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12 Songs

Neil DiamondAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

Price: $11.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Bang Years EPK


Five decades into his career, Neil Diamond has finally made the album of his dreams. Columbia Records is proud to release Dreams, a new 14-song collection of the legendary singer/songwriter's interpretations of his favorite songs of other composers from the rock era.

"You never know how long you've got and a lot of these songs have been waiting for me to record them for 40 ... Read more in Amazon's Neil Diamond Store

Visit Amazon's Neil Diamond Store
for 145 albums, 11 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

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12 Songs + Home Before Dark + Three Chord Opera
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 8, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000CD0P7S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,106 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Oh Mary
2. Hell Yeah
3. Captain Of A Shipwreck
4. Evermore
5. Save Me A Saturday Night
6. Delirious Love
7. I'm On To You
8. What's It Gonna Be
9. Man Of God
10. Create Me
11. Face Me
12. We

Editorial Reviews

Forget for a moment that you're a sophisticated consumer of music with a mercilessly low tolerance for schlock: Neil Diamond--"Cracklin' Rosie" and "Forever in Blue Jeans" be damned--is going to break your heart. 12 Songs, the hotly anticipated collaboration between Rick Rubin and the formerly jumpsuited Don Juan, exceeds all hopped-up expectations, deflating fans' concerns that their hero might fall flat on the frames of his huge sunglasses in attempting to turn out something hip and harnessing what sounds like decades' worth of untapped, superior songcraft instead. There it is on "Captain of a Shipwreck," a declaration of love that skims the poetic with its promise that "If you're captain of a shipwreck/I'll be first mate to your shame," and around it comes again on "Hell Yeah," a life-affirming, rumor-debunking anthem fairly bursting with bravado (think "I Am...I Said," but with context). Bravado aside, expect no pulled punches here. Rubin's masterful approach is to let Neil Diamond do what Neil Diamond does best, and that is to strap on a loose guitar and let those teflon-ravaged vocals ride over it. Some rides, of course, are smoother than others--Brian Wilson's guest spot on bonus track "Delirious Love" is so melodic and harmony-rich it ought to have sails attached, while "What's It Gonna Be" sounds like something snatched in a pre-dawn lark from a Leonard Cohen disc. All of it is lovely, every last track. A respectful rescripting of the legend, a la the Rubin-aided recasting of Johnny Cash after 2002's American Recordings, is in order. --Tammy La Gorce

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars they sure don't make albums like this anymore! November 30, 2005
By Mark H
Format:Audio CD
12 Songs is a rare treat this holiday season:Not another cynical
Best-Of cd to cash-in.Not another covers cd.And not cold studio-pop.12 Songs is music that goes for the heart in a very honest and natural way.And it does.

Neil's albums have lacked good production for a long time.Otherwise good rock songs softened into easy listening mush in the studio.But with Rubin,like with the 1976 Robbie Robertson-produced Beautiful Noise,a rock producer makes Neil shine! Neil's distinctive deep-bass of a voice and a natural way with hooks and melodies are not burried by orchestras and background singers.

also great are the lyrics.Neil Diamond hasn't run out of things to say at age 64.He has a whole life to reflect on.Lessons to share.Memories that are sometimes happy,sometimes heartbreakingly sad.And Neil is looking ahaid.If only more of his peers stuck in an elevator of pop standards would do the same.The lyrics are gutsy.

here is a track-by review rating of the 12 Songs

"Oh Marry"
a haunting death-ballad against a backdrop of creepy piano that gives me chills.I wonder who 'Mary' is.A metaphor?an angel?A lover from a long time ago?A pretend-lover in those lonely nights?the music?the song is so gentle yet so moving.

"Hell Yeah"
Reminds me of "Lady Magdalane" in that it starts with a guitar and brooding lyrcs,but grows into thunderous intenity and power.In a way,"Hell Yeah" is "I am I Said" over 30 years later.He found the self worth he was searching for.Found peace being lost between two shores.And even offers motivation and hope for listener to not be afraid to follow their dreams.Powerful!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Why do we like the music we like? Music is a very personal thing for some people. To judge a persons musical taste is like telling someone that you think their new bride is ugly. I have read professional reviews of this CD and they seem to be more about Mr. Diamond now being cool or being in with whatever is mainstream today. I like this CD because the song lyrics are very intimate and personal to the songwriter. The real life inspiration that created these songs is clearly reflected in each. Sit down, relax, put your headphones on and just listen to the music. This collection of songs is a quality effort from a veteran songwriter who still has something to say. Neil Diamond has been part of the American pop culture for years and whether you like him or not his music will live on for decades after he is gone. He didn't have to make this kind of CD for he really has nothing left to prove. Like I said before, just listen... you may find that some of these songs really hit home.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A man and a guitar December 8, 2005
Format:Audio CD
A die-hard Neil Diamond fan might like this album from the first listen, but for younger music fans it may take a few repeats to get into it. The simplicity of the man singing to the accompaniment of a guitar might seem quite unusual in this era of loud backing music, but this is Neil Diamond, one of the few who can carry it off in style.

