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#220: The Neil Diamond Collection by Neil Diamond

5.14.2012

The Neil Diamond Collection by Neil Diamond (1999)

Favorite Tracks: "Sweet Caroline" and "Cracklin' Rosie" and "Play Me" and "Shilo" and "Crunchy Granola Suite" and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" and "Soolaimon" and "Cherry, Cherry" and "I Am...I Said" and "Done Too Soon" and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"

Thoughts: "There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't."  As much as I love Bob Wiley, I am with his ex-wife on this one.  And I don't just like Neil Diamond.  I kind of love him. 

This information probably doesn't surprise you.  The lady who loves Elton John and Billy Joel and John Denver ALSO loves Neil Diamond?  Stop the presses! Listening to his songs makes me think of my parents and childhood and 'Oldies'.

Yes, I have seen The Jazz Singer (1980), and watched Laurence Olivier severely regret not retiring from acting sooner.  Hell, I even LOVE the song Neil sings in blackface. Of course, I've sung "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" both in karaoke, and often in my own personal life.  Will Ferrell is my favorite Neil impersonator.  Finally, I thoroughly enjoy Saving Silverman (even though Amanda Peet is in it):



Anyway.  To the album!

Was "Sweet Caroline" really written about Caroline Kennedy?  Even though she was only 11 years old at the time of its composition?  And it includes lyrics like "Warm touching warm"?  Personally, I like to think it was about someone else.

Can we talk about the fact that it's "Cracklin' ROSIE"?  I always thought it was just Rose.  And I know he says "my rosie child," but I thought he meant like blushing.  As a kid I figured "Shilo" was a song about the dog Shiloh, from the novel of the same name.  But it's about an imaginary friend.

I totally forgot how AWESOME "Soolaimon" is.  I wanted to keep listening to it over and over.  "I Am...I Said" reminds me of too things.  1) My mom and I riding in the car, and her commenting on how weird the lyrics are.  ""I am"... I said, to no one there and no one heard at all, not even the chair"  Not even the chair?  As if that was an option?  And 2) How I want the book He Is...I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond. 

I think my most-played song by Neil is probably "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine" which isn't on this album.  I love it because of this movie scene (which has another of my favorite songs in it):



 I learned about Truly, Madly, Deeply from this blog post and I am eternally grateful. 

Is This Better Than The River?: It's definitely as good.  I'm just so pleased Neil made it onto the list at all!

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