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Pop - Released November 30, 2018 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released January 1, 1973 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released March 31, 2017 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released July 8, 2014 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released March 3, 1973 | Geffen

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Pop - Released November 10, 1980 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released November 1, 1971 | Geffen

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Driven by the hit singles "I Am...I Said" and "Crunchy Granola Suite," Stones is a stronger album than most of Neil Diamond's late-'60s records. Instead of padding the album with mediocre originals, Diamond picked several fine covers to fill out the remainder of the album, including Roger Miller's "Husbands and Wives," Joni Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning," Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," Randy Newman's "I Think It's Gonna Rain," Jacques Brel's "If You Go Away," and Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind." There are still a few weak patches on Stones, but the record remains an engaging collection of mainstream pop. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released August 17, 2018 | Neil Diamond

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Hot August Night III documents a concert Neil Diamond held at the Los Angeles Greek Theatre upon the 40th anniversary of Hot August Night in 2012. It was a glitzy celebration that bordered on a marathon: on record, which was released six years later, it runs a mammoth two and a half hours. Considering how Hot August Night III arrived several months after Diamond announced he was retiring from the road due to his diagnosis with Parkinson's disease, it's hard not to see this live album as valedictory. While he may have toured over the subsequent five years, this performance -- crafted as a career-topper and delivered with gusto -- finds Diamond not only in fine voice, but enthusiastic. He runs through all his standards, which fill up the length of nearly the entire set, and he sounds nearly as vigorous as he did back in 1987, when Hot August Night II hit the stores. If this can be faulted, it's because the performance is perhaps a little bit too professional: it's clear that Diamond and his band have performed these songs countless times, so the energy comes solely from Neil's excitement at being in front of an audience eager to celebrate their long history with him. Now that nights like that are no longer a possibility, this kind of big, splashy production is not only entertaining, it's somewhat poignant, too. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 30, 2018 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released July 15, 1972 | Geffen

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Moods finds Neil Diamond attempting to craft a more ambitious and substantial album than his usual pop record through heavy orchestration, but the results only work when he sticks to catchy pop-rock, as on "Song Sung Blue," "High Rolling Man," and "Play Me." © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 2, 2010 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released November 8, 2005 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released January 1, 2012 | Geffen

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Pop - Released January 1, 1969 | Geffen

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Although he managed to place three singles in the charts after joining Uni Records in 1968, Neil Diamond did not achieve a real hit record on the label until March 1969, when his fourth Uni single, "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," got into the Top 40. Naturally, Diamond quickly assembled an album to support the single, and it was released the following month. On it, the singer/songwriter to a certain extent followed the lead of the gospel-tinged hit, a tribute to a rural evangelist, by giving a country feel to the arrangements of such songs as "Long Gone," "Glory Road," and even the novelty "You're So Sweet, Horseflies Keep Hangin' 'Round Your Face," which, with lines like "You're more loyal than my dog Sam/And twice as pretty," was really a country parody. At times, the album betrayed the speed with which it had been put together, with songs like "Dig In" and "River Runs, New Grown Plums" coming off more as unfinished sketches than developed compositions. Diamond seemed to write on the guitar, and sometimes his up-tempo numbers didn't get much beyond the stage of being basic rhythmic strums, a rudimentary melody, and a few catch phrases. (The arrangers tried to hide this sketchiness behind strings, horns, and female choruses.) His ballads seemed more considered, making songs like "And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind" (a Top 40 hit for Mark Lindsay in 1970) the album's strongest. But Diamond may have been aware that the material was mostly second-rate. Normally, Uni would have been expected to pull another couple of songs as singles, but instead Diamond quickly delivered a new single, "Sweet Caroline," within two months of the LP's appearance. When that song became a breakout Top Five hit, Uni added it to later pressings of the album. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop - Released July 8, 2014 | Neil Diamond

All-Time Greatest Hits was released on Capitol Records, a label Neil Diamond never recorded for, but Universal -- who owned the recordings Diamond made for both Uni and MCA -- selected this as the imprint for 2014's All-Time Greatest Hits, a generous collection of 23 hits from the '60s and '70s. A consistent bugaboo with Diamond compilations has been licensing, but this one does a very nice job of sampling from all of Neil's major labels, including Bang, Uni, MCA, and Columbia. The late-'70s hits -- "Forever in Blue Jeans," "Beautiful Noise," "America" -- are scattered throughout the compilation; the Uni/MCA sides ("Cracklin' Rosie," "Sweet Caroline," "Holly Holy," "Shilo," "Play Me") are the anchor of the comp, and the Bang singles are grouped together toward the end. True, the collection might've been better served if it was sequenced chronologically, but this has the vast majority of the big hits on a single disc, and that's been hard to find in Diamond's catalog. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released March 3, 1973 | Geffen

This is the ultimate Neil Diamond record. Not necessarily the best -- he's at his most appealing crafting in the studio -- but certainly the ultimate, capturing all the kitsch and glitz of Neil Diamond, the showman. And that also means that it's not just loaded with flair, but with filler, songs like "Porcupine Pie," "Soggy Pretzels," and "And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind" -- attempts to write grand, sweeping epics that collapse under their own weight. Still, that's part of the charm of Diamond and while it can sound unbearable on studio albums, it makes some sense here, surrounded by his pomp and circumstance. That spectacle is the great thing about the record, since it inflates not just his great songs, it gives the weaker moments character. At 20-plus tracks in its original release and various reissues over the years, this does wind up being a little much, but it nevertheless is the one record for casual Neil fans (after the hits collections), since it shows Diamond the icon in full glory. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 26, 1974 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released January 1, 1970 | Geffen

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Pop - Released May 5, 2008 | Neil Diamond

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Pop - Released October 21, 2014 | Capitol Records

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