks" is drama in the most moving way.It also comes very close to being at the top of my faves.
My ultimate Neil Platter is the awe inducing slice of brilliant pop "America"
Song that gave me a biggest Neil Live Thrill : "A Little Bit Me, A little Bit You"
Very cool comments everyone !

Thomas said...

TURN ON YOUR HEARTLIGHT always makes me cry. ...and home is the most excellent place of all...

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