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The Essential Neil Diamond [Original recording remastered]

Neil DiamondAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)

Price: $11.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 2001 $11.88  

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The Bang Years EPK


For Neil Diamond, it’s always started with a song. Over the course of his astonishing career, Neil has sold more than 128 million albums worldwide. He’s charted 56 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including 12 top 10 hits, and has released 16 Top 10 albums. He’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2011, he was honored by the ... Read more in Amazon's Neil Diamond Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 4, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B00005R5SO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Solitary Man
2. Cherry, Cherry
3. I Got The Feelin' (Oh No, No)
4. Kentucky Woman
5. Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon
6. You Got To Me
7. Red, Red Wine
8. Thank The Lord For The Night Time
9. I'm A Believer
10. Sweet Caroline
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. America
2. Hello Again
3. Love On The Rocks
4. Captain Sunshine
5. He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother - Live
6. Yes I Will/Lady Magdalene - Live
7. Shilo - Live
8. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show - Live
9. If You Know What I Mean
10. Beautiful Noise
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Neil Diamond is one of a rare breed. As a songwriter, his music has been covered successfully by artists as diverse as the Monkees, Deep Purple, UB40, and Smash Mouth. But Diamond used that three-chord alchemy to build an unparalleled career as a performer as well. The 38 tracks on these two discs address those interlocking legacies in the most comprehensive manner yet, gathering his material from Bang! Records (including such pop staples as "Solitary Man," "Cherry, Cherry," "Kentucky Woman," "Red, Red Wine," and "I'm a Believer"), Universal (highlighted by "Sweet Caroline," Song Sung Blue," "Holly Holy," and "I Am ... I Said"), and Columbia for the first time. And if Diamond has veered toward the middle of the road on those latter recordings (such as "September Morn," "Heartlight," and the Streisand duet "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"), there remains a remarkable consistency throughout his work. As if to underscore the point, a number of mid-period hits (including "Shiloh," "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," and "Soolaimon") are featured as live recordings from fall 2001. These performances show that the sweet roughness of his voice has only grown in power and drama; it's small wonder that Diamond remains one of the top live draws in the business. Even if it overlooks Diamond's unlikely late-'90s hit country album (Tennessee Moon), this set manages to be both concise and thorough, the best introduction yet to an American music legend. --Jerry McCulley

Product Description

30 tracks from all phases of his career, including every Top 10 hit from the Bang, Uni, Columbia and even Capitol labels (which is really unprecedented)! Includes Cherry, Cherry; Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon; Kentucky Woman; Red Red Wine; Holly Holy; Sweet Caroline; Cracklin' Rosie; Song Sung Blue; Love on the Rocks; Hello Again; America; I Am I Said; Longfellow Serenade; You Don't Bring Me Flowers , and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
265 of 281 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: LIVE RECORDINGS January 19, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I own just about every Neil Diamond album prior to 1995 (mostly LP's). I have been a serious fan since high school (late 60's).
If you are thinking that this would be a good "Greatest Hits" album to have, think again.
About half of these tracks are recorded from live concert performances, and many of those are of low musical quality. "Remastering" does no good when you are starting with junk to begin with.
If you like "live" recordings (and we are NOT talking about "Hot August Night" quality here), then you may like this CD.
If what you want is what your heard on the radio way back when, then half of this collection is going to seriously disappoint you.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you're curious about this cd, read this... January 12, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Ok, so you're probably thinking to yourself, "What's the difference between this new greatest hits package and the others that are already out?" I already have all these songs on cd, but I'm a big fan of remastered cds and bought this primarily to see if the sound quality was better. I was happy to discover that this collection is the best sounding Neil Diamond recordings that you will find, even better than the "In My Lifetime" box set. On a side note, I highly recommend the MCA remastered "12 Greatest Hits" that came out awhile back. The sound quality on that disc is amazing. It also has much better studio recordings of "Shilo" and "Soolaimon" than the other versions that are out.
Anyway, like I said, the songs have been remastered and restored beautifully. Here are the downsides of this collection. First, there are (yet again) more live cuts that are simply not very good. It seems odd to me that they can provide the studio recordings of "Cherry, Cherry" and "Sweet Caroline" but they choose to provide an older Neil singing live versions of "Play Me" and "Shilo" etc. Second, just like the "In My Lifetime" box set, "Hello Again" is not included in its entirety. The opening strings of the song (which I love) are cut out, which I find quite annoying. Lastly, there are some songs like "Be" that are not included but it's no biggie. Anyway, like I said, if you have most of these songs or just want to get a taste of Neil, buy this because the sound quality is the best so far.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I've Got the Feelin' (Oh, no) another rip-off improved December 4, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Neil's catalog is split across two labels (Columbia & UNI). The last Columbia 2-CD Anthology presented his original Bang material and his post MCA material, but since it couldn't license the rest, Sweet Caroline, I Am...I Said, Holly Holy and others were presented as live versions. No notation was given on the outside of the jewel case.
This latest offering improves on that release somewhat (5 of his UNI material are studio versions), but it still presents live material from that ill fated predecessor.
Which begs another question: Why is Shilo, live? Columbia owns the Bang studio version.
The import Ultimate Collection remains the best bet. It contains most of the Bang material (save for Shilo), most of the UNI material (except for Crunchy Granola Suite), and all the essential post UNI material (Longfellow Serenade, Love on The Rocks, etc).
Columbia, here is a suggestion: There is a comprehensive UNI collection remastered by MCA, why not give us a remastered Bang collection instead of this rip-off?
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The Essential Neil Diamond is an excellent two CD set that is attractively priced--what a value! These two CDs have many, many wonderful hits and ballads performed by the great Neil Diamond; and the sound quality couldn't be better. The artwork is nicely done as well. I do need to warn you that some of these songs are recorded from live concerts and that may or may not bother you. I think the live recordings are pretty decent but to each his own!

