Friday, December 01, 2006

Neil Diamond Reteams With Producer Rick Rubin

This is the best news of the day. Neil Diamond is following up "12 Songs" with a new collaboration with producer Rick Rubin. It might be a covers album, all originals, a mix of the two or who knows what. Clearly, though, they're in it for the long haul which is great. Diamond has written a lot of great songs over the years but "12 Songs" was by far his most satisfying work on a single album. The Billboard item says Diamond has just recovered from "depression" over the fiasco of that album's release, which sounds like an exaggeration but probably wasn't. Diamond had delivered the best album of his career, got great reviews and then his label screwed it up by putting the CD out with idiotic copyright coding that was so intrusive into people's computers and so outrageous that the album had to be pulled from stores. (As if most of Diamond's presumably older fans are pirating CDs in the first place.) "12 Songs" is being reissued on Dec 12 with demos and the such, but that hardly seems necessary since the songs are pretty demo-y in the first place. But anything to bring it more attention is fine by me.


Anonymous said...

12 Songs is a great album (still listening to it a year later) so the next one should be interesting.
I wonder what covers will Rick get Neil to do.Some NIN perhaps?

Michael in New York said...

:) Too obvious of course. Covers would be interesting since Diamond has no history as a performer of other people's songs. (Perhaps a hardcore fan will contradict me. But in general he's stuck to his own material and I can't think of any notable cover he's ever done. The notable excpetion being his Christmas CDs of course.) But he has a great swaggering voice -- like Tom Jones to a degree -- and it'll be really interesting to hear him do other people's stuff. Diamond doing Dylan, say? "Lay Lady lay" would be too easy -- maybe "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" or "If You See Her, Say Hello."