By in Music

Best Music: Bright, Jubilant Solo by Neil Diamond

I got a little behind yesterday, and forgot to do my 30-day song challenge posting. So I guess I'll be doing two today in order to catch myself up!

The prompt for day of the challenge asks us to choose a song by our favourite solo performer. Now a lot of my favourite performers are primarily soloists: Cat Stevens, Sj Tucker, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Joan Baez – just to name a few. But when I read the prompt, the first performer to come to mind was Neil Diamond. So I think it's only right that he is the artist I should feature today.

Neil Diamond

Of all the solo artists I've loved over the decades, Neil Diamond was probably the first that I encountered. When I was maybe seven years old, I can remember my mother singing along to the car radio when his songs played. One of her favourites was “Song Sung Blue,” and listening to it always brings back memories for me.

Neil Diamond is a passionate performer, but he's also an insightful lyricist. Songs like “Shilo” and “Morningside” speak of loneliness and both of comfort and regret. In “ Done Too Soon,” he speaks of the fact that we have all “sweated beneath the same sun” and “looked up in wonder at the same moon.” Songs like “Play Me” explore romantic relationships, and some like "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" are sexually charged.

Neil Diamond can get your toes tapping or your heart racing, he can make you smile, and he can make you cry. He is one of the best selling recording artists of all time, and has enjoyed a career spanning more than five decades. He actually dropped out of college just a few credits short of graduating re-med. And boy, am I glad he chose music over medicine!

Hot August Night

Without hesitation, I can tell you that Hot August Night is my favourite Neil Diamond album. And the first track on that album is probably my favourite of all his songs. “ Crunchy Granola Suite ” is an upbeat, quirky song that pokes a little fun at everyone and that shows Neil Diamond doesn't take himself too seriously. I honestly can't sit still when I hear this song play, and I bet you won't be able to either! Enjoy!

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Image credit: Neil Diamond by Angela George/Wikipedia ( CC BY-A 3.0 )

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Kasman wrote on July 2, 2015, 3:11 PM

My favourite of his is 'Beautiful Noise'. I also like 'Forever in Blue Jeans'. Actually, come to think of it there isn't one of his songs I dislike!

GemOfAGirl wrote on July 6, 2015, 4:54 PM

I've loved Neil Diamond for about as long as you have (assuming that your mom was singing "Song Sung Blue" right when it was first released). I loved the resurgence in popularity he experienced about fifteen years ago - it was completely deserved. One of my favorite songs of all time is "Cracklin' Rosie" (which I covered in the original 30-Day Song Challenge a few months ago.)