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  • In My Lifetime (3CD)
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In My Lifetime (3CD) Box set, Original recording remastered

75 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, October 29, 1996
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$69.20 $0.64

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Since Neil's had hits with four different labels, there's never been any truly comprehensive collection 'til now! Besides the 16 unreleased tracks (demos, alternate versions and the new title tune), there are 37 hit singles from his Bang ( Cherry, Cherry; Sweet Caroline ), Uni/MCA ( Cracklin' Rosie; Song Sung Blue ), Columbia ( You Don't Bring Me Flowers; Longfellow Serenade ) and Capitol ( Love on the Rocks; America ) periods, plus a 72-page, four-color booklet containing complete discography and chart information. All told, 71 songs from one of the great songwriters of a generation.

The three-CD box set In My Lifetime marks the first time songs from all phases (and all labels) of Neil Diamond's career have been gathered in one place. The 71 tracks include 5 unreleased songwriting demos from 1958-64, 3 flop singles from 1960-63 on Duel and Columbia, 11 of the Bang sides, 14 Uni cuts, 25 samples from the Columbia years, his contribution to "The Last Waltz," 11 unreleased outtakes, 1 new song, and a live version of the first song he ever wrote. It's all arranged chronologically to tell the story of his career from aspiring Brill Building songwriter to less interesting adult-contemporary superstar. --Geoffrey Himes

Disc: 1
1. In My Lifetime (Opening Album Version)
2. Hear Them Bells (Live) (Previously Unissued)
3. Blue Destiny (Original Demo)
4. A Million Miles Away (Original Demo)
5. A Good Kind Of Lonely (Original Demo)
6. What Will I Do?
See all 27 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Cracklin' Rosie
2. Done Too Soon
3. Morningside
4. Soolaimon
5. He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother
6. Crunchy Granola Suite
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. America
2. Love On The Rocks
3. Scotch On The Rocks (Original Demo)
4. Hello Again
5. Yesterday's Songs
6. I'm Alive
See all 20 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 29, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002AF7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,148 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Wade on February 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is to date the definitive Neil Diamond collection for the simple fact that not only does it sound great, but for the first time ever, Sony cross-licensed the original masters of 14 of Neil's greatest hits from his former label, Uni (now Universal Music Group), and included most of the original studio recordings of his even earlier hits from the Bang! label. The Bang! catalogue was acquired by Sony in the early 1980's, and they issued an essential 12 track album (The Early Classics), and all those titles appear on In My Lifetime but not all of them are the original studio versions. I suppose that was done to continue to make Early Classics required for those of us who require the original versions.

There is a lot of previously rare or unreleased material on this mostly chronologically arranged collection. I have always felt that Diamond seemed to lose his edge around the late 70's even though he continued to have some nice easy listening hits, he went from being a sure thing to one you'd want to be cautious about before you spent the money on his latest works. Even worse, it seemed that by the late 1980's early 90's, he lost his vocal range. I saw him in concert around 1988 and was shocked by how bad his voice was as well as how he seemed bent on convincing the audience that UB 40's (then)recent #1 cover of "Red Red Wine" was his and that he was taking it back by doing it their way. Believe me, his original way was much better. I was embarrassed for him. After the concert, I had all but written Neil off as someone I would not be buying in the future.

I am happy to say that I was very pleasantly surprised in 1992 when he did Tennessee Moon. It was the first new Neil Diamond album in a great while that was fresh and written for the limitations of his older voice.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lou Brown on March 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This a a wonderful gift to Diamondheads everywhere. IN MY LIFETIME is a musical biography with little tidbits of information which the artist shares with his fans. It's fun listening to the original cuts to my old favorites as well as the early demos and reading in Neil's own words how the songs came about, etc. Until I bought this set I didn't realize that the demo of "Cherry, Cherry" was released instead of the "official" recording which used drums & horns. Both versions are included in this set as well as demos of other songs from 1958 when Neil was just 17 years old. There are 70 songs in all, a real treasure. There is so much here including the notes, pictures & discography that it took me two evenings to listen to and read everything - and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. If you're a Neil Diamond fan this is a must for your collection.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great collection of songs from the legendary Neil Diamond. Of course, there are some tunes that should be here, but every artist compilation that's put out today has loop holes here and there. My two biggest complaints are the following. First, although I thought it was great that a good portion of the Jonathan Livingston Seagull soundtrack was included, I can't believe that they didn't include the regular 6 minute album version of "Be." Instead, you have the 3 minute tune that is sung differently and is simply not nearly as good. Second, the orchestrational strings that open the beginning of "Hello Again" have been edited out! It's like they cut the song short or something. Wierd. Oh, and the 12 Greatest Hits version of "Shilo" is much better than the one on this compilation. I think it's great though to hear the unreleased tracks, as well as Neil's original recordings of "I'm A Believer" and "Red Red Wine." If you're a Neil fan, this is certainly something you need to add to your collection.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By L. Alper on November 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Even in the late 70's/early 80's when my hair was fuschia & I wore safety pins in my ears, I still loved Neil Diamond. He's never been "cool" or "hip", he's the kind of artist your parents like too (my father is who introduced me to Diamond back when I was 7 or 8) but his songwriting talent is inargueable.
This is a songwriter who's career dates back to the late, great Brill Building. Over 40 years later, he's still going strong & selling more concert tickets than ever. There's not many pop artists who can make that claim! Even people who don't like Neil Diamond can sing along to any number of his songs.
"In My Lifetime" is the definitive Diamond collection. For my money, the 2nd disc is the best, containing my favorite period of Diamond's career (the 70's). The 1st disc is also good from "Cherry Cherry" (song 11) thru it's end. Personally I could live without the 3rd disc which cover Diamond's collaborative efforts including "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" & "Heartlight". You may disagree however; it all depends on when you first discovered his music. What isn't in dispute is the richness of his voice, that wonderfully comforting sound you've heard most of your life. The arrangements of his songs can't be faulted either, & the musicians he has used most of his career have always been the best.
To my mind, the main problem with this set is the amount of material. Although collectors might be interested in Diamond's early demos, most of us aren't. Personally I have no need to hear the original cassette demo of "Beautiful Noise" with his young daughter singing along. These are minor quibbles however, & anyone with a moderately priced CD changer can bypass the archival material.
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