Friday Pick Six: Early Neil Diamond

Friday, November 15, 2013
I was pretty lost after High School. My early life was....difficult...and I threw myself into the only place I felt assured of acceptance. When college came, everything really fell apart for me. I was feeling lost, wandering aimlessly. As a freshman at a college in a city where I'd never lived and knew no one, I remember listening to Neil Diamond's "I am, I said" over and over- and knowing it was really me it was about. My 'two shores' were L.A. and Seattle, but I felt lost nonetheless.

It sounds as dramatic as I was at 18, but this song kind of 'saved' me, it saved from drifting away- because I knew somehow that I was really someone who deserved to stand up- and while it took me awhile to get there, it all began back in 1976.

I'll share some of those lyrics and the music here- though it was his earlier work that brought me to him in the first place- and that deserves a little celebrating. It was probably because he wrote for the Monkees (I was a CHILD- don't judge me) in writing "I'm a believer" and "A little bit me, a little bit you" -but once "Solitary Man" came out in 1966 I was, at the age of 8, a fan.

I am, I said (came out in 1971 but I was lamenting over it in 1976)

L.A.'s fine, the sun shines most the time
And the feeling is "lay back"
Palm trees grow and rents are low
But you know I keep thinkin' about
Making my way back

Well I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays,
I'm lost between two shores
L.A.'s fine, but it ain't home
New York's home,
But it ain't mine no more

"I am"... I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair

"I am"... I cried "I am"... said I
And I am lost and I can't
Even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

My pick six of his early hits:

1. Solitary Man
2. Cherry, Cherry
3. You got to me
4. I thank the lord for the nighttime
5.Kentucky Woman
6. Shilo

(I know Girl, You'll be a woman soon is no his early recording, too, but I already covered that in another blog)

Solitary Man
Cherry, Cherry
You got to me (Love this song!)

I thank the lord for the night time
Kentucky woman
(I love the guy introducing him- lol- )
And the bonus: I Am, I Said
Seriously, it's so beautiful!

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Your Neil Diamond selection was sublime. Thanks. Such a great artist. We saw Neil in Vegas when he was at the height of his popularly. A consummate showman-great artist.


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