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January 08, 2022


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Red State Kulander

My grandfather had a kelly green 1975 Ford Granada with an 8-tract player. The man, who never saw an overvalued extra on a new car he didn't want, had even purchased a 12-month subscription to a sort of Ford music club wherein members received, once a month, a cassette from the series entitled "The Ford Motor Company Festival Orchestra Plays Your Romantic Favorites!"

This noxious compendium featured several almost unspeakable renditions of already-overwrought Neil Diamond songs. In these, a this-has-to-be-a-joke lounge singer warbled and hooted over an ocean of mystery strings.

Sitting in the backseat of this swaying barge on a seven-hour roadtrip to a great aunt's funeral in Schenectady while a leisure-suited Larry crooned "I Am, I Said" provided an alternative definition to what was then known as a "bad trip."

Jeff Rice

I must confess that Neil Diamond, in my view, never rose above a mediocre am radio songwriter. Unlike Doc Pomus or Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Bert Bachrach, Fred Neill, Leiber & Stoller, and Paul Simon who also held court in the Brill Building.Were it not for the Boston Red Sox, would we remember Diamond at all.


I've never been a Neil Diamond fan. However, in addition to the accomplishments Lubet notes, it seems (according to Wiki) that Diamond "was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. In 2011, he was an honoree at the Kennedy Center Honors, and he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. In 2019, his 1969 signature song "Sweet Caroline" was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"."

Now, against all this, we have two critics above who rule he has nothing more than "mediocre" talent or worse.

Let's put the facts up against these persons. Have they the talent or expertise to judge Diamond so harshly?

Taste, sure. Personal opinion of "like" or "don't like." Sure. Everyone has one. But, flat out judgments of talent? These comments are nothing but BS.

Red State Kulander

U mad anon? I don't need to be a surgeon or pilot to, in many cases, judge one to be good or not.

In addition, please identify - outside of the words "already overwrought" (words I stand by) - where I attacked this guy's work. I attacked the hack cover. Read closer next time.

(Solitary Man is killer, btw. Chris Isaac does a great cover.)

Kenneth Kettering

If Neil Diamond went to school in Brooklyn with Barbara Streisand, then he also went to school with Bobby Fischer. Streisand and Fischer were classmates in high school, and it is reported that she had a crush on him. (Chess fans are inveterate gossips.)

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