50 Things For Winter

50 things for winter 2006

39. Neil Diamond’s reinvention

Time was when cosy singer-songwriters like Neil Diamond dwelt beyond the pale, somewhere at the very back of your parents’ record collection. Nowadays, it’s all the rage to redeem these pillars of the naff establishment for a new generation. Hirsute producer Rick Rubin redefined the late Johnny Cash by giving him a clutch of contemporary rock songs; on 12 Songs, Rubin gets Diamond to reconnect with his most unadorned instincts and produce a set of spare songs that are his best in 30 years.KE

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