Friday, February 03, 2006

He Is...I Said

Today in Music History:

In 1959 after performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy Holly charters a plane to fly him to Fargo, North Dakota. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashes eight miles northwest of the airfield, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson (a.k.a. The Big Bopper) and pilot Roger Peterson.
neil diamondI've been sitting here for two hours with about 10 windows open doing research for this entry and I'm not sure where to start. There is just too much info about Neil Diamond and my mind is in mental meltdown. One of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time. Neil's so damned good that he uses guys like Chris Martin and Bono to wipe his ass. Not only is he an outstanding solo artist but the list of performers who have recorded his songs ranges from pop, rock, R&B, folk, country, jazz, reggae, punk, heavy metal, alternative, easy listening, and new age. The sheer volume of artists who have recorded his stuff is staggering. In a career that spans 45 years, Neil is still kicking ass. Over 120 million records sold and yet another artist with no Hall of Fame recognition.

So rather than rehash his entire career just a few tidbits. Diamond was born and raised in Brooklyn, attending high school with Barbra Streisand (and singing with her in the school choir). He learned to play guitar after receiving one as a gift on his 16th birthday. In the early sixties he worked as a songwriter at the Brill Building in New York City which was like a song factory, before branching out and singing his own stuff. Neil's early stuff killed, I still get chills when I hear songs like Cherry, Cherry or Holly Holy. Back in the day he also was an amazing performer to see live. Granted he's a little older now, but I hear his shows are still excellent. Neil starred in the movie remake The Jazz Singer in 1980 and the movie was a total flop, but the soundtrack was a blockbuster hit. In 2001 he made a cameo in the movie Saving Silverman, a movie starring Jack Black and some other guys who are in a Neil Diamond cover band. The movie is hilarious if you haven't seen it.

Neil came back in a big way with his album 12 Songs in 2005. The album was produced by Rick Rubin and I've heard a lot of folks say it's the best thing he's done in thirty years. I can't vouch for that yet because my pauper status doesn't allow the cat for many new music purchases. You can bet it's on my list of must get soon albums. This page has an excellent bio on Diamond's life. It took me thirty minutes to read it I swear. Revisit with me if you will a couple of classics from the master.

Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show by Neil Diamond
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

I Am I Said by Neil Diamond
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

Buy this CD

Some of you may be thinking, homercat I love Neil Diamond too, but it's Friday and I need something hard because I'm in a headbangin' mood. Ok I hear ya. I love this next band. Anyone who can take a chainsaw and turn it into a musical instrument is AOK in my book. I covered these guys a while back.

The Lumberjack by Jackyl
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

Buy this CD

Funny Toon

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