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Diamonds on the Inside

Price: $11.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Audio CD, March 11, 2003
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Childhood Home


The most affecting albums exist as documents – of a time, place, relationships. Childhood Home by Ben and Ellen Harper is that and more. It is the history of a family written in song by a mother and a son, where they come from, hardships transcended, the place they have arrived.

“This album is a portrait and it's a conversation,” Ben Harper says from the kitchen ... Read more in Amazon's Ben Harper Store

Visit Amazon's Ben Harper Store
for 53 albums, 10 photos, 3 videos, discussions, and more.

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Diamonds on the Inside + Fight for Your Mind + Welcome to the Cruel World
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 11, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B00008AY3L
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. With My Own Two Hands
2. When It's Good
3. Diamonds On The Inside
4. Touch From Your Lust
5. When She Believes
6. Brown Eyed Blues
7. Bring The Funk
8. Everything
9. Amen Omen
10. Temporary Remedy
11. So High So Low
12. Blessed To Be A Witness
13. Picture Of Jesus
14. She's Only Happy In The Sun

Editorial Reviews

Ben Harper makes elegant leaps from reggae to rock to folk to funk and back in his fifth studio album. The rootsy singer-songwriter with the silken tenor isn't merely genuflecting at the altar of his musical heroes, as here he shows more quirky imagination and inventive musicianship than on any of his earlier efforts. That said, "Diamonds on the Inside" is painted with the same brush that Bob Dylan used on "I Shall Be Released," but Harper adds his own Biblical aphorisms to make the song his own. Most of the songs display Harper's growth as a poet, as he ponders the dualities of life and love in tunes like the disturbing "Touch from Your Lust" and the disquietingly lyrical "Amen Omen." Harper is compelled to sing what is in his heart and to do what he can to make the world a better place. Witness the Marley-like "With My Own Two Hands." The only misstep on the whole disc is the overly humid orchestration of "When She Believes." --Jaan Uhelszki

Product Description

Customer Reviews

I wont review it by song, or by anything but what type of person will enjoy this CD.
Every song is completely different than the one before, each individual song is good by itself.
Z Man
And if this came from some shallow, money grubbing bubble gum musician I could accept it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

279 of 314 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Hillis on March 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First of all, this review will not address the actual MUSIC on this disc, which is up to Harper's usual platinum standard of songwriting and musicianship.
No, this is intended to be a warning that this CD has been laced with copy-protect technology that prevents those who paid for it from making MP3s and whatnot. It also prevents you from even listening to the disc on a computer except by using an extremely low-quality proprietary player that limits the quality to just 48 kbps -- about what you'd get from AM radio.
I own hundreds of CDs, and while my buying has slowed in recent years as family commitments and other interests take precedence, I still buy one or two discs a month. This is the first I have run across that does this. I am stunned. I bought a portable MP3 player about two years ago, and use it for all my on-the-go listening. With a baby in the house I can't even listen to much music on the home stereo. Ben Harper is perhaps my favorite modern artist, and I am furious that EMI/Virgin have carried out this underhanded assault on consumer fair use rights.
A page on the Web site of Virgin Records America confirmed the CD has been booby-trapped. A feedback form on their site did not work. I hope others are as outraged as I am and put some effort into tracking down how to voice displeasure.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jesse J. Morris on April 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As my non catchy title states this album is very good. It's good to see Ben with a new release out. It has been almost 4 years since his last studio release. I can say that the wait was definitely worth it. Ben makes his usual genre jumps all over the record. Its amazing how he (and the IC's) are able to pull this off. So anyway I'll give a brief description of the songs.
With My Own Two Hands - First single, reggae, reminds me of one of Ben's influences Bob Marley overall 8/10
When its good - acoustic bluesy type song, very good tune. Ben busts out the acoustic slide on this one. 10/10
Diamonds On The Inside - great song, remind me of Elvis Costello. 10/10
Touch From Your Lust - Nice effects on the guitar, got the Leslie (listen to Hendrix's Angel) effect going, straight foreward rock tune. 8/10
When She Believes - Slow ballad type song, strings used, acoustic guitar - pretty good tune 9/10
Brown Eyed Blues - The first funky sounding track on the album, pretty cool little bass line to this one. Nice little Bass solo on this also. I love this song. 10/10
Bring The Funk - This is an all out funk track, but I don't really like it to much. 6/10
Everything - another acoustic type song (has bass and percussion in it), bluesy feel to it, uplifting though - 8/10
Amen Omen - my favorite song on the album. Well crafted acoustic song. Best song Ben has written in a long time. 15/10
Temporary Remedy - straight ahead rock song. I think it needs to grow on me. 6/10
So High So Low - This is the Led Zep song of the album. Gonna be a great live song. 10/10
Blessed to be A Witness - Ben's voice is the highlight of this song. Mellow song. Beautiful. 10/10
Picture of Jesus - Acapella type song, just percussion and vocals.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "jjiggabyte" on March 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have every one of Ben Harper's Albums, and I can honestly say that "Diamonds on the Inside" does everything but disappoint. From the opening "With My Own Two Hands", Harper hits you with a rythmic reggae beat, ultimately making one feel that he/she too can change the world. One of my favorites on the album however is "Brown Eyed Blues". With a funky beat that even James Brown would appreciate, this track is ideal for a "Friday night before the bar pump up session". Harper's spirituality, welcomed and respected, is beautifully conveyed through songs such as "Picture of Jesus" and "Amen Omen", as well as "When She Believes".
Ben Harper is truly one of the best singer/song writer/musicians in this day and age, and it's a shame that he recieves no where near the acclaim that he has proved he deserves. While he may lose some fire in the studio as compared to the live stage, Ben Harper takes one on a funky, spiritual ride, with Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix ever present in the rear-view.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Kenoyer on April 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Ben Harper's last solo studio release before "Both Sides of the Gun"; but it has a couple of flops that merited the 4-star rather than 5-star rating.

For one thing, I'm Ben Harper's age, and thus old enough to remember Paul Simon's "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes." This is the song that Ben Harper used to rip off, errmm, bring Simon's influence into "Picture of Jesus," which is a dreadful tribute to Simon's "Diamonds"; yet nowhere in the CD liner notes does Harper credit or even thank Simon for this influence--which, as a musician, I thought was kind of classless.

The other "misstep," as the original reviewer succinctly called it, was "When She Believes." I'm not sure if Ben Harper wants us to envision that we're on a gondola in Venice while this song is playing, but the corny "That's Amore"-esque violins playing in the background sure made it feel that way.

Now for the good stuff--standouts on this CD include the opening track, "With My Own Two Hands," which is akin to a beautiful prayer-cum-traditional reggae celebration of a song. "When It's Good" is sultry, sexy, bluesy, and minimalist all at the same time; and the title track, "Diamonds on the Inside," is soulful and loving in its tone while being masterful in its guitar sounds. "Brown Eyed Blues" and "Bring the Funk" are danceable and, well, wonderfully funky; and the eloquent "Blessed to Be a Witness" is a fitting almost-bookend for the opening number. Perhaps the most introspective, yearning song with a masterful blend of both piano and acoustic guitar is "Amen Omen," a passionate ballad. The two rock numbers, "Temporary Remedy" and "So High So Low", also don't disappoint.

So if you don't let the two sloppy tracks I ranted about, as well as the mediocre "Everything" and "She's Only Happy in the Sun", bother you, this is well worth the investment.
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