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Neil Diamond - The Greatest Hits (1966-1992) CD

3.7 out of 5 stars 213 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, May 19, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Though now known mainly for his middle-of-the-road balladry, Neil Diamond started his career in the '60s as a Tin Pan Alley pro who turned out a string of ballsy, folk-rock-styled classic Top 40 singles that may come as a surprise to anyone who's grown up with the image of Diamond as a sensitive crooner and Vegas showman. This 2 CD set contains all of his hits, but it isn't quite the definitive package that its title suggests. His early Bang singles ("Cherry, Cherry," "Kentucky Woman," "Solitary Man") and his later Columbia material ("You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "America," "Heartlight") appear in their original versions. But his mid-period MCA/UNI hits ("Sweet Caroline," "Song Sung Blue," "I Am ... I Said") are represented by live re-recordings from 1989 and 1992. --Scott Schinder

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Though now known mainly for his middle-of-the-road balladry, Neil Diamond started his career in the '60s as a Tin Pan Alley pro who turned out a string of ballsy, folk-rock-styled classic Top 40 singles that may come as a surprise to anyone who's grown up with the image of Diamond as a sensitive crooner and Vegas showman. This 2 CD set contains all of his hits, but it isn't quite the definitive package that its title suggests. His early Bang singles ("Cherry, Cherry," "Kentucky Woman," "Solitary Man") and his later Columbia material ("You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "America," "Heartlight") appear in their original versions. But his mid-period MCA/UNI hits ("Sweet Caroline," "Song Sung Blue," "I Am ... I Said") are represented by live re-recordings from 1989 and 1992. --Scott Schinder

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Solitary Man
  2. Cherry, Cherry
  3. I Got The Feelin' (Oh No, No)
  4. Thank The Lord For The Night Time
  5. Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon
  6. Kentucky Woman
  7. Shilo
  8. You Got To Me
  9. Brooklyn Roads
  10. Red, Red Wine
  11. I'm A Believer
  12. Sweet Caroline
  13. Soolaimon
  14. Cracklin' Rosie
  15. Song Sung Blue
  16. Play Me
  17. Holly Holy
  18. Morningside
  19. Crunchy Granola Suite

Disc: 2

  1. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
  2. I Am...I Said
  3. Be
  4. Longfellow Serenade
  5. Beautiful Noise
  6. If You Know What I Mean
  7. Desiree
  8. September Morn
  9. You Don't Bring Me Flowers
  10. Forever In Blue Jeans
  11. Hello Again
  12. America
  13. Love On The Rocks
  14. Yesterday's Songs
  15. Heartlight
  16. Headed For The Future
  17. Heartbreak Hotel
  18. All I Really Need Is You


