November 9, 2005 One on One with a Legend: Neil Diamond Singer NEIL DIAMOND is back with his first studio album in four years. Titled 12 Songs, it hit stores yesterday, and our own KATHIE LEE GIFFORD sat down with the veteran musician to talk about the new collection, his longtime "lady friend" and BARBRA STREISAND! "It should have been called 12 naked songs," insists Kathie Lee about Neil's latest CD. "Well, they're definitely naked, no question about that," says Neil about the stripped-down, primarily acoustic sound of the songs. "You just open up and let it pour out, and with this album in particular, there's no way of hid...

EW review: Neil Diamond's amazing album Also: OK Lauper, outstanding 'Anthem' By David Browne Entertainment Weekly Tuesday, November 8, 2005; Posted: 11:13 a.m. EST (16:13 GMT) (Entertainment Weekly) -- You've encountered him before, but rarely like this. He's at the bar, nursing a drink and holding forth in that voice-of-God way. He calls himself a "lucky old dreamer" but worries he's "too old to pretend" there are happy endings. He admits he's been hurt and lied to, and that he's "gotta say it fast" because, as a man in his 60s, he's feeling more than a little perishable. He'll listen to your worries, but he's in need...

Neil Diamond returns to Wachovia Arena Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond will bring his world tour to the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., arena officials announced Monday. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond will bring his world tour to the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., arena officials announced Monday. Tickets are $42.50 and $75 and go on sale Monday, Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. at the arena box office and all TicketMaster locations. They are also available by phone at 693-4100 and online at www.ticketmaster.com. Mr. Diamond appeared at the arena in M...

Diamond returns to his roots Producer Rick Rubin coaxes a solid new product out of the beloved icon. By KYLE MUNSON REGISTER MUSIC CRITIC November 8, 2005 Beloved, sequined arena ham Neil Diamond remains a sing-along success in concert but hasn't released a memorable new studio album in at least 25 years. His previous couple of attempts were less than promising: 1998's pillowy and bloated "The Movie Album: As Time Goes By" and 2001's inconsistent "Three Chord Opera." Here's the exact opposite: the stark, spare, focused and acoustic guitar-based "12 Songs" that returns Diamond to his "Solitary Man" roots. Expectations we...

SHINING AGAIN -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Neil Diamond emerges from his sequins-and-slacks era and puts the luster back in his music By JEFF MIERS News Pop Music Critic 11/8/2005 CD Review Neil Diamond 12 Songs (American Recordings) three (out of four) The question isn't so much whether Rick Rubin can do it again - the producer has provided the context for career-salvaging works by Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and Donovan, to name a few - but whether or not Neil Diamond has it in him to return to his primal songwriting core. The answer is mostly yes, as "1...

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 TUNE IN TUESDAY Diamond's '12 Songs' recaptures earlier magic One thing I've always loved about Neil Diamond is what seems to be his high degree of self-awareness combined with a kind of humble pride. The first time I noticed it was during Diamond's performance in "The Last Waltz," an all-icon concert film starring Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and The Band, among others. Diamond didn't have the luxury of being obscure/cool like Ronnie Hawkins or hip/cool like nearly everyone else. The other musicians did three- or four-song sets, but in the film's original cut, Diamond i...

Minus glitter, Diamond shines By Joan Anderman, Globe Staff | November 8, 2005 It's been four years since Neil Diamond put out an album, and nearly 30 since he made a good one. For those who haven't caught wind of the pre-release buzz, the new record's title, ''12 Songs," perfectly crystallizes the stripped-down pleasures of this collection, which was masterminded by Rick Rubin, the producer responsible for Johnny Cash's late-career ''American Recordings" series. Rubin works similar magic with Diamond -- whose early years as a pop-rock songwriter and recording artist have been obscured by three decades of sequins, saccharine, and ...

Pop Top CD reviews "12 Songs," Neil Diamond Grade: B This is the album that asks "Can uber-producer Rick Rubin do the same thing for Neil Diamond that he did with Johnny Cash?" In other words, can Rubin give Diamond renewed status as one of pop's master songwriters and performers just as he made Cash a star again with his "American Recordings" series at the end of Cash's life? This set is unlikely to make Diamond the critical darling Cash was, but it's a step in the right direction for the man who has sold more than 120 million albums even as his sound drifted from his New York, Brill Building roots. On "12 Songs,"...

