The Essential Neil Diamond

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
A collection that lives up to its title, The Essential Neil Diamond presents the singer-songwriter-entertainer in all his chart-making glory. Moving chronologically through four decades, this double-disc set gives us the wonderful early singles ( "Solitary Man," "Cherry, Cherry," "Kentucky Woman" "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon"), the breakthrough hits ("Sweet Caroline, "Song Sung Blue," "I Am...I Said"), the signature tunes from Diamond's superstar era ( "America," "Love on the Rocks," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"), and the later hits ("September Morn," "Heartlight,"), among a slew of familiar performances. The Diamond persona shifts with time, from gritty ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
A collection that lives up to its title, The Essential Neil Diamond presents the singer-songwriter-entertainer in all his chart-making glory. Moving chronologically through four decades, this double-disc set gives us the wonderful early singles ( "Solitary Man," "Cherry, Cherry," "Kentucky Woman" "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon"), the breakthrough hits ("Sweet Caroline, "Song Sung Blue," "I Am...I Said"), the signature tunes from Diamond's superstar era ( "America," "Love on the Rocks," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"), and the later hits ("September Morn," "Heartlight,"), among a slew of familiar performances. The Diamond persona shifts with time, from gritty singer-songwriter to middle-of-the-road crowd pleaser, but the quality of the material and the hallmark vocal intensity never waver, from beginning to end. A number of live tracks (including "Brooklyn Roads," "Soolaimon," and "Shilo") also demonstrate Diamond's unmatched onstage dramatizing and enviable rapport with an audience. For those who love Neil, and for those who are just coming to appreciate his importance as an American pop icon, this is simply a must-have set.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Columbia Records' series of two-disc, limited-edition Essential compilations of its major long-term stars -- Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, etc. -- has generally been a winner, so it is a shame to have to report that the Neil Diamond number is not. True, most of the singer/songwriter's best and most popular songs are included, but there are also significant omissions and enough inessential material to prevent this from being the sort of definitive collection it could and should have been. For once, the basic problem in assembling a Diamond best-of has been overcome, since Columbia has licensed the five Top Ten hits he scored for Uni Records in the late '60s and early '70s from Universal. Meanwhile, Columbia parent Sony controls the Bang Records catalog for which Diamond recorded from 1966 to 1968, and he has been signed to Columbia since 1973, so that puts his biggest hits at the compilers' disposal. But those compilers, Diamond himself and Al Quaglieri, have chosen oddly, shortchanging the Columbia material in favor of using more Bang recordings nine than necessary and employing ten live recordings, six of them newly made, nine of them songs from the Uni era, including versions of obscure album tracks like "Captain Sunshine." That leaves space for only 14 Columbia studio recordings from 1973-2001, and though most of them were chart singles, fans will miss the Top Five hit "Longfellow Serenade," while "I've Been This Way Before," another track from the Serenade album that barely made the Top 40, is included. This is the kind of idiosyncratic selection typical of a collection chosen by the artist himself, in this case one who is more interested in his new interpretations of half-forgotten songs from 30 years earlier than what a more objective observer might consider the "essential" recordings of his career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/4/2001
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998568129
  • Catalog Number: 85681
  • Sales rank: 3,850

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Neil Diamond Primary Artist
Barbra Streisand Track Performer
Technical Credits
Neil Diamond Composer, Producer
Robbie Robertson Producer
Brooks Arthur Engineer
Ellie Greenwich Producer
Burt Bacharach Producer
Carole Bayer Sager Producer
John Arrias Engineer
Peter Asher Producer
Jeff Barry Producer
Alan Bergman Composer
Marilyn Bergman Composer
Neil Brody Engineer
John Calder Engineer
Tom Catalano Producer
Tommy Cogbill Producer
Val Garay Engineer
Bob Gaudio Producer
Ron Hitchcock Engineer
Nat Jeffreys Engineer
Alan Lindgren Producer
Joseph M. Palmaccio Mastering
Phil Ramone Engineer
Rick Ruggieri Engineer
Bill Schnee Engineer
Allen Sides Engineer
Jeremy Smith Engineer
Dennis St. John Producer
Armin Steiner Engineer
David Wild Liner Notes
Bernie Becker Engineer
Tim Kramer Engineer
Mick Guzouski Engineer
Humberto Garcia Engineer
Andy Bloch Engineer
Mary Maurer Art Direction
George Hurrell Cover Photo
Ed Anderson Engineer
Alan Mason Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best of Neil Diamond

    This is one of the best song collection albums for a singer/writer. Includes all of N.D.'s greatest hits. Played it on a road trip and it made the time go by quickly. A definite recommend.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Diamond Fans Will Love It.

    This is a good cd for Neil Diamond fans. If you were one of the legions who went to the concerts and bought the albums you will enjoy this cd.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Totally Enjoyable!

    Was looking for a CD with all the hits. Would have preferred all original recordings but his hits don't fail just because they are recorded live. He is awesome in concert, so all is well with this CD. Red, Red Wine from Hot August Night was better to my ears, though. This CD has all the hits I wanted at a reasonable price. Can put this on and not worry about skipping over tracks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    the diamondman rocks

    this is for sure one of the best neil diamond collections out there.2cds 38 great tunes from his carrer from the past 4 decades. good ones /such as cherry cherry/headed for the future/yesatetdays songs and lots and lots of great ones. any neil diamond fans that dont have this cd yet its is must have

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Diamonds' Catalogue Is Rich.

    I Think That This Greatest Hits Package Is Very Good. Neil Diamond Has Certainly Knocked Out Some Excellent Work, Over The Years And This Collection Makes You Realise That. The Only Fault I Do Have Is Some Of It Is Live And Dosen't Sound Quite As Good.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews