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Home Before Dark CD

240 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, May 6, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Home Before Dark is the long awaited new album from legendary artist Neil Diamond. Home Before Dark was produced by legendary producer Rick Rubin who also produced Neil's critically acclaimed 12 Songs.
Bonus DVD includes Neil in the studio performing songs.
The songs are:
1. Pretty Amazing Grace
2. If I Don't See You Again
3. Forgotten
4. The Boxer (bonus track...this song is not on the album)

Remarkably Home Before Dark is the first US chart topping album of Neil Diamond's forty year career. It appears to repeat the formula behind 2006's acclaimed 12 Songs--relatively understated arrangements and a subtle Rick Rubin production. But Diamond, though sixty-seven years old and the oldest recipient of a Number One so far, is no Johnny Cash, turning his unique voice to some well chosen contemporary material. Instead Home Before Dark is a collection of new Diamond songs, and though they might not match the boomers in his back catalogue they are hardly stripped back. These are songs designed to fill large venues alongside the showstoppers in Diamond's still energetic live show. "Pretty Amazing Grace" is in the great tradition of Diamond songs that defy their corniness with sheer catchiness, as is "One More Bite of the Apple" while "Don't Go There" features bracing backing vocals and a delightfully dated wobbly guitar hook. The duet with Natalie Maines, "Another Day (That Time Forgot)", would fit comfortably on American country radio while "The Power of Two" sounds like another hit in waiting. In fact this is more a conventional Diamond collection than a Rick Rubin production, dominated by lightly understated country rock arrangements played by a crack team including Smokey Hormel, Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell and the usually experimental Matt Sweeney. This is a charming and consistently solid set, though Home Before Dark does lack the unexpected intensity that made 12 Songs stand out so. -—Steve Jelbert
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 6, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0015D3Z3A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,223 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"There are two types of people in the world: those who like Neil Diamond and those who don't." - quote from the movie "What About Bob?"

If you're in the latter category, please read no further.

If you're still with me, this is a "pretty amazing" album from the evergreen Mr. Diamond, taking us back to his music of the seventies, namely the "Song Sung Blue" and "Sweet Caroline" period. There's also no complaining about the length of the album, as there are five songs that are six minutes and above, and only one track below four minutes.

American Idol viewers would have been treated to a live performance of the single "Pretty Amazing Grace", and if you liked that one, you're really going to enjoy this album.

Other recommended tracks are:

If I Don't See You Again - the first song on the album, and the longest at 7 minutes 14 seconds.

Another Day (That Time Forgot) - with Dixie Chick Natalie Maines

Forgotten - lots of guitars

Act Like a Man - a little Moon River, a little Country, pure Diamond

Whose Hands Are These - a folksy, inspiring treasure with heavy guitar and piano backing

No Words - you'll be hooked from the intro (personal favorite)

This is vintage Diamond, and I predict a very good year indeed.
Recommended - just recommended - buy it!!

Amanda Richards, May 15, 2008
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By G. Vernon on May 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Wow. Since when does an artist who has been toiling away in the industry for 5 decades challenge his entire catalog by releasing what may be the two strongest albums in his illustrious career? As good as 12 Songs is, it's possible that Home Before Dark may even surpass its achievements. Whether it does so will depend on whether 12 Songs was too stark, too stripped-down, for the listener. Without moving remotely close to the bombast of the 80s, Diamond and Rubin have filled out the sound Home Before Dark with more instrumentation, which may please those for whom 12 Songs was too intimate.

Not for this listener. 12 Songs and Home Before Dark both showcase Diamond's greatest asset: his ability as a songwriter, and in both cases we are presented with the most solid, accomplished cycle of songs since the period that gave us "Moods" and "Stones."

Home Before Dark is a towering achievement, possibly even moreso than 12 Songs, as it shows without a doubt that 12 Songs was no fluke. Neil Diamond may be no spring chicken but he's at the height of his power as an artist. I guarantee you that if you ever loved Neil in the past, this album will remind you of everything you loved him for. It's truly stunning.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have been a Neil Diamond fan my whole life. One of the first songs I remember learning by heart is "Song Sung Blue," taught to me when I was three or four by my then-teenage sisters. I was taken to my first concert when I was about 10. I've grown up with this man's music -- singing it, teaching it to myself on the guitar and piano, returning to old favorites as I got older and finding nuances that I had missed when I was younger.

This is, hands down, his finest album. I feel a little sorry for the reviewers both here and in the media who can't see that. Those who long for the boom-boom-boom of the 80s, the sequins and muttonchop whiskers, are forgetting that, first and foremost, Neil Diamond is a songwriter. For too many people, the whole Neil Diamond thing has never actually been about the music. It's all about "the scene," the big events, the production numbers, the over-the-top orchestrations and the oversized flag descending onstage at the end of "America." Really, it's too bad that not everyone can hear these songs for what they are: some of the best of his career, right up there with anything he wrote 30 years ago.

Over the years I've turned my husband, a die-hard classic rock aficionado, into a fan. We caught our nine-year-old daughter singing along to "Pretty Amazing Grace" in the car last night. If that doesn't prove the timelessness of these new songs, and the man who wrote them, I don't know what will. I hope he keeps recording with Rick Rubin and this stripped-down little band until he's ready to call it quits -- a long time from now.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert G Yokoyama VINE VOICE on May 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Neil Diamond sounds good on "Home Before Dark". There is so much wisdom and warmth in his voice. These two qualities have always been part of his appeal for me. My favorite track is "The Day Time Forgot". It is a pretty duet that Neil sings with Natalie Maines from the Dixie Chicks. The keyboard playing by Benmont Tench is beautiful on this track. My other favorite track is "Pretty Amazing Grace". This is a spiritual song about forgiveness. Neil sounds great vocally. He also plays the acoustic guitar superbly on this track. "The Power Of Two" is a good song. I like the violin playing by Chuck Findley on this track. "If I Don't See You Again" is a beautiful tune about friendship. There is a trio of guitar players on this track. They sound so good playing together. Julia Sweeney is creditted with playing the guitar here. "One More Bite Of The Apple" is a very personal song about Neil's longing to make music. "Forgotten" is another song that Neil performs with his guitar. This is a very engaging song and video. I love the musical arrangements and the lyrics of the songs very much.
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Topic From this Discussion
When is Neil coming to the USA?
There is a story in that says he will kick off July 19 in St. Paul, MN and end Oct. 30 in Jacksonville, FL. It says the tour will include performances in Chicago, Detroit, New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles and Houston. The article doesn't give dates. You can go to... Read More
Apr 15, 2008 by Alabama Catlady |  See all 8 posts
"Pretty Amazing Grace"
Where have you heard Pretty Amazing Grace "many times over?" The album won't be released until 5/6, so I'm curious about where you are hearing it now. Thanks.
Apr 25, 2008 by Dallas Briney |  See all 4 posts
I'm confused! Missing track on Home Before Dark?
By now (2015) you probably know it was a bonus track on the deluxe edition.
Jan 9, 2015 by A. Duchaney |  See all 2 posts
Your favorite song from Home Before Dark?
Favorite song from HBD: "No Words" Catchy and reminds me of his bouncy '70's stuff.
Dec 7, 2008 by M. Chavez |  See all 3 posts
all time favorite Elton John song
There are so many, a lot of which were not hit singles. But if I had to choose a hit, it would be Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. For me, that song epitomizes Elton John of the '70's. Excellent.
Dec 7, 2008 by M. Chavez |  See all 2 posts
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