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Jazz Singer
     

The Jazz Singer

by Neil Diamond
 

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Neil Diamond's 1980 screen turn as a charismatic singer torn between Jewish tradition and pop music stardom spawned this phenomenally successful soundtrack album -- six million copies and counting. Diamond's 21st century resurgence as a walking item of kitsch has sparked renewed interest in the bombastic melting-pot jam "America," as well as his signature late-career

Overview

Neil Diamond's 1980 screen turn as a charismatic singer torn between Jewish tradition and pop music stardom spawned this phenomenally successful soundtrack album -- six million copies and counting. Diamond's 21st century resurgence as a walking item of kitsch has sparked renewed interest in the bombastic melting-pot jam "America," as well as his signature late-career ballad "Hello Again." In addition, the lite FM favorite "Love on the Rocks" is classic, raw-throated Neil. But beyond these notables, The Jazz Singer is an album of passable pop songs that stand on the edge of disco and in the grip of melodrama. The hyper "You Baby" is dressed up with an audio clip marking the film's embarrassing black face sequence, while the album's midsection sags with songs that shine like Sunset Strip billboards, yet lack any real substance. Swelling strings and lovely lyrics abound, but it all seems directionless, as if Diamond's just going through the motions. Similarly, Jewish traditionals like "Kol Nidre/My Name is Yussel" are important as thematic elements. But removed from the film and in the context of open-collared, glitzy numbers like "Hey Louise," their reverence is off-putting. As it's aged, The Jazz Singer has come to mark the moment when Diamond fully embraced his soft rock audience and completely turned his back on the ambition and spine-tingling vocal presence of his early career. That decision certainly proved to be an economic winner, but it ignored the fact that his most resonant performances really tear into a song with true mirth. The Jazz Singer's big hits have this quality -- a fact not lost on a new generation of listeners who revel in Diamond's powerful voice and showmanship. But the album's bulk is as wooden as Neil's acting.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/24/2014
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
0602537932351
catalogNumber:
002128502
Rank:
8341

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Neil Diamond   Primary Artist
King Errisson   Percussion
Richard Bennett   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Vince Charles   Percussion
Michael Donaldson   Guest Appearance
Assa Drori   Concert Master
James Getzoff   Concert Master
Tom Hensley   Piano,Conductor,Keyboards
Alan Lindgren   Synthesizer,Piano,Conductor
Marilyn O'Brien   Background Vocals
Linda Press   Vocals,Background Vocals
Reinie Press   Bass
Doug Rhone   Guitar,Background Vocals
Sid Sharp   Concert Master
Dennis St. John   Drums,Musical Direction
H.L. Voelker   Background Vocals
Luther Waters   Background Vocals
Oren Waters   Background Vocals
Timothy Allan Bullara   Choir, Chorus
Jeremy C. Lipton   Choir, Chorus
Dale D. Morich   Choir, Chorus
Yoav Steven Paskowitz   Choir, Chorus
Boyd H. Schlaefer   Choir, Chorus
Mark H. Stevens   Choir, Chorus
David Teisher   Choir, Chorus
James Gregory Wilburn   Choir, Chorus
Jan Weinberg   Guest Appearance
David Kirschner   Guest Appearance
Ron Larson   Guest Appearance
John Squier   Guest Appearance
Donny Gerard   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Neil Diamond   Composer,Adaptation
London Symphony Orchestra   Additional Music
Gilbert Bécaud   Composer
National Philharmonic Orchestra   Additional Music
Richard Bennett   Composer
Bob Gaudio   Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Tom Hensley   Orchestral Arrangements
Alan Lindgren   Composer,Orchestral Arrangements
Linda Press   Vocal Arrangements
Doug Rhone   Composer
John Rosenberg   Contracting
Andy Bloch   Engineer
David Kirschner   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Uri Frenkel   Adaptation
Leonard Roseman   Additional Music

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