DIAMOND'S 'SONGS' A GEM FOR EVERMORE By DAN AQUILANTE -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Neil Diamond's latest album, "12 Songs," is a collection ot the lean, earthy, musical pioetry. November 8, 2005 -- Columbia records FILE it in the hell freezing over and pigs flying category, and start practicing saying, "I love Neil Diamond's new album." That's right, the master of schlock 'n' roll is stripped naked of the beaded shirts and gruff concert bombast that makes matronly ladies squeal like teenagers, and has created a masterpiece of singer/songwriter introspection. With a...

Neil Diamond 12 Songs our grade A Artist / Band: Neil Diamond Record Label: Columbia Records Release Date: November 08, 2005 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Review: Producer Rick Rubin (the bearded guru behind everyone from Jay-Z to System of a Down) has developed a bit of a reputation for reviving the careers of gray-haired rockers like Mick Jagger, Donovan and, more successfully, Johnny Cash. Now he tries his hand at Neil Diamond, a seemingly irredeemable case best known for his sequined jumpsuits and kitschy pop hits like "Heartlight" and "Cherry, Cherry....

Posted 11/7/2005 8:56 PM Diamond sparkles; Bush stretches Can Johnny Cash collaborator Rick Rubin work the same magic on Neil Diamond? Can Kenny Chesney find whatever it is he's looking for? Can Kate Bush eke out a place for herself in today's musical landscape? And can 50 Cent stretch? Our critics tackle those questions in this week's Listen Up. Pop/rock: Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (* * * ½) One of the year's most eagerly awaited albums pairs an oldies showman and pop balladeer with edgy producer Rick Rubin on what could have been an excruciatingly hip reclamation project. Instead, Rubin succeeds in taking Diamond away from his...

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine Calling 12 Songs Neil Diamond's best album in three decades may be a little misleading: truth be told, it doesn't have much competition in his discography. While Diamond never stopped making albums, he did seem progressively less interested in recording sometime after the Robbie Robertson-produced 1976 album Beautiful Noise. Following that weird, ambitious album, he pursued a slicker, streamlined course and started writing less original material. For a while, this paid off great commercial dividends, culminating in his 1980 remake of the Al Jolson film The Jazz Singer, but after 1982's Heartlight he slo...

Diamond mind Monday, November 7, 2005 Neil Diamond "12 Songs" (American/Columbia) Either you think Diamond is a genius or a joke. It’s a bit of a surprise to find that Rick Rubin, known for producing Run-D.M.C., Slayer, Tom Petty and Johnny Cash’s final recordings, belongs to the “Neil is a genius” camp, but you can’t argue with what Rubin gets from Diamond on “12 Songs.” It’s an album even Neil-haters can admire, if not love. Rubin gets rid of the overblown arrangements and megalomaniacal pretensions that have surrounded Diamond for so long and gets him back to his singer-songwriter roots, having him play acoustic ...

Neil Diamond's '12 Songs' Makes Chart History Posted by Sawf News Connect on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 (EST) Neil Diamond's '12 Songs' Makes Chart History as Artist's First-Ever Top 10 Debut & First Top 10 Album in 13 Years. Critically Acclaimed '12 Songs,' Produced by Rick Rubin, With Music & Lyrics by Neil Diamond, Debuts at #4 on Billboard Top 200 Neil Diamond's critically-acclaimed new album, 12 Songs, has debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and is the artist's first album to debut in the Top 10. Released on November 8, with first true week's sales of 92,705, according to SoundScan, 12 Songs is providing the st...

Before he conquered easy-listening radio and packed arenas with grandmas, Neil Diamond was a masterful pop rocker who could deliver soulful bubblegum like "Cherry, Cherry" and singer-songwriter angst like "Solitary Man" with equal conviction. This Brill Building graduate's appeal in the Sixties was so universal that R&B wailers, country crooners and Brit-pop stars all charted hits with his songs. Then, in the Seventies, he became a superstar concert attraction and sold his soul for melodramatic treacle -- cementing his mass following but robbing himself of the respect he once commanded. Producer Rick Rubin helped reintroduce Johnny Cash ...

(CBS) Let's face it, it's never been "fashionable" to be a Neil Diamond fan. He may have written more than 40 top 40 hits. He may have sold 120 million records. He was the top drawing solo performer for the entire decade of the 1990s. But Neil Diamond has never been "hip." His new album could change all that, CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason believes. With "12 Songs" Diamond has delivered some of his most disarmingly direct lyrics. From the song "Evermore": "Have we come this far, to have gone astray. I've been lost before, but not lost this way." At 64, and grandfather of four, his baritone can still burrow under y...

