With a mezmerising voice and a career spanning over 50 years, Neil Diamond has a song for everyone. He has written over 100 songs and sold over 100 million albums, so of course its no surprise that the legend is honoured in both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In honour of the veteran singer-songwriter, we have put together our top 10 Neil Diamond songs. Enjoy the nostalgia and sing your heart out!
10. Longfellow Serenade (1974)
“Longfellow Serande” peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks