Three Chord Opera

( 12 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
It's been quite a while since Neil Diamond contributed all original material for an album --1974's Serenade to be exact -- but with Three Chord Opera he's done himself proud, proving that his songwriting chops are far from rusty. While the album’s title might suggest a return to the rough-and-ready mid-Sixties pop style that first brought Diamond fame, Three Chord Opera is actually cut from the same grandiose Beethoven-goes-Hollywood cloth as most of his familiar post-Seventies output. The dynamic and ultra dramatic voice, the Diamond ace-in-the-hole, is still all there as well. The Solitary Man covers expressive ballads ("I Haven't Played This Song In Years," a new ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
It's been quite a while since Neil Diamond contributed all original material for an album --1974's Serenade to be exact -- but with Three Chord Opera he's done himself proud, proving that his songwriting chops are far from rusty. While the album’s title might suggest a return to the rough-and-ready mid-Sixties pop style that first brought Diamond fame, Three Chord Opera is actually cut from the same grandiose Beethoven-goes-Hollywood cloth as most of his familiar post-Seventies output. The dynamic and ultra dramatic voice, the Diamond ace-in-the-hole, is still all there as well. The Solitary Man covers expressive ballads ("I Haven't Played This Song In Years," a new Diamond classic; "You Are the Best Part of Me," "I Believe in Happy Endings" ) sultry romantic pieces ("My Special Someone" ) more aggressive numbers ("Baby Let's Drive," "At the Movies," "Don't Look Down") and heartfelt songs ("Leave a Little Room For God,"), all delivered with the brio expected of this vocal icon.The personal nature of the material opens Diamond up again as a vocalist; he believes in the music, and it shows.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Columbia records billed Neil Diamond's Three Chord Opera as his first album of all-original material in 27 years since 1974's Serenade, which was true, but deceptive. Diamond wrote most of his songs for most of his career, but often included cover songs on his albums. It would be more accurate to describe Three Chord Opera as Diamond's first straightforward album in a decade, since he followed 1991's Lovescape with a series of all-covers albums, hits compilations, Christmas albums, and live recordings; his last album containing mostly co-written originals was 1996's country-oriented Tennessee Moon. However you date Diamond's songwriting lay-off, though, the expectation is that the result will be a more personal statement than his recent albums, and it is, at least in part. Diamond begins with "I Haven't Played This Song in Years," a melancholy breakup song, and he returns to the theme of romantic loss on "Midnight Dream" and "A Mission of Love," while even the songs of apparently contented love "I Believe in Happy Endings," "You Are the Best Part of Me," "My Special Someone" are dark around the edges. But Diamond is too conscious of pop conventions to devote a whole record to one mood, and, unable to break through a tendency toward cliché, he isn't really capable of writing a sustained self-examination anyway. So, he varies the tone with novelty songs like "At the Movies" and "Baby Let's Drive," and turns to unabashed sentiment on the lullaby "Elijah's Song" and the religious "Leave a Little Room for God." When Diamond joined with songwriting collaborators in the early '80s, his compositions became more homogenous, but less embarrassing, while his '90s work fostered the impression of him as a non-writing performer. Three Chord Opera is the old Neil Diamond, a wildly uneven writer with a certain ingratiating style.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/1/2008
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 886972478425
  • Catalog Number: 724784
  • Sales rank: 62,840

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Haven't Played This Song In Years
  2. 2 Don't Look Down
  3. 3 I Believe In Happy Endings
  4. 4 At The Movies
  5. 5 Midnight Dream
  6. 6 You Are The Best Part Of Me
  7. 7 Baby Let's Drive
  8. 8 My Special Someone
  9. 9 A Mission Of Love
  10. 10 Elijah's Song
  11. 11 Leave A Little Room For God
  12. 12 Turn Down The Lights
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Neil Diamond Primary Artist
Peter Asher Percussion, Autoharp, Background Vocals
Emilio Castillo Tenor Saxophone
Vince Charles Percussion, Conga, Marimbas, Tambourine, Steel Drums
Alvin Chea Background Vocals
Craig Copeland Background Vocals
Randy Crenshaw Background Vocals
Chuck Domanico Bass
Assa Drori Violin, Concert Master
Dan Fornero Trumpet
Everette Harp Tenor Saxophone
Hadley Hockensmith Acoustic Guitar, 12-string Guitar
Tom Hensley Piano, fender rhodes
Luana Jackman Choir Master
Larry Klimas Tenor Saxophone
Russ Kunkel Drums
Stephen "Doc" Kupka Baritone Saxophone
Alan Lindgren Piano, Conductor, Drums, Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Jay Dee Maness Pedal Steel Guitar
Don Markese Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
Linda Press Vocal Harmony
Reinie Press Bass
Doug Rhone Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Ralph Rickert Trumpet
Norbert Stachel Tenor Saxophone
Ron Tutt Drums, tiple
Shari Zippert Violin
Michael Hart Thompson Guitar, Electric Guitar
Suzie Katayama Cello
Marc Mann Background Vocals
Adolfo Acosta Trumpet
Technical Credits
Peter Asher Producer, Percussion Programming
Alan Lindgren Arranger, Producer, Horn Arrangements, Percussion Programming
Bernie Becker Engineer, Mastering
Gabrielle Raumberger Art Direction
Marc Mann Digital Editing, Percussion Programming
Jeff Turzo Percussion Programming
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Enjoyed very much!

