Five of the Best: Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond is one of the music industry’s most-enduring stars having spent more than 50 years in the business.

His career began in 1962 and he remains to this day an act that can draw the big crowds. He will do just that when he hits our shores for a tour in 2015. Neil Diamond will perform at Vector Arena on October 19, 2015. Neil Diamond is definitely a musical all-rounder; as well as being an incredible singer and performer, he writes and composes and plays the guitar. Throughout his career he has received various awards and Neil Diamond is one of the most successful artists of all time, selling in excess of 125 million records worldwide. With five decades of hits to choose from, this edition of Five of the Best was one of the most-difficult to narrow down. After much debate we think we have the quintessential Neil Diamond hits! Take a look below, we hope you agree with our take on Five of the Best, the Neil Diamond edition.

5. Cherry, Cherry

Cherry, Cherry was one of Neil Diamond’s first big hits. Written, composed and recorded by Neil Diamond, Cherry, Cherry was released in 1966 and jumped to Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A live recording of Cherry, Cherry was also released in 1973 on Neil Diamond’s famous Hot August Night album, and the track again charted well reaching Number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. A couple fun facts about the song; Rolling Stone magazine listed Cherry, Cherry as one of the greatest ever three-chord songs and the songs and session guitarist Al Gorgoni – who later played on Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel and Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison – contributed to the track. Cherry, Cherry is one of Neil Diamond’s most-popular hits, have a listen below.

Cherry Cherry- The Essential Neil Diamond

4. I Am… I Said

I Am… I Said was written and composed by Neil Diamond and released in 1971. The track is a very personal account that describes Neil Diamond feeling trapped between two worlds. In 2008, Neil Diamond said the song was written at a time when he was seeing a therapist in LA. He also claimed he finds it difficult to compose himself once he has sung the song. While deeply emotional for him to perform, the track was hugely popular. It peaked at Number 4 on both the US Pop Singles chart and also on the UK Pop Singles chart. The song also earned Neil Diamond a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance

Neil Diamond "I Am... I Said"

3. Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon

This Neil Diamond track did enjoy popular success in 1967 when it was released – it reached Number 10 on the US Pop Singles chart – but for many it is best known following its revival in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino cult classic, Pulp Fiction. The movie version was performed by rock band Urge Overkill and it did have chart success around the world, particularly in France where it reached Number 10 on the charts. We are, however, interested in the Neil Diamond version, which appeared on the Just For You album. The song features fast-paced verses and a slow chorus. It is a very interesting and engaging track. Click below to find out for yourself.

Neil Diamond - Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon 1967

2. I’m A Believer

This may be an unorthodox choice because most people know this as the worldwide smash hit by the Monkees, but the song was actually written and composed by Neil Diamond. He did eventually record and release it but it was a few years after the 1966 Monkees version that went to Number 1 all over the world including in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada. The success of I’m A Believer should not be underestimated; the single sold more than 10 million physical copies worldwide – a feat fewer than 40 songs have reached. While the track may be best known as a Monkees hit, it does still occasionally pop up in Neil Diamond concerts and we feel the song is representative of Neil Diamond’s status as a musical all-rounder. You can enjoy the Monkees version below.

1. Sweet Caroline

While narrowing down the final four tracks in the Neil Diamond edition of Five of the Best was tricky, the number one spot was never in doubt. Sweet Caroline is the obvious and popular choice. We think it is the quintessential Neil Diamond hit and it is also the go to song for karaoke buffs around the world. Released in 1969, Sweet Caroline was written by Neil Diamond. The single reached Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went Platinum selling more than a million copies. The song was also popular with many of the biggest names in the music industry having been covered by the likes of Bobby Womack, Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias and Elvis Presley. But of course, you cannot go past the original. We love this song and we hope you do too.

Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline High Quality neildiamond

Click here to purchase tickets to see the Neil Diamond at Vector Arena on October 19, 2015.