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 1992)
  • Original Release Date: May 19, 1992
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000028OJ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,324 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric V. Moye on November 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Don't get me wrong: I dig Diamond. I love his earlier work. Seeing him perform live was a great treat, and like some others, I don't think he can be overdone.
Much of the great A.M. radio songs of the 1960's and early 1970's were from his pen and voice. "I Got the Feelin", "Girl You'll be a Woman Soon", "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" (more on that later) established his bona fides for a place in the Hall of Fame. Be forewarned though. In this album, I thought I had found the treasure I was looking for: Most of the stuff I grew up with in one place. However, I was abjectly disappointed to find too many of the songs I wanted were not the original versions I had come to love, but instead were live versions.
I wanted the versions of the songs "Brooklyn Roads", "I Am I Said", "B.L.T.S.S." and "Sweet Caroline" like I remember them. Unfortunately, the versions here were all live. According to one of the critics, a full third of the album is. Some of these are just fine, but if you want originals, this is going to leave you searching elsewhere.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this CD because I wanted one CD with all Neil Diamonds best hits.
When I got it - It had a sticker on the jewel case saying that it contains 13 (I think?) LIVE RECORDING.
That was my 'red flag'. I immediately returned it to Amazon.
Unfortunatelly Amazon do not include that info in the CD title.
If you like NOISY LIVE RECORDINGS - this CD is for you.
If not: I then purchased: 1) Neil Diamond 12 Greatest Hit Vol. II and 2) The Neil Diamond Collection (Original recording remastered) - The one where he looks like 25 on the cover.
Which is good CLEAN music, and both CD's cost the same price as this one.
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Format: Audio CD
When I was a 12 year old boy, somebody bought me a double vinyl album by Neil Diamond called 'Diamonds'. I loved it and played it to death.
20 years later I suddenly got the urge to hear those great songs again and scoured the amazon sites. Alas 'Diamonds' isn't mentioned anywhere so I settled for this CD instead.
Imagine my horror when I played it and half the tracks were live versions (and weak ones at that!) I believe a live concert of your favourite artist is a great experience - when you are actually there - but rarely translates well to record.
The beautifully arranged orchestrations are replaced by a band and the soulful voice is replaced by the weaker, less tuneful live version, with applause and Neils comments to the audience thrown in for good measure!
The non-live songs are all excellent and he is a terrific singer - I just wish I could have had my 'Diamonds' back!
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Format: Audio CD
You know, I was raised on Neil Diamond. He and John Denver (and Handel's Messiah at Christmas) were about the extent of recorded music in my parents' house until I discovered pop music (and Duran Duran) at age 10. For quite a while, I rebelled and went the other direction. Didn't we all?
My loss. This 2 CD set contains 33 wonderful songs -- and not even all of Neil's gems. I could go on and on about the greatness of Neil's songs, but other reviewers have done that already, and most of you who visit this page know already. But consider the list: America, Sweet Caroline, Cracklin Rosie, Forever in Blue Jeans, You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Be, I Am I Said, Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show, Desiree, September Morn, Hello Again, Red Red Wine, Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon, Kentucky Woman. They're all here, and then some. I was particularly pleased with the inclusion of some of Neil's early stuff on these discs.
BUT (doesn't it seem there's always a BUT?) for some reason, the middle chunk of the set is made up of live recordings from the early 90s, rather than the original studio recordings. And in these live recordings, the Neil we know and love has been replaced by fat, bloated, old Vegas Neil. Bad choice. Not all of the live recordings are truly terrible, but some are -- Sweet Caroline and Red Red Wine in particular stick out as sore thumbs.
Still, until a better set comes along, this one is still far superior to the single-disc greatest hits. Unless you want to buy a bunch of albums (which, frankly, wouldn't be a bad choice), this set is an imperfect, but best available, choice.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this compilation after looking thru the track-listing and seeing that all my favourite Neil Diamond songs were included. Unfortunately 13 of the songs are mediocre live versions from Neil's early 90s concerts. Classics such as Cracklin' Rosie, I Am I Said, Song Sung Blue and Sweet Caroline are poor imitations of the original studio recordings of the early 70s. I recommend that you get your hands on the Neil Diamond Collection if you want to listen to these and others in their full glory. Clearly, Uni who own the rights to these songs didn't give permission to Columbia for them to be included on these CDs. So until all these songs are released on a single collection, you will have to do what I did, buy both and make your own compilation. Not cheap, but worth it for the ultimate Neil Diamond collection.
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Format: Audio CD
At first glance this compilation is a sure winner. What the cover doesn't state, however, is that many of the tracks are live recordings. Although many of Neil Diamond's songs benefit from a live performance, for instance, Brooklyn Roads and Cracklin' Rosie, others are seriously unpalatable, having the unfortunate effect of severely marring my impression of Diamond.
I will never comprehend why the original Song Sung Blue was jettisoned in favour of a gruff, raspy update that is an insult to the original. In addition, Diamond has a tendency to overpower the material during live acts, dragging and drawling all over the place. An example of which is the badly burnt 'Play Me'. The relative restraint shown in the studio recordings work far better.
For all that, however, I can't say this 2-CD set was a poor purchase, but it could have been improved with more careful screening during the song selection process.
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