Thursday, May 15, 2008
Pretty Amazing Neil
Someone bring this man some flowers: Neil Diamond has scored his first #1 album with Home Before Dark, his second CD with producer/Zen master Rick Rubin. The first was 2005's stately 12 Songs.
Home Before Dark sold 146,000 copies its first week, or 1,000 copies for the average age of one of his fans.
Home Before Dark is Neil's 46th album. His third-act triumph is similar to that of Bob Dylan, who at 65 became the oldest artist to debut at #1 with Modern Times in 2006.
The Solitary Man has sold 120 million records and written some of the most indelible pop classics of the modern era: "Cherry Cherry," "I'm a Believer," "Red Red Wine," "Sweet Caroline," "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon," "Holly Holy," "I Am... I Said," "Song Sung Blue," "Kentucky Woman," and "Shilo." Yet he waits outside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's velvet ropes while Patti Smith enjoys an all-access pass.
Perhaps Mr. Diamond's latest triumph with Rubin will give him the gravitas he needs for the cliquish, elitist R&RHoF to take another look at this sequin-lovin' Jewish Elvis. They could do worse than start with the following Rock Turtleneck potpourri of the ages of Neil, courtesy of YouTube.
Neil Diamond, "Pretty Amazing Grace" American Idol 4/30/08 (Guest Mentor appearance)
Neil Diamond, "Dry Your Eyes" w/The Band The Last Waltz, 1976
Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"
Neil Diamond, "Cracklin' Rosie" Live on the Beeb, 1970
Neil Diamond, "Cherry Cherry" (1967)