Songs sung new Neil Diamond shines, though the glitz has gone NEIL DIAMOND "12 Songs" (Columbia) It doesn't take much to bring a great songwriter out of mothballs. Just make sure no extraneous sound gets in the way: no fancy arrangements, no glossy production, no pop contrivances. Nothing to distract from the singer and the song. Producer Rick Rubin long ago honed this minimalist philosophy into a mantra. By applying it to Johnny Cash, Rubin helped transform the idling country icon back into a thriving artist. Now the producer has Rubin-ized Neil Diamond - to equally stirring effect. Shaking away the sequins from the glitz...

Although he began his career as a songwriter-for-hire, Neil Diamond will always be better-known for the stylized showmanship that has drawn millions to his concerts during the past 30 years. At the urging of producer Rubin, Diamond finally dispenses with the glitz on "12 Songs," arguably his best album since 1972's "Moods." Diamond's unadorned voice is front and center, as is his own guitar playing, which has not been heard on one of his records in decades. While the all-original material is not strong enough to qualify this as the instant classic some have suggested, heartfelt tracks like the jubilant "Delirious Love," the rousing "Hell Y...

CD reviews Last update: November 3, 2005 at 5:55 PM CD reviews Pick Six Quick spins POP/ROCK Neil Diamond, "12 Songs" (Columbia) To sort out their problems, some celebs go to a shrink, some go on "Oprah." Diamond went to producer Rick Rubin, a career doctor who revived Johnny Cash's recording fortunes in his final decade. Diamond still delivers earnest, self-analytical reflections, but Rubin has stripped away the usual musical schmaltz. On "Hell Yeah," the driving "Delirious Love" and the catchy, '60s-flavored "Save Me a Saturday Night," you can hear the missing instruments in your mind. You feel like you're in a living ro...

Neil Diamonds' Jewels Our guide to the Solitary Man's essential musical moments By DAN EPSTEIN What do Sixties pop idols the Monkees, British hard rockers Deep Purple, Finnish goth-metal outfit H.I.M. and the late, great Johnny Cash all have in common? They're just a few of the hundreds of artists who have covered Neil Diamond songs over the last four decades. But while a few Neil covers (like the Monkees' "I'm a Believer") have managed to surpass the originals, most have failed to truly nail the Solitary Man's unique blend of brooding introspection, unbridled masculinity and crowd-pleasing schmaltz. Sensitive poet, pop craftsman...

Diamond Life Current and classic interviews with the Jewish Elvis and a guide to his best music This past summer, Neil Diamond ran into Mick Jagger at the Los Angeles studios where they were both working on new albums. "He came by to see what the hubbub was about, and we kidded around," says Diamond, a tan, happy man who looks a decade younger than his sixty- four years but speaks in the slow Brooklynese of a real old-timer. "I told him, 'Yuh business office made a big faux pas, because they booked yuh tour the same month I'm going out.' I don't think he liked that." Diamond titters. "I thought it was funny." There's more truth to...

November 05, 2005 DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH Pop Giant Pairs Up With Producer Rick Rubin To Pare Down His Sound BY JILL KIPNIS It is among the least likely of musical marriages. Neil Diamond, pop-rock hitmaker of the '60s, '70s and '80s, has paired with producer Rick Rubin for his newest album, "12 Songs," due Nov. 8 from Columbia Records. For Diamond, the album is a return to the early, stripped-down rock singer/songwriter sound of his pre-superstar years. For Rubin, it is another chance to help a musical giant reinvent himself, as Rubin did with the acclaimed "American Recordings" series of releases by Johnny Cash. "It wa...

Diamond To Blend New Songs Into Tour October 31, 2005, 12:00 AM ET Jill Kipnis, L.A. With his new Rick Rubin-produced album, "12 Songs," due to hit stores Nov. 8 via Columbia, Neil Diamond plans to begin incorporating some of the material into his concert set lists. The artist will return to the road beginning Dec. 3 in Atlantic City, with the rest of the itinerary still to be announced. "The next leg will include new songs from the album," Diamond tells Billboard.com. "In the new show that we have been doing, I've included some [older] acoustic songs [such as 'And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind' and 'Glory Road'] and the audienc...

Diamond in the rough: Pop star pares down By Jill Kipnis LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - It is among the least likely of musical marriages. Neil Diamond, pop-rock hitmaker of the '60s, '70s and '80s, has paired with producer Rick Rubin for his newest album, "12 Songs," due November 8 from Columbia Records. For Diamond, the album is a return to the early, stripped-down rock singer/songwriter sound of his pre-superstar years. For Rubin, it is another chance to help a musical giant reinvent himself, as Rubin did with the acclaimed "American Recordings" series of releases by Johnny Cash. "It was an interesting, eye-opening experience,...

