Play Me: The Complete Uni Studio Recordings...Plus!

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Neil Diamond was a Uni artist in the late '60s and early '70s, the period that coincided with his greatest commercial success and most consistently popular singles. This three-CD, 74-track set is just what it says it is: every last song from all six of his 1968-1972 Uni studio albums, plus seven cuts from his live Gold and Hot August Night records also originally released on Uni. It shouldn't be taken as the total summary of Diamond's early career, as it's missing all of the hits for Bang Records that were recorded before he joined Uni though the seven live songs do include versions of most of those big Bang hits. For all his talents as a major pop singer/songwriter,...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Neil Diamond was a Uni artist in the late '60s and early '70s, the period that coincided with his greatest commercial success and most consistently popular singles. This three-CD, 74-track set is just what it says it is: every last song from all six of his 1968-1972 Uni studio albums, plus seven cuts from his live Gold and Hot August Night records also originally released on Uni. It shouldn't be taken as the total summary of Diamond's early career, as it's missing all of the hits for Bang Records that were recorded before he joined Uni though the seven live songs do include versions of most of those big Bang hits. For all his talents as a major pop singer/songwriter, Diamond was really not a good album artist, and hearing six albums at once is going to test the limits of all but his devoted fans. If you do take the plunge, though, it's rather interesting to hear that Diamond was certainly a more eclectic stylist than he's usually given credit for, even if some of his odder ventures were rather lousy. There's some country, some near-gospel, and quite a few covers of other major singer/songwriters. Still, there's no getting around it: Only the hit singles of which there are quite a few, to be fair really reach out and grab you. Much of the rest sounds like the AM pop of the hit singles, but not nearly as good. There are some obscure above-average songs to be heard here, like the small 1968 hit "Two-Bit Manchild," the Dion-like bluesy "Dig In," and "Coldwater Morning." But these are balanced by some real turkey goofball experimentation, like the raps on "The Pot Smoker's Song," the country satire "You're So Sweet Horseflies Keep Hangin' Round Your Face," the kiddie tune "I Am the Lion" where it almost sounds like he's trying to dilute Arthur Brown's "I am the god of hellfire!" shtick for the little ones when he sings the title!, "Crunchy Granola Suite," and the weird art-cum-mainstream pop of "African Suite." In addition, as an interpreter of other people's songs, Diamond is not too interesting, though you'll hear plenty of that on this set, including covers of "Chelsea Morning," "Both Sides Now," Randy Newman's "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today," "Until It's Time for You to Go," "Mr. Bojangles," and "Everybody's Talkin'." Not to harp too much on the absence of Bang material, but it should also be noted that the version of "Shilo" from his 1968 album Velvet Gloves & Spit is not the same as the one on the hit Bang 45.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/26/2002
  • Label: Mca
  • UPC: 008811282424
  • Catalog Number: 112824
  • Sales rank: 13,765

