Monday, March 26, 2012

222. The Neil Diamond collection.

Album: The Neil Diamond Collection
Artist: Neil Diamond
Year: Released 1999
Genre: Pop

  1. Sweet Caroline
  2. Cracklin' Rosie
  3. Song Sung Blue
  4. Play Me
  5. Brooklyn Roads
  6. Shilo
  7. Crunchy Granola Suite
  8. And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind
  9. Holly Holy
  10. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
  11. Stones
  12. Soolaimon
  13. Walk on Water
  14. Cherry, Cherry [live]
  15. I Am...I Said
  16. Done Too Soon
  17. Morningside
  18. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Before I heard this album I'd tagged Diamond as "music for mums". A guy whose place was on oldies radio where his songs would be backtracked by a DJ saying: "That was Neil Diamond and before that we heard Acker Bilk, The Andrew Sisters and Shirly Temple, and now here's an ad break full of promotions for chair lifts, colostomy bags and commemorative plates featuring the Queen". I assumed his primary audience was made up of middle-aged ladies who attended his concerts with souvinier T shirts they'd just bought shoved over the top of jumpers they'd knitted themselves. I pictured the average fan owning two cats, one called Neil and the other called Diamond. In my mind she has a sister in Michigan that she hasn't spoken to since Christmas 1993 when they had the nerve to claim Barry Manilow was better than "My Neil". I can see the average Diamond lover as the sort of person who writes Neil letters. Daily letters. They write him letters about their love and their devotion and their cats and their unpleasant sister. They see Neil whenever he's in town and saved up money to take trips to see him in Las Vegas where they stay off the strip but go to the nicer casinos to play the machines and see Neil perform.

That was before I heard this collection of his greatest hits. Now I've heard the cream of his early work my original estimation hasn't changed a bit. I'm not knocking him or his devotees for a minute but there's no doubt Neil's fanbase is decidedly skewed towards the elderly female. I checked out the forums on his fanpage which was more feminine than a hair salon for nuns. There is a website I wasn't aware of called where you can buy all things elderly- Neil's music features heavily.

If you're a woman and you've recently hit that point in your life when you think you're ready to settle down, put your feet up and you're looking for a gentle soundtrack to listen to while you work on handicraft- Neil Diamond might well be your guy.

Highlight: The "Good Lord" in Crunchy Granola Suite (thanks Tony Martin)
Lowlight: He aint Heavy he's my brother

Influenced by: Sinatra
Influenced: Cat Lovers

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Do It/Neil Diamond. Does anyone in pc world have any clue how I would go about obtaining this piece of music? Please let me know. Thanks, Adam"

-Amazon just love it when people use the customer review section to ask for personal requests. Just love it.

So is this a Diamond collection or just a lump of coal? Let me know below.


  1. Looking past who his music appeals to, what do you think of Neil Diamond as a singer/songwriter?

  2. He's a talented singer and he can definitely write for his market but he has a definite market in mind. He's one of those guys who seems defined by his fanbase and their interests.