Neil Diamond Biography
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In the winter of 1941, January 24 to be exact, Neil Leslie Diamond was born. He grew up a life just as most other boys, but at the age 16, Neil recieved a guitar for his birthday. That gift, would forever change his life.
Neil Diamond wrote his first song for his girlfriend. The title of the song was "Hear them bells" he never thought about recording it at the time, and didnt record it till many years later. At age 18, Neil wrote the song "Blue Destiny" it was Diamond's fifth song that he wrote. Neil was going to hit the big time, but it would take 8 more years before that moment.
In 1962, Neil Diamond signed with Columbia Records. The song he was signed for was "At Night" which wasnt a big hit to say the least. But in 1966, Neil made his big break. His first hit was "Solitary Man". It is written in a minor key, and has a famous chorus.
Neil Diamond then came out with Cherry Cherry, which to this day remains a famous tune. It rose to number 6 on the billboard charts. Its just a happy "care-free" style song. Later in 1966, he wrote the song that would stay in the number one position on the billboards for longer then any other song. That song was "I'm a Believer". The song recieved the most success with its original singers, "The Monkees". Neil did record the song later though.
In 1967, Neil Diamond wrote "Red, Red Wine". It was written as a country ballad, and didnt recieve much fame on the billboards. But it was in 1988 that UB40 recorded the song and made it a hit, singing it in Raggae style.
Neil Diamond made a big move in 1968, he was at a dispute with Bang Records, who werent exactly enthusiastic about his upcoming song "Shilo". So he moved to MCA records, shilo was on the billboards, even though not high. But it remains the favorite song for many of his fans. "Brooklyn Roads" was another song that was written more for Neil then for the audience. It was a very personaly song.
1969 came, and Neil wrote 3 blockbusters. "Sweet Caroline" was the most popular, peaking out at #4 on the billboard charts. The song starts with a calm beginning, but the whole song is a "build up" to its chorus. Neil's song "Holly Holy" is another song with a long and exciting build up. It rose to #6 on the billboards. Then came a song, that althought it never reached the top 20, is as famous as Sweet Caroline or Holly Holy, it was "Brother Love's Traveling Slavation Show". It was a song about a preacher, and in his live perfomances, his charisma raised the level of excitement dramatically. Watching him sing Brother Love, probably made people wonder if Neil used to be a preacher!
Neil Diamond wrote several "unique" songs, two of them were "Cracklin Rosie" and "Crunchy Granola Suite". The first one was inspired by his trip to an Indian reservation, and if your wondering, Cracklin Rosie is wine. Crunch Granola Suite was inspired because he was impressed with health food, and probably enjoyed it so much he just wanted to write a song about it. Well whatever the case, they did well. And Cracklin Rosie rose to #1 on the billboards.
Neil Diamond could record very emotional songs as well, he probably wrote more of them then "fun" songs. "He Ain't Heavy....He's My Brother" is an example of this. Neil recorded this song in 1970, this was one of the few he actually did not write. It has a wonderful message, and shows that he could be a plain singer and be successful. "I Am....I said" took him 4 months to complete, unlike some songs he wrote in a day. The song (I Am I Said) was a very emotional song, that rose to #4 on the billboards. In his "In My Lifetime" notes, he says it was one of the most satisfying he has ever written.
Song Sung Blue was a simple tune, and a simple message. Neil probably didnt think it would have the success it did, but sure enough, it rose to the #1 position on the billboards. Its just a simple song, but has a good message, mabye thats why so many people like it?
Neil Diamond was offered the opportunity to write "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" for the soundtrack for the movie based on the book of the same name. It truly shows Neil's talent, from the beautiful prologue, which sounds like a classical peice written by one of the masters, to the country-style "Skybird" and the triumphant conclusion with "Be".
The end of the 70's drew near, and Neil's only big song since 1971 was Longfellow Serenade. (If you look at billboards, he still had some great peices.) Well he went out of the 70s with a bang. Composing "Desiree", "September Morn", and "Forever In Blue Jeans". Desiree is best known for its beat, it has beautiful rythm. Forever in Blue Jeans has the forgotten message that money isnt everything in life, its the little things that are whats important.
