Beautiful Noise

Beautiful Noise

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by Neil Diamond
     
 

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Beautiful Noise, Neil Diamond's 11th studio album in the ten years since he emerged with his first chart single "Solitary Man," announces its ambitions on its cover, which displays the skyline of Manhattan under a red horizon and a black sky, overlaid with the words "Produced by Robbie Robertson." Most albums, of course, do not announce the name of the producerSee more details below

Overview

Beautiful Noise, Neil Diamond's 11th studio album in the ten years since he emerged with his first chart single "Solitary Man," announces its ambitions on its cover, which displays the skyline of Manhattan under a red horizon and a black sky, overlaid with the words "Produced by Robbie Robertson." Most albums, of course, do not announce the name of the producer on the front cover, but Diamond wants to let people know that Beautiful Noise is an event. That he had convinced his Malibu, CA, neighbor, the Band's guitarist and songwriter, to produce him was a surprise not only because he had worked with longtime producer Tom Catalano off and on dating back to his first solo singles session in 1963, but also because Robertson possesses the kind of rock credentials Diamond had never been granted. Further, as that ominous cover and Diamond's record sleeve epitaph (."..tin pan alley died hard, but there was always the music to keep you going") indicate, Beautiful Noise was intended as something of a concept album, the songwriter's look back at his days as a scuffling denizen of the Brill Building in the early '60s. This theme comes out immediately in the rousing title song, in which he sings of the inspiration that the city's sounds bring to him. Thereafter, the story line seems to get lost, at least in lyrical terms, but Diamond and Robertson give each track its own musical identity: "Stargazer" employs a Dixieland arrangement, complete with wailing horns; "Lady-Oh" is the disc's romantic ballad; "Don't Think … Feel" has a Caribbean rhythm; "Surviving the Life" is in gospel style; "Street Life" has a jazz/R&B feel with a vocalese melody; "Home Is a Wounded Heart" is the torch song; and "Jungletime" is the rock & roll number. The heart of the album (and its leadoff single) is "If You Know What I Mean," in which Diamond looks back with regret and a sense of loss on his youth, "when we gave it away for the sake of a dream/In a penny arcade, if you know what I mean." What he seems to mean, among other things, is that his idealism was betrayed by greedy people, perhaps not a surprising sentiment for a man who, as this album was made, was still in litigation over his early recording and publishing contracts. With Robertson's help (and that of a lot of other musicians), Beautiful Noise is certainly the best-sounding and most consistently engaging album of Diamond's career up to 1976.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074643396523
catalogNumber:
33965

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Neil Diamond   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Dobro
Ray Kelley   Strings
Robbie Robertson   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
James Newton Howard   Synthesizer
Bob James   Keyboards,fender rhodes
Don Menza   Horn
Jerome Richardson   Clarinet,Flute,Horn
Tom Scott   Tenor Saxophone
Jesse Ed Davis   Electric Guitar
Clydie King   Background Vocals
Jim Keltner   Drums
Jim Gordon   Conga,Drums,Vocal Harmony
Murray Adler   Strings
Richard Bennett   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Guitar,Ukulele
Norman Benno   Horn
Harry Bluestone   Strings
Samuel Boghossian   Strings
Bob Boucher   Synthesizer,Bass,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Oscar Brashear   Horn
Robert Bryant   Horn
Gene Cipriano   Horn
Isabelle Daskoff   Strings
Nick DeCaro   Accordion
Harold Dicterow   Strings
Oma Drake   Background Vocals
Jesse Ehrlich   Strings
Henry Ferber   Strings
Venetta Fields   Background Vocals
Bob Findley   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Horn,Bugle
Robert Findley   Horn
Elliott Fisher   Strings
Bernard Fleischer   Horn
Ronald Folsom   Strings
Gerald Garrett   Background Vocals
Harold Garrett   Horn
James Getzoff   Strings
Jim Gilstrap   Background Vocals
Gary Grant   Horn
Joseph Greene   Background Vocals
Monalisa Harrington   Background Vocals
Paul Hubinon   Horn
Garth Hudson   Organ,Hammond Organ
David Hungate   Strings
Selene Hurford   Strings
Yukiko Kamei   Strings
Armand Karpoff   Strings
Dennis Karmazyn   Strings
Jesse Kirkland   Background Vocals
Larry Knechtel   Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Bernard Kundell   Strings
Russ Kunkel   Percussion,Drums
William Kurash   Strings
Joe Lala   Conga,Tambourine
Mildred Lane   Background Vocals
Ralph Lee   Horn
Alan Lindgren   Synthesizer,Piano,Strings,Moog Synthesizer
Joy Lyle   Strings
Steve Madaio   Horn
Arthur Maybe   Horn
Lew McCreary   Horn
Tommy Morgan   Harmonica
Jack Nimitz   Horn
David Paich   Keyboards,fender rhodes
Stanley Plummer   Strings
Linda Press   Background Vocals
Hugo Raimondi   Horn
Jack Redmond   Horn
Verlene Rogers   Background Vocals
Jay Rosen   Strings
Sid Sharp   Strings
Harry Shlutz   Strings
Paul Shure   Strings
Maurice Spears   Horn
Dennis St. John   Percussion,Drums
Oren Waters   Background Vocals
Ernie Watts   Horn
Carolyn Willis   Background Vocals
Hershel Wise   Strings
Snooky Young   Horn
Tibor Zelig   Strings
William Perkins   Horn
Dr. John   Hammond Organ
Julia Waters   Background Vocals
Michael Nowak   Strings
Glenn Dicterow   Strings
David Duke   Horn
Donald Waldrop   Horn

Technical Credits

Robbie Robertson   Producer
Bob James   Arranger
Robert Maxwell   Composer
Hank Altman   Sound Effects
Neil Brody   Engineer
John Calder   Engineer
Nick DeCaro   Arranger
Nat Jeffreys   Engineer
Sue Roberts   Sound Effects
Freddy DeMann   Sound Effects
Tim Kramer   Engineer
Ed Anderson   Engineer

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