Monday, December 14, 2009

Guilty pleasures vol. two: I am ... I said

I have four Neil Diamond selections in my iTunes library, which admittedly does not include the song referenced in today's post title, "I am ... I said," although that may change before the day is over. Indeed, when I decided to disclose this terrible truth and tell the world that I enjoy Neil Diamond in small doses, I purchased and downloaded "Cherry Cherry" by way of celebration, which I immediately played at full volume while dancing like a pixilated go-go girl has-been in the upstairs hall. My 12-year-old peered out at the spectacle from beneath her blanket of covers, terror flashing in her eyes.

I also have two cover selections from Mr. Diamond. They include his heart-wrenching version of "Mr. Bojangles" and one that showcases middle-aged white-guy angst with unmatched poignancy, "Both Sides Now." To hell with Judy Collins.

But it never, ever gets any better than "Holly Holy," wherein Diamond delivers lines like "Holly whole holy love," with the intensity of a man pulling a wooden stake from the bloodied and ragged flesh of his chest.



How fucking beautiful is that?

* * *

25 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

Neil rocks! Well, not so much...you know what I mean.

I dig a little "Cracklin' Rosie" every now and again.

Anonymous said...

There is something terribly wrong here.

RJ

nobir- I ain't got nobir so I'll be goddamned if I'm listening to Neil Diamond.

Derek D said...

Neil Diamond is the man. I am always amazed at how often he is covered. Seeing him perform Holly Holy live was one of the few truly religious experiences of my life. Truly.

Once Known as The Badger said...

There is a reason, a good one, for why this is posted under "Guilty Pleasures"!

WV- climi - I couldn't climi away fasti enough!

LimesNow said...

Sorry, Erin, it makes me blush, but there's nothing like Solitary Man. I'm no fan of Neil Diamond - truly, I'm not - but I roll the car window down and sing that one right out the window. "Melinda was mine till the time that I found her, holdin' Jim, lovin' him. Then Sue came along, loved me strong, that's what I thought . . me and Sue. But that died, too."

glittergirl said...

solitary man is good, cracklin' rose gets stuck in my head.

and "i am" is the best song to belt out when performing kareoke.

"and no one heard at all not even the chair!!!"

standing on my head said...

oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Anonymous said...

Niel?

Erin O'Brien said...

Where are all you proofers when I need you?

OKAY ALREADY I'm changing it!

VideoDude said...

on of the best movie sound track albums (albums...remember albums?) ever made was for the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Produced written and arranged my Neil Diamond. Hot August Night is one of the best live albums ever. There, Erin, you are not alone!

LimesNow said...

Hey, Erin, thanks for fueling my fire. Stop on by for som fun music? Ramblings From Yet Another Stranger on the Bus: Erin's Fault#links

WV - hadjes. It's hotter than hadjes in here!

Norrin2 said...

"Holly Holy" makes no sense at all, but at least it's not grammatically bankrupt like that execrable "Play Me" ("Song she sang to me, Song she brang to me") "Brang", really, Neil? But then again, what can you expect from a guy who is apparently just stunned to discover that chairs can't hear?

Mr. L said...

I like the Me First and the Gimme Gimme versions of Neil songs, but Neil himself bugs me before I can get through even one tune.....

Bridget Callahan said...

Better Neil Diamond than Neil Young, any day.

VideoDude said...

Amen to that Bridget! Neil Young is like finger nails an a chalk board. Although he, like Neil Diamond, haa penned some big, big hits.

VideoDude said...

that should be "has" not haa!

Ken Houghton said...

Speaking as one who often makes a medley of "Stones," "Play Me," and "Shiloh" to sing to youngest daughter, and who is on record in regarding his early work as underappreciated, I can only ask:

The version of "Both Sides Now" on Gold (the live album) or some other recording?

Also, have you ever seen the album notes for his first "Greatest Hits" album, the one on Bang Records. Pure comedy gold in view of the later career.

But I bet he bought his way into Heaven—not that a good Jewish boy from Brooklyn should believe in such things, you understand—with "A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me."

Just me.... said...

You MUST listen to Johnny Cash's version of Solitary Man... awesome!

Just me.... said...

Geez... after watching the vid... oh my, he was like kinda almost cool then... what happened???

wv wourgat... How did Mr. Diamond become a wourgat in his old age?

The Expatresse said...

I think I wore out my copy of Hot August Night. He lost me a little when he was willing to sell the rights to "Coming to America" to the GOP, but to each his own, I guess.

I saw ND in LAX in 1977. I was sitting at a gate and a private jet with "DIAMOND!" on the tail pulled in. And he got off. He declined to give me an autograph.

Which is why I feel compelled to share this with you now:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/10/neil-diamond-covers-the-c_n_386743.html

Hee hee.

Anonymous said...

Bridget Callahan said...
"Better Neil Diamond than Neil Young, any day."

VideoDude said...
"Amen to that Bridget! Neil Young is like finger nails an a chalk board. Although he, like Neil Diamond, haa penned some big, big hits."

The "Owners Manual" has been swallowed up by some sort of alternate universe. Have ya'll been in the Chelada again?

RJ

Cyclin' Missy said...

I heard Neil Diamond's remake of Adam Sandler's "Hanukah Song" on the radio. What?!

Cath said...

Pretty fucking beautiful.

sarah said...

check out his latest album of new material. it is good. really! and all you naysayers can just shut it...

Glass Houses said...

I must have missed this post somehow.

Oh, Neil.

My favorites are "Porcupine Pie" and "Crying In Her Pretzels". Also the one about kissing the girl with no front teeth...hilarious.