Neil Diamond's five-decade career as a singer, songwriter, and performer has certainly been a successful one by any standard. He’s sold well over 115 million records worldwide to date and has had eight number one singles ("Cracklin Rosie," "Song Sung Blue," "Desiree," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "Love on the Rocks," "America," "Yesterday's Songs," and "Heartlight"), and if he hasn't always generated the kind of critical respect he probably deserves, he’s been a steady and dependable artist who has managed to keep his large core audience happy. This 23-track set surveys the whole of Diamond's recording career, collecting his key and signature sides, beginning with his first hits for Bang Records in the mid-'60s through his commercial peak for Uni/MCA between 1968 and 1972, cuts from 1980’s The Jazz Singer (a soundtrack album that went platinum five times over on Capitol Records), and ending with tracks from Diamond's two Rick Rubin-produced albums, 2005’s 12 Songs and 2008’s Home Before Dark, on Columbia Records.
Stages: Performances 1970-2002 is one of the most cynical box set projects ever issued. While producers Neil Diamond and Sam Cole don't exactly offer untruth in their presentation of this five-CD live retrospective, they might as well have. For starters, this entire project seems like an excuse to issue a new double-CD live album from Vegas in December of 2002, and a live Christmas album (like anyone ever needed that to happen). The other two discs in this set are a compilation of live tracks, from "Lordy" in 1970 (easily the best thing here) to a cloying "I Believe in Happy Endings," from New Year's Eve 2001. The majority of the cuts from these discs come from Diamond's '80s and '90s shows and do not showcase him at his best.
”I'm Glad You're Here with Me Tonight” is the eleventh studio album by Neil Diamond, released on Columbia Records in 1977. It includes a solo version of the song "You Don't Bring Me Flowers". Diamond would score a #1 hit with a new version recorded as a duet with Barbra Streisand the following year.
Melody Road is Neil Diamond's debut album as an artist signed to Capitol Records. His 32nd studio album, it is the first album of original music Diamond has recorded since 2008's well-received Home Before Dark, which debuted on the US album charts at #1. It was produced by Don Was and Jacknife Lee. After 40 years recording for Columbia, Diamond signed with Capitol in early 2014. At the same time, his back catalogue was moved to Universal Music Group, Capitol's parent company. Capitol released Diamond's 1980 soundtrack album for The Jazz Singer.
Up on the Roof: Songs from the Brill Building is Neil Diamond's equivalent of, say, one of Barbra Streisand's Broadway albums. It's Broadway that Diamond is returning to as well; specifically, the corner of 49th Street, where he and many others turned out songs for music publishers. Some of these songs were written there; most were only in the spirit of that modern Tin Pan Alley. Handling the work of his then-rivals, such as "Spanish Harlem," "A Groovy Kind of Love," and "River Deep, Mountain High," Diamond adopts his usual hammy style. Peter Asher patented a neo-'60s production style in crafting oldies for Linda Ronstadt in the '70s, and he does the same thing here.