Neil Diamond was a songwriter in the legendary Brill Building in 1966, but he wanted to be more than that: he wanted to be a performer. So Diamond signed with upstart Bang Records and produced a string of hits. This new collection features 23 songs, remastered in pristine mono. These pop songs never sounded so good. As always, Ed Ward’s commentary (below) is full of obscure information about Neil Diamond and his career. Neil Diamond is one of the few people to be a member of both The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame but also The Rock-&-Roll Hall of Fame. GRADE: A
Track List
1. Solitary Man 2:35
2. Cherry, Cherry 2:45
3. Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon 3:01
4. Kentucky Woman 2:26
5. Thank the Lord For the Night Time 3:03
6. You Got To Me 2:51
7. I’m a Believer 2:44
8. Red, Red Wine 2:42
9. The Boat That I Row 2:40
10. Do It 1:54
11. New Orleans 2:26
12. Monday, Monday 3:03
13. Red Rubber Ball 2:23
14. I’ll Come Running 3:02
15. La Bamba 2:10
16. The Long Way Home 2:33
17. I’ve Got the Feeling (Oh No No) 2:20
18. You’ll Forget 2:50
19. Love To Love 2:22
20. Someday Baby 2:19
21. Hanky Panky 2:50
22. The Time is Now 3:04
23. Shilo 3:27

7 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN MUSIC #16: NEIL DIAMOND, THE BANG YEARS 1966-1968

  1. Randy Johnson

    The best years of his career. I managed to see him live twice. When he became a “woman’s singer,” I watched in horror. Don’t think I could sit through a concert now. But back then…

  2. Deb

    I love this early Diamond work. Look at all those songs–and think of how many have been recorded by other artists (although I don’t think all of them were written by Diamond–“Red Rubber Ball” I know was written by Paul Simon). Like Randy, I sorta gave up on Neil after his “Song Sung Blue” period. I think “Stones” was the last album of his that I purchased. But in his prime, he was hard to beat.

  3. Patti Abbott

    Interesting to watch the trajectory of his career. Yeah, once my parents started buying his CDs, I bailed too.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    Absolutely, Randy. The Bang Records years were his best and I had a bunch of these on 45. Of course he wrote “I’m a Believer” and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” for The Monkees.

    And he grew up about a mile from where I did.

  5. Fred Blosser

    Great lineup of songs, and man do they bring back memories, although I wish they’d included the haunting autobiographical “Brooklyn Roads.”

  6. Cap'n Bob

    I give him credit for his early songwriting, but as a performer and for his later work he’s totally lame, in the Tom Jones/Englebert Humperdink mode–strictly for the old ladies.


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