The time has come my friends to talk about Neil. Close observers will notice that I am a fan of power ballads, a fan of belt 'em out songstars and a fan of the 70s. Therefore with Neil we have a perfect storm, if you will, of my favourite things. We can add to that parents who may not have agreed on much but both loved Neil Diamond. My dad used to play Neil Diamond in the car most of the time (when he wasn't playing Tubular Bells or Chic that is) and I don't think many can resist the lure of Neil, especially when it is administered at an early age. My mum also loved Neil and always had to do a little dance if Cracklin' Rosie came on. Who doesn't?
So Mr Diamond, your time has come to have the Teenager spotlight on you. Listening to Neil is like taking a long hot bath, putting on fluffy socks, watching your favourite TV show on a boxset and never having to go to work. Yes, he is that good. He's even better live and he's touring the country this summer so my advice is to buy your tickets now if you've not left it too late. I find him the ultimate comforter. A bad day can be fixed by a listening of Holly Holy. A sad heart can find solace in Love on the Rocks. A rainy day can always be improved by Forever in Blue Jeans. And a crisp autumn morning just calls for September Morn to be played.
MrD has so many hits and so here, for your perusal are my top 10 Neil songs:
10. Remember Me. It's not often played but I have a soft spot for this ballad.
9. I Am I Said. Slightly crazy lyrics but Neil sings it like his life depends on it.
8. I'm a Believer. Still prefer Neil's version to The Monkees.
7. Holly Holy. I love how this builds up.
6. Love on the Rocks. Ain't no big surprise.
5. America. Every time that flag's unfurled.
4. Hello Again. A power ballad of epic proportions.
3. Cracklin' Rosie. We're now in territory where surely nobody could disagree?
2. Sweet Caroline. My mum's song and one that would be on my desert island with me.
1. Forever in Blue Jeans. That's also coming to the island with me.
And I've not had room for You Don't Bring Me Flowers, September Morn, Solitary Man, Kentucky Woman or any of his recent hits. Oh, it's simply impossible to pick 10.
No discussion of Neil is complete without reference to The Jazz Singer. It is the very definition of a Bad Movie We Love. Utterly ridiculous and overblown but how I love it. And what a soundtrack - man, I could listen to The Jazz Singer at any time.
Neil has one of the best voices in the business and I look forward to continuing to listen to him forever more. In my blue jeans. Come July I shall be bowing at the Neil altar at the O2 and this time I am taking my dad. It's gonna be emotional.
I leave you with You Don't Bring Me Flowers because I didn't include it in my top 10. Naturally it is in there really, if I made the list tomorrow, it would be included. Check out Babs jumpsuit - on trend baby! And Neil looks hot. Everything about this is divine. Enjoy!