Neil Diamond composed "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" in 1979. It was originally written for a solo recording. But when Barbra Streisand recorded the song, radio stations started mixing the two versions together. So he and Barbra recorded a version that was meant to be a duet, and it rose to #1 on the billboard charts. Not a bad way to go out of the 70s!
Perhaps the greatest display of Neil Diamond's talent, was in his movie "The Jazz Singer". Neil was to remake the movie that had already been remade in 1951 from the original in the 1920s. It was certainly a difficult task, and with so much singing involved, he would need new songs. But did this slow him down? Not one bit!
He wrote 3 of perhaps his greatest songs for the ablum. They were "Love on the Rocks", "Hello Again" and "America". Each of these songs reached the top 10 on the billboard. Love on the Rocks is in a jazz style, with a strong chorus in the middle. Hello again is pretty similiar the whole way through, its just a nice love song. America, is one of Neil's most famous songs, its hard to tell which portion of the song is the main portion, because it keeps moving on, its an up-tempo song with a great message, and that is about this great country. With these 3 hit songs, the Jazz Singer sold over 6,000,000 copies of its soundtrack.
Neil has recorded over 40 albums, and recorded over 100 songs that he has written. His style is hard to pin point, it varies from a waltz, to classic rock and roll, to a piano and singer gig, to even a harder beat. But he never "changes" his style. After writing "Headed for the Future" a very heavy song, he wrote "Hooked On The Memory of You" which is a very calm song. He has never compromised his music, it is very similiar today as it 30 years ago.
Even though many peole will tell you Neil never gets the fame or credit he deserves, he is still widely known, and remembered. He may be remembered for "Sweet Caroline", "America", "Brother Love" or "You Dont Bring Me Flowers", but one thing is sure: He was, and is, a musical prodigy!
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Over and over again | Reviewer: Helen | 9/19/13
I have the cd Neil Diamond's Best Hits in my car. It is the only music I listen to while driving. It never ceases to inspire me. Neil's strong voice and the beautiful lyrics he wrote seem to go right to my soul and give it whatever it needs. That's why I just listen to him over and over again.
Awesome Neil Diamond | Reviewer: Wanda McKnight Albrecht | 8/28/13
None can compare to this man. Special in many ways. His songs tell so many stories. Heart felt in them all. He touches the souls of man, that in itself teaches us how deep Neil Diamond's work goes.
Beautiful voice | Reviewer: A. Murphy | 8/14/13
I first heard Neil Diamond sing when I was just 13 and I fell in love with his beautiful voice and all the emotion he put's into his singing, I'm 63 now and to this day have never heard any singer who could match his wonderful talent and charisma. I have had the privilege of seeing three concerts so far, Wash. DC & twice in Portland Oregon & hope to see him again. It's just wonderful seeing every possible age group in the audience enjoying his music. Hope you live a very long & healthy life so we can continue enjoying your beautiful voice & songs for many more years to come.. just awesome
simply the best | Reviewer: Rosalyn McLeod | 7/10/13
my oldest daughter surprised me with a Neil Diamond concert. he played in normand oklahoma and i got to see him. what a fabulous birthday present.I will never forget it. to borrow a phrase from Tina Turner, Neil is simply the best, better than all the best, better than anyone.
carry on, you sing my heart. People used to say the reason they were so crazy about Frank Sinatra was they felt he sang only to them personally, same with you Neil, you sing straight to me.
God Bless America | Reviewer: Lill Sarrero | 7/6/13
Watched you perform 4th of July/2013 in Wash DC.
"America" is an all time favorite and we have a dance at our senior club with your great hit"Sweet Caroline". You were awesome in
"Jazz Singer". I suspect there was a little bit of the truth in that movie. God love you.
God of Music to me | Reviewer: Sandeep Sen | 7/5/13
I feel numb to write about him or his songs,his lyrics. But I must say a few words. Neil Diamond to me is the God of Music and one of my wishes in life is to see him and hear him live -just once.His song lyrics are indentifiable to many situations in my life, I listen and hum his songs everyday with joy and tears sometimes. I am I said...Neil Diamond- am blessed to hear your songs. Sandeep from New Delhi( India) email@example.com
I am I said | Reviewer: Luz | 4/25/13
This song is just so beautiful that you want to close your eyes and just sing to the chorus. Neil Diamond is a beautiful man inside and out. He is so special and I want to wish him well so he can stay with us years and write more songs. He deserves all of his success.He ia just so powerful with that strong voice and sweet demeanor.