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Two-Bit Manchild (3:04)
  2. 2 A Modern Day Version of Love (2:48)
  3. 3 Honey-Drippin' Times (1:58)
  4. 4 The Pot Smoker's Song (3:59)
  5. 5 Brooklyn Roads (3:37)
  6. 6 Shilo (2:56)
  7. 7 Sunday Sun (2:44)
  8. 8 Holiday Inn Blues (3:14)
  9. 9 Practically Newborn (3:27)
  10. 10 Knackelflerg (2:23)
  11. 11 Merry-Go-Round (3:29)
  12. 12 Broad Old Woman (6 A.M. Insanity) (4:31)
  13. 13 Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show (3:26)
  14. 14 Dig In (2:39)
  15. 15 River Runs, New Grown Plums (1:58)
  16. 16 Juliet (2:51)
  17. 17 Long Gone (3:15)
  18. 18 And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind (3:30)
  19. 19 Glory Road (3:17)
  20. 20 Deep in the Morning (3:04)
  21. 21 If I Never Knew Your Name (3:16)
  22. 22 Memphis Streets (2:38)
  23. 23 You're So Sweet Horseflies Keep Hangin' 'Round Your Face (3:13)
  24. 24 Hurtin' You Don't Come Easy (2:29)
  25. 25 Sweet Caroline (3:18)
  26. 26 Everybody's Talkin' (2:42)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Mr. Bojangles (4:52)
  2. 2 Smokey Lady (2:40)
  3. 3 Holly Holy (4:40)
  4. 4 Both Sides Now (3:30)
  5. 5 And the Singer Sings His Song (3:37)
  6. 6 Ain't No Way (2:42)
  7. 7 New York Boy (2:38)
  8. 8 Until It's Time for You to Go (3:29)
  9. 9 Cracklin' Rosie (2:59)
  10. 10 Free Life (3:10)
  11. 11 Coldwater Morning (3:21)
  12. 12 Done Too Soon (2:41)
  13. 13 He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (4:09)
  14. 14 Childsong (2:10)
  15. 15 I Am the Lion (2:07)
  16. 16 Madrigál (1:50)
  17. 17 Soolaimón (4:25)
  18. 18 Missa (2:15)
  19. 19 African Suite (4:28)
  20. 20 Childsong (Reprise) (2:03)
  21. 21 I Am...I Said (3:34)
  22. 22 The Last Thing on My Mind (3:33)
  23. 23 Husbands and Wives (3:46)
  24. 24 Chelsea Morning (2:36)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Crunchy Granola Suite (2:53)
  2. 2 Stones (3:01)
  3. 3 If You Go Away (3:48)
  4. 4 Suzanne (4:41)
  5. 5 I Think It's Going to Rain Today (2:35)
  6. 6 I Am...I Said (Reprise) (2:37)
  7. 7 Song Sung Blue (3:14)
  8. 8 Porcupine Pie (2:04)
  9. 9 High Rolling Man (2:34)
  10. 10 Canta Libre (4:45)
  11. 11 Captain Sunshine (3:23)
  12. 12 Play Me (3:51)
  13. 13 Gitchy Goomy (3:51)
  14. 14 Walk on Water (3:04)
  15. 15 Theme (1:38)
  16. 16 Prelude in E Major (0:39)
  17. 17 Morningside (4:15)
  18. 18 Lordy (4:56)
  19. 19 Kentucky Woman (2:40)
  20. 20 Thank the Lord for the Night Time (3:11)
  21. 21 Solitary Man (3:15)
  22. 22 Cherry, Cherry (3:49)
  23. 23 Red, Red Wine (3:45)
  24. 24 Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon (2:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Neil Diamond Primary Artist, Guitar
Don Bagley Strings
Marilyn Baker Strings
Philip Goldberg Strings
Timothy Barr Strings
Richard Bennett Guitar
Samuel Boghossian Strings
John DeVoogdt Strings
Jesse Ehrlich Strings
Henry Ferber Strings
Ronald Folsom Strings
Nathan Gershman Strings
Emory Gordy Guitar, Vibes
Jerome Kessler Strings
Alan Lindgren Keyboards
Robert Lipsett Strings
Wilbert Nuttycombe Strings
Reinie Press Bass
Jay Rosen Strings
Myron Sandler Strings
Ralph Schaeffer Strings
Haim Shtrum Strings
Dennis St. John Drums
Tibor Zelig Strings
Shari Zippert Strings
Richard Kaufman Strings
William Henderson Strings
Jess Bourgeois Strings
Philip Candreva Strings
Baldassare Ferlazzo Strings
Hyman Goodman Strings
Giacinto Nardulli Strings
Alice Ober Strings
Sven Reher Strings
Walter Rower Strings
David D. Turner Strings
Walter Wiemeyer Strings
Paulo Alencar Strings
Sidney Sharp Strings
Dan Nicholson Guitar
Jefferson Kewley Percussion
Technical Credits
Neil Diamond Producer
Stevie Nicks Composer
Chip Taylor Producer
Tom Catalano Producer
Tommy Cogbill Producer
Chips Moman Producer
Armin Steiner Engineer
Vartan Art Direction
Erick Labson Original Master Transfers
Frank Bez Contributor
Robyn Flans Liner Notes
Carol Bayer Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    EXCELLENT CD's!

    If you don't own many early Neil Diamond CD's, you will WANT this! This compilation is excellent and complete. The sound is amazing with the 24-bit remastering from the original tapes. Top quality recordings at an excellent price! This set is highly recommended!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews