Lex Neon on Neil Diamond

When Lex lived in Los Angeles, he would make midnight treks to a once great concert and sports venue called the Forum. There he would enjoy seeing the bronze plaques awarded to those few artists who held records for the most sold out nights. One of his heroes, Neil Diamond, has more plaques than anyone else. Happy birthday to Neil, who has a birthday on January 24.

So, I’ve been waiting for a Neil Diamond compilation I ordered, for what seems like weeks. Called Glory Road, it covers his 5 years at Uni / MCA Records. I like a lot of his work from other labels, but there’s something about the Uni stuff that will always draw me back to study Neil’s songs.

When I was young, I’d tape my favorite 60s radio stations. I was always sure to catch a song that I’d never heard before. One day, I caught “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond. It got me moving. I looked for the single, but could only find the song on a CBS compilation of Neil’s early tracks for Bang! Records. I bought the album. I heard other great songs, like “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon,” “Thank The Lord For The NIght Time,” the original version of “I’m A Believer,” and a song that Poppermost would have fun covering called “Solitary Man.”

I was starting to wander into his Uni / MCA period when a movie called The Jazz Singer appeared at my local movie theater. The star of the movie was none other than Neil Diamond. Everybody in the movie (and the audience) really seemed to dig the songs. People young and old, white and black, seemed to connect with Neil’s music. I dug that. I also dug that the songs were being played loud over the movie sound system. The concert sequences in the movie were larger than life for my ears. What a blast!

Christmas 1982 included records by Neil Diamond and a brand new Atari Video Game System. Result? The music for PacMan could be perfectly sync’d to “Sweet Caroline.” Asteroids worked a lot better when I turned down the television volume and played to “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.” Space Invaders? “Cracklin’ Rose.”

If I had to pick just one of Neil’s songs, it would probably be “Shilo.” I first heard the version he recorded for Bang! Records, and thought that it was just an “okay” song. Then I heard the Uni version. It’s one of my favorite pop songs, bar none. It was one of the first songs that I listened to religiously to figure out the arrangements. It stuns my ears every time I hear it. And what wonderful lyrics about a child’s make believe friend. And I could relate to the lyric personally – when I was young, my imaginary friend was a girl.

Now, where in the hell is my Neil CD?

(Lex Neon is the musical mastermind behind the music of indie sunshine pop / rock band Poppermost.  For more info, go to http://www.poppermost.com/)

Currently listening :
Glory Road: 1968 to 1972
By Neil Diamond
Release date: 30 June, 1992
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~ by Poppermost on September 6, 2008.

One Response to “Lex Neon on Neil Diamond”

  1. photo homme mannequin…

    […]Lex Neon on Neil Diamond « Lexneon's Weblog[…]…

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