Croake Park Dublin 1984. | Reviewer: Mannie McLoughlin | 4/23/13
This was the first concert Neil played in Ireland and he has come back several times since then. I have gone to all the concerts but this first one will live in my memory forever He was on stage for 2 1/2 hours a great performer he gives 100% every time a true music legend and a very humble man. His music appeals to almost everybody keep going Neil we need people like you in this world a legend.
Neil Diamond - Morningside, one of my many favorites, | Reviewer: Don | 2/5/13
I have been listening to Neil Diamond for over 40 years and I never
get tired of his music. I have seen in concert twice and really
enjoyed his show. I saw him in TX in 1988 or 1989 and again in
Indianapolis. He draws young and old and every age in between. He
has to be the greatest singer/songwriter ever.
New zealand fan wanting to say thank you | Reviewer: Pauline Ashron | 2/1/13
I have been listening to your music since I was a teenager but it has only really meant soo much since i have been through the Christchurch earthquake and living in an unsafe house that you give me comfort every night to ease the stress of another quake. Our home is not really fit to live in as it had 62 tonne of liquifaction removed, our doors and windows do not close and our landscaping has disappeared. However that is not why I am writing, it is because i listen to your music every night and it helps me from stressing about my home. We are after over 2 years still waiting for our home to be fixed and listening to your music each night relaxes me. I want to thank you soo much as you have been part of my life for soo long. You inspire and me and help me sleep. Thank you so much from a Christchurch New Zealand earthquake survivour, I love Your music.
Praise ! | Reviewer: catherine condren | 1/20/13
I love Neils Music, I always loved his Music. I have never seen him in person yet, hopfully i will soon.In my Teens I was aware of his great Music,although i probely would not have recognised him.Looking Back he was handsome,except for the mad wild hair,which was all the fashion then. x Fantastic ! Neil.
I loved his music for over 32 yrs.................. | Reviewer: ROBIN CRANNEY JUNG | 11/16/12
I'd love to meet him, that is my DREAM!! The guy just sings great, I love his voice his lyrics, they seem to touch my heart in alot of ways, as grieving for people whom I lost so close to me! To his "handsome" face, can't believe he still has got it after being just 71! I HOPE i will get that chance of meeting him, he is my ONLY favorite singer!!!!
I CAN'T GET HIS SONGS OUT OF MY MIND! | Reviewer: FreeYourMind | 9/4/12
Even though I always liked his music, I only saw him live once: it must have been 1966-67, at a high school in Brooklyn. He performed with the Cafe Wha? house band, The Raves. Neil sat on a stool with his guitar, a mike, and a spotlight - that was it, no band or other music, and I never forgot it. He must have sang "Solitary Man" and "Cherry Cherry", at least. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when a friend invited me to see the "Real Diamond Band", an excellent cover group. When I heard all the songs they did I could not get the songs out of my mind, so I bought 3 CDs on Amazon. Now I play them all the time and even am getting my husband to like him (he never liked Neil's voice - said it was "too raspy"). I am hoping to get a chance to see him again live as soon as possible!
Truly One Of The Greatest Ever In My Lifetime! | Reviewer: Mary Ann Detorres | 9/3/12
Last night I was privileged to see Neil Diamond's show performed at the MGM theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada, Aug,30,2012. I was once again, blown away! He is truly my favorite performer. I was born on Jan. 24, just as Neil was. and I am a "believer" of great music. Thank you so much Neil. You will always play a huge part in my life because your music "always puts a smile on my face! My generation was truly blessed by the wonders of you!
Neil Diamond Concert July/2012 | Reviewer: Esther Sebastian | 8/13/12
Have been a Neil Diamond fan for over 40 years, Wore out many of his albums, even my daughters became fans at a very early age.The concert we attended in July was the very, very best. Hope to see you again Neil.
Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada
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