    The album is great, I especially enjoy "Leave A Little Room For God". This song has a catchy tune as well as a message.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    I absolutely love this CD. True, I am a Neil Diamond fan, but this CD is truly outstanding!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I wish I would have bought this sooner.

    I grew up listening to Neil Diamond in the 70's and early 80's, but never really gave any of his later music a chance. Then, by chance, I was watching Saving Silverman and during the end credits they played, "I Believe In Happy Endings", I immediately turned to my wife and said, "What a great song!" So she bought me this album and I have enjoyed it ever since.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Midnight Dream

    I was delighted to find a new, non-cover album (and discovered its existence when I heard a beautiful but unfamiliar song in the supermarket!!!). Midnight Dream and Elijah's Song are two of Diamond's best songs ever, up there with Signs and Skybird. I'm not so fond of Leave a Little Room or The Movies, but then, I never cared much for Song Sung Blue or Sweet Caroline either! I seem to make it a habit to prefer less popular tracks, though I'm pleased to see one other B&N reviewer is also favouring Midnight Dream.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Polish Off Your Diamonds...

    The album starts with a beautiful, more mature sounding ''Love on the Rocks''-ish ''I Haven't Played This Song In Years'' and hits again with the soft and gentle ''You are the Best Part of Me'',a 21st century ''Heartlight'', the two tearjerking Diamond songs. Neil rocks with the fun ''Don't Look Down'', the country inspired ''Baby Let's Drive'', the cool, popish ''A Mission of Love'' and the sweet gospel tune ''Leave A Little Room For God.'' Neil swings slow with his comeback song ''I Believe in Happy Endings'', recalls his 70's style of ''Play Me'' with ''Midnight Dream'', and dabbles with a slow Mexican beat in ''My Special Someone.'' Two of his heartfelt tunes, ''Elijah's Song'' and ''Turn Down The Lights'' both tell great stories backed by Neil's signature sound. With only one throw away (the fun but awlfully contrived eletro-filled ''At The Movies''), Diamond rocks with his come back to true sounding pop and sensual adult contemporary ballads. Long Live Diamond...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Better Than Ever!

    Each time I play this CD, I pick up another nuance to appreciate. The tunes are melodic, and the production is not overly lush. The lyrics make sense, though I feel that ''Leave a Little Room for God'' is somewhat trite. That is my only complaint; it's a rare CD that has so many songs that are so good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    He's back!!

    After several years of self-confessed ''writer's block'' in which Neil produced two albums with little or no songs which he composed himself and another which relied on heavy collaboration, Neil Diamond is back writing his own music and lyrics. With THREE CHORD OPERA, Neil hits the ground running, showing that he still is a terrific singer-songwriter. The love ballads are classic Neil Diamond and there are several tunes that really rock. This album has something for everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Neil Rocks Again

    This is a good, fun CD. It rocks in the right place, has humor and its share of Ballads. Lots of fun!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Diamond effort in many years

    Neil Diamond has done what he has failed to do with studio albums in twenty years. He has written some songs that bring out true emotion. There is not a bad song on the album and returns Neil to his folk rock roots.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Album!

    I've been a Neil Diamond fan for over 25 years. This is one of his most exciting new albums, where every song is enjoyable and many are emotional. ''Turn Down the Lights'' seems destined to be his new concert-closing tune. I can't wait to find out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best Neil Diamond album yet!!

    I think that this album is Diamond's best yet. The musical arrangements on the disc are so beautiful!! I believe that neil Diamond will continue to be one of the best singer/songwriters. I am a very big fan of his body of work. I believe that he will continue to produce hits until his pen runs out of ink, or until he has no more to write about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews