This is the ultimate Neil Diamond record. Not necessarily the best — he’s at his most appealing crafting in the studio — but certainly the ultimate, capturing all the kitsch and glitz of Neil Diamond, the showman.
Diamond’s first regular album release to sell in substantial numbers, Touching You, Touching Me contains the gold Top Ten single “Holly Holy,”…
Neil Diamond, normally a quick worker, spent four months agonising over the lyrics of I Am… I Said, and it shows. That’s why the song lingers. There are lines which don’t quite ‘fit’ at first, and seem almost fragmentary coming from such a craftsman, but they’re the lines which – once the penny drops – give it its confessional greatness. People magazine hailed the song as “Art at its best, which moves the audience to self-investigation”. Certainly it’s a masterpiece of introspection which transcends conventional pop limitations. Diamond himself rambled, “It tells of feeling lost and questions and doubts and insecurities… and realising that you can never go back home”.
“Greatest Hits” is an early compilation album from Neil Diamond of the two first LPs under the Bang Records label published in 1970.
This contains the hit songs like “Solitary Man”, “I’m A Believer”, “New Orleans” and many others.
Just because Pat Benatar's longtime guitarist and husband Neil Giraldo gets top-level billing here doesn't mean anything has really changed. Giraldo has backed her since her heyday and while he may have changed his brand of instrument - it looks like a custom Tele copy, judging by the cover - they still turn out music that is essentially the same as the arena rockers of the early '80s, and Benatar sings it the same fashion as before. Which means that Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo Live is part of that celebrated tradition, the "greatest hits live" album, and that may not be a surprise since it is subtitled the "Summer Vacation Tour Soundtrack" which kind of implies that it taken from an oldies tour…
Duke Robillard pays homage to T-Bone Walker with this collection of swing, big band and blues songs. The bubbly and bouncy "Lonesome Woman Blues" has a be-bop Count Basie feeling as his supporting players are given brief solos to shine, particularly the horn section. There is far more substance and style to this approach than a rehashed run-through à la Brian Setzer. This fluidity continues, albeit a bit slower in tempo with the swinging "T-Bone Shuffle" which carries the same head-bobbing groove. Here the horns lead the way but Robillard makes his presence felt on guitar near the homestretch, and throughout the stellar "Pony Tail." The barroom blues and drum brushes on "Love Is a Gamble" takes things down to a creepy crawl, bringing to mind Dr. John or Delbert McClinton. An early favorite has to be the rousing and toe-tapping "Alimony Blues," an indication that Robillard wants to pay tribute in the right way by nailing each song beautifully.