"Cherry, Cherry" really rocks with Neil Diamond doing a smash-up job on this tune! Neil sounds great and this is absolutely a wonderful number that's very strong as well. "I Got The Feelin' (Oh No, No)" has a bit of a country flavor to it that enhances the natural beauty of this ballad; and I like that very much. Neil's excellent diction bolsters his performance and the backup singers never fail him either! "Kentucky Woman" was a huge hit for Neil Diamond and that's great for all of us--it's a wonderful number that Neil shared with us! "Kentucky Woman" has incredible sounds that Neil handles with panache and it's truly a major highlight of this two CD set. There's also "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon;" this tender love ballad never escapes my mind and it's very pretty. The melody is very well done and Neil sings this with lots of passion to make "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" yet another highlight of this two CD set.

"I'm A Believer" rocks well as Neil does this cover song; the backup singers work wonders for this tune as well. Listen also for "Sweet Caroline;" this classic signature song for Neil proves his talents beyond a doubt--wowzer! "Song Sung Blue" stuns me with its beauty and Neil Diamond sings this with all his heart and soul.

Now there are some live tracks that you're going to love or hate.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow! The Memories!
After owning a few of his 45s in the latter 60s: the very first Neil Diamond Package I ever had was an 8-Track Tape and I think it was called Neil Diamond's 12 Greatest Hits. Wow! Read more
Published 17 days ago by Ronnie's Opinion
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Fantastic. Love the selection of songs. Just as promised. Glad I got it.
Published 1 month ago by Valerie Hresko
5.0 out of 5 stars The best, forget the rest
You can't beat this guy. He gave up graduation from medical school to be a musician. He's nobody's dummy. His music is one of a kind and fantastic.
Published 1 month ago by Joan of Merced
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great listen
Published 1 month ago by Valley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love to listen to Neil Diamond.
Published 2 months ago by Jill Risko
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil the "Special One"
I saw Neil Diamond live years ago and he blew me away!! he never fails to move you with his ballads, then has you up dancing your feet off to sweet caroline, song song blue!! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Curly
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Neil Diamond
Another sure-to-please Neil Diamond cd. His music is awesome, as is his song-writing. I can't say enough positive things about Neil Diamond, his song writing or his wonderful... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Christina E. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
I have had to send 3 of these ack as gthey had problems. I am waiting for my 4th one to return.
Published 4 months ago by Donald Schmidt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
If you grew up in the 60s listening to the radio, like me, "Solitary Man", "Cherry, Cherry" and "Kentucky Woman" were only the beginning of hits for Neil;... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cheryl Daniel
2.0 out of 5 stars disc one bad
I must give a warning. Disc one just wouldn't play. I sent it back and got a replacement. Same thing. Disc one would not play for anything. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Vangard
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