Neil’s career fading in 1992???

Or, as 3LW co-manager and Universal Records Vice President of A&R Tse Williams said simply, “The best time to do one is when you’re hot.”

Maybe so, but try telling that to Neil Diamond. His career was fading when he released The Christmas Album in 1992 and sold some 1.8 million copies, more than triple what 1991’s Lovescape sold. Barbra Streisand has revived her career twice with Christmas albums, and certainly Whitney Houston was not capitalizing on being hot when she released One Wish: The Holiday Album in November.

November 17, 2003
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‘StaBlizzard of sound: Boxed sets make top musical gifts

“I am . . . I said,” he sang – whatever that means. Perhaps the secret lurks within the “Stages” box, a staggering, career-spanning overview of Diamond in concert. Besides four CDs of performance highlights and a fifth CD of live Christmas music, a DVD captures the pop superstar onstage last year in Ireland and behind the scenes on the road.

November 16, 2003
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Music Boxes: Holiday CD packages more plentiful than ever

Neil Diamond: “Stages: Performances 1970-2002”

Local Diamond fans will almost certainly want this all-live collection, as Discs 1 and 2 chronicle a complete MGM Grand Garden concert from Dec. 27. The show finds the popular singer in fine form, blazing through such hits as “America,” “Sweet Caroline” and “Cracklin’ Rosie.”

Discs 3 and 4 chronicle Diamond’s touring career, Disc 5 presents live Christmas material and Disc 6 offers a DVD glimpse at his onstage prowess. Obviously, this one’s for Neil aficionados only.

Cost: $45.

November 13, 2003
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Wrap up boxes, from Diamond to metal

Neil Diamond, Stages: Performances 1970-2002. (Legacy) If you’re a fan of full-on, later-day, Vegas Neil, you’ll probably want this. Previous boxes have catalogued the hits, but this is five discs of live stuff, plus a DVD recorded live in Dublin. The first two discs cover a Vegas show from a year ago, with the sort of gruff vocals and mammoth-band workouts/singalongs Diamond is known for these days. The next two discs cover live stuff from 1970-2001, too lean on the early years. Disc five is Christmas music. Diehards will want it, but Stages isn’t his best live material.

November 13, 2003
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Every Day There’s A Brand New Baby Born

“She gets the concept of the harmonica, but she just can’t blow hard enough yet,” said Pollard, who owns more than a dozen instruments. “I dance with her so she can get used to rhythm. She likes the energy of soca but also responds to Tom Jones, Neil Diamond and Mozart.

November 13, 2003
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