October 30, 2005 POP MUSIC Rebirth of a solitary man For years, producer Rick Rubin tried to chase Neil Diamond into a studio. Finally, he succeeded -- and so did Diamond. The result: '12 Songs.' By Robert Hilburn, Times Staff Writer Neil Diamond laughs when asked how it feels suddenly to be hip again — thanks this time to an album he has just finished with cutting-edge record producer Rick Rubin, who has worked with such indisputably cool artists as the Beastie Boys, System of a Down and Johnny Cash. "I'm a songwriter," Diamond says, sitting in a lounge at his office-studio complex in Los Angeles. "I'm not trying to be ...

Esquire Magazine Neil Diamond's New Album By Lorraine Ali Published: October 28, 2005 TOM JONES DID IT. So did Johnny Cash. Now it's Neil Diamond's turn for a second (or is it third?) coming. The 64-year-old entertainer's ditched the sequined shirts, reconnected with his inner tortured artist, and recorded his best album in 40 years with the help of legendary producer Rick Rubin (Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash, Jay-Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers). With the album still in production for a November release, we snuck a listen to eight songs. And they were enough to deem this the most brooding, deep, and drunk collection in rece...

Neil Diamond Fans Trapped In Traffic Miss Start Of Show By Grayson Kamm First Coast News JACKSONVILLE, FL -- From Crackling Rosie to Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond sang his hits Monday night to nearly a full house at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Thousands packed the arena, singing the words they've known for years. And while there were no serious problems inside the arena, outside was a different story. If those folks wanted to hear Neil Diamond when he took the stage, they better have had his CD in their car. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says when Diamond started singing, 6,000 people were in the arena, and...

REVIEW: Neil Diamond, from both sides now Singer-songwriter brings both substance and glitter to Monday's performance. By JEFF VRABEL, The Times-Union The two sides of Neil Diamond -- the fantastic Tin Pan Alley songwriter and the glitter-dripping Vegas bush elephant -- coexist in a state of uneasy peace, like Simon and Garfunkel, or Leno and Letterman, or Cartman and Butters. They're cool at the dinner table, but you get the sense that the minute no one's looking, they're thinking about how totally great it would be to stab the other with a salad fork. Before we go any further, full disclosure: I'm 30 years old, younge...

Diamond's fans turn out -- and they aren't there to hear any new material Neilhead: 'I'm here to see him before he gets too old, or before I get too old." By JEFF VRABEL, The Times-Union On the boats and on the planes, they were coming to Jacksonville. Actually, in surveying the parking lots at the Neil Diamond concert at the Veterans Memorial Arena on Monday night, they appeared to be coming more in SUVs and snappy sedans to Brother Neil's traveling show. And though the crowd's general demographics and chilly post-Wilma temperatures meant that Diamond's pregame wasn't a scene one could quite describe as "raucous" -- ...

Ideal cut of this Diamond shows off craftsman's skill Rebecca Swain Vadnie | Sentinel Staff Writer Posted October 24, 2005, 4:15 PM EDT When it comes to Neil Diamond concerts, they're usually something akin to rock-show-meets-tent-revival, particularly when you get an arena full of people singing along to the chorus of "Sweet Caroline" or "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show." There might even have been a few conversions after "Brother Love" at the end of Sunday night's energetic concert at TD Waterhouse Centre. The show, though, wasn't the typical Neil Diamond concert. Although he proved he still knows how to connect with ...

Press Release Source: Columbia Records Columbia Records Readies Release of '12 Songs,' the Eagerly-Awaited New Neil Diamond Album, Produced By Rick Rubin Monday October 24, 11:54 am ET Special DigiPak Edition Features "12 Songs" Plus Two Bonus Tracks "12 Songs" In Stores Tuesday, November 8 NEW YORK, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Records will release 12 Songs, the first new studio album from Neil Diamond in four years, on Tuesday, November 8. One of the year's most heavily-anticipated new releases, 12 Songs pairs the pop music icon with legendary producer Rick Rubin. Producing a Neil Diamond album has been a long-time...

Brighter than ever By JEFF VRABEL The Times-Union You may wish to sit down, have a nice cold glass of juice and repent your more egregious sins, because Neil Diamond is threatening to become extremely cool again. Yes, that Neil Diamond, and yes, again. It's tough to remember in looking back through the fog of musical nostalgia, especially when that fog is extremely glittery, but Diamond was once extremely, trendily, Arcade Fire-hip. This was in the late '60s, during his stint with the Brill Building crowd in New York that included contract songwriters like Carole King and Burt Bacharach. Their primary job was handing tunes to...