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Neil Diamond Biography

Last updated: 11/08/2014 03:54:09 AM

Neil Diamond-photo
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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big sky nights | Reviewer: thomas helm | 11/4/14

thank you neil for all your wonderful music I can relate to many of your songs when ever I play one of your songs at are family camp outs on the gutuir I can get everbody to sing along forever in blue jeans

view from aTexas gal ! | Reviewer: W.R. Hampton | 10/18/14

Neil, I love,love, love your music. A s a young girl growing up in Dallas, to a mature girl in San Antonio to a really mature lady in Frisco. Just saw you on the Tonight show with Seth Myers which brought back all the concert memories especially when you wore the Blue sequin Jacket in San Antonio . Keep it up you Young whipper snapper.

You are one of a kind | Reviewer: Ladibug | 10/9/14

I was born in 1953 and have grown up with your music - I loved it then and still love it now - always had a crush on you - no one compares to your voice (no competition) and it brings me happiness when I am driving in my car -- your music uplifts me in this complicated world. Thank you for that!! I wish you much happiness/

Your music will last forever and will be loved my many | Reviewer: Lutrecia Hickman | 9/2/14

So very long ago (early 1970s) I attended your concert in Portland, Oregon. A memory to cherish for sure. My brother-in-law, also a musician, had the gift of singing your songs as your double. Noone can duplicate your unique style but he came close. Our entire family loves your music and that includes my mother who turns 100 years young the end of this month. What a gift you have given the world. We share a birthday and each year I wish you happiness and good health.

Cracklin Rosie according to Neil Diamond | Reviewer: Froggy | 8/18/14

I first saw Neil Diamond in concert in Laramie, Wyoming. 1969. I had no idea who he was, two songs into the concert, I knew where he was headed, to the top.
Almost every song he sang that night had a prelude story to it. In fact most of his songs then and now are stories. The story behind Cracklin Rosie was no exception. The original author of this Bio, points out that Cracklin Rosie is a wine. Neil went further with the story than that. The Alaskan Pipeline was starting about that time and according to Neil, gentlemen working on the pipe line would go out at night in search of company, when none could be found, Cracklin Rosie, was the lady of the night. Listen to the words, the song tells the story. Cracklin Rose, you are a store bought woman, . . .

I stated earlier that Neil was headed for the top, he made it there, not so long ago when he was at or near his peak, he would advertise two concerts in San Diego, back to back. In two hours, both would be sold out, another night would go on the block, 2 hours, it was gone as well. A 4th night was put up. It would sell out as well. Very few performers can sell out 4 nights at the San Diego Sports Arena Center. I know Neil did it at least 5 years in a row, I went to one each year.

Neil Diamond Rocks!

BLESS YOU NEIL | Reviewer: Juliet V Canada | 7/27/14

Neil, you have been my favourite singer from the first time I heard you. Your voice has always calmed my turbulent spirit and brought me comfort over and over. I could not pick a favourite song because they all are; but now I think I pick PRETTY AMAZING GRACE. I have prayed for you over the years, and I am so thrilled to know that you know Jesus. Be wonderfully blessed.

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

Hi, Neil,
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) sensandeep@gmail.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.



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.