This is a slow, laid-back Sunday afternoon sort of album, with some of the tracks sounding like vintage Diamond of the "Sweet Caroline" and "Song Sung Blue" era.

Songs to take note of are "Evermore", "Delirious Love", "Hell Yeah", "What's It Gonna Be" and "Captain of a Shipwreck."

With this album, we can almost forgive him for that awful rendition of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", but unfortunately it will probably be best remembered as one of the last of the infamous Sony spyware discs, and that would be doing the album a great disservice.

Amanda Richards, December 8, 2005
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to it three times and you will be hooked December 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD
If you are a fan of the bombastic Diamond of "America" or "Forever in Blue Jeans" this album may not be for you. If you have longed for the Diamond of the classic album "Moods" and his earlier simple pop, this is a grammy caliber effort.

The best song from here is "Evermore."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I grew up with Neil Diamond and followed the majority of his career. His earlier songs and works still enspires me to this day with Hot August Night (1972) for me, probably the peak of his career.

Since the late seventies though, I started missing cutting edge Neil Diamond and he had less and less to say - almost as if he lost insparation and tried to cover it up with streamlined studio effects and artificial trimmings. His magical voice also did not come to it's full right.

What happened to Neil Diamond of Song Song Blue, I am I said, Canta Libre, And the Singer sings his song, (and many others)?

I actually stopped even listening to the more recent Diamond albums... until I was alerted of this new album by a good friend.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Enspired though every song, Neil Diamond takes the listener through moments of hope and joy winged by his magical unforced voice that adds a golden touch to each and every one of the 12 songs. Why did we have to wait 25 years until the dawn of his career to listen to the old Neil Diamond magic again?

More raw, less refined, and unpretentious, perhaps more flawed in places, but staight from the soul! Twelve precious songs containing cutting lyrics telling the story of the artist coming of age after a long journey.

The album is an absolute must for every true Neil Diamond fan, and a good platform for new ones. Let's hope there is more where this came from for future albums!

In his own words on Hell Yeah:"He finally got it right, hell yeah he did". You surely did Neil, you surely did!

Long live Neil Diamond!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 Great songs
Other than his Three Chord Opera album, this is his best original work of the last decade......and one the best from the entire decade..... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joshua W
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 Songs
Another good cd by Neil Diamond. Not my favourite, since many seem to be more introspective than his usual style, but very well done. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Christina E. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best...
But he's had so many!!! This is one of my favorites by Diamond, however, and I think it is well worth not only a listen, but adding to your Neil Diamond collection! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Little Tank
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 Songs: Actually 14, But I Wish There Were More
This disk was very well received on initial release, and it is understandable why. The song writing is comparable to his output from the late 1960's to early 1970's, arguably his... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Daniel Rosenthal MD
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Diamond is a Blessing
we love Neil Diamond on this album there are two songs that my husband used to sing HELL YEAH and MAN OF GOD MY husband passed away 8 years ago from colen cancer. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lynn Carlisi
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD is about redemption and tells an incredible story beginning to...
Have enjoyed Neil for many years and seen him in concert a few times. This was a totally unexpected, pleasant surprise. Very different music and lyrics. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lillibeth
3.0 out of 5 stars Neil Diamond is Good
I am not a HUGE fan, so I picked this up when a gal recommended a few songs that she thought reminded us of each other. They did.
Published 6 months ago by Andrew M. Ignash
2.0 out of 5 stars Neal Diamond songs
Didn't know what songs were included. And it didn't included the ones I wanted. I need to do a better job of picking these out.
Published 7 months ago by Dennis Lamal
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I bought the CD because I thought that Brian Wilson was included in it on one song, "Delirious Love" and was very disappointed that he was nowhere to be found on this CD. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Meg Reilly
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Album
I love most of the songs on this album. But, the greatest hits and another one or two I like just a little better. No bad deals from Neil
Published 17 months ago by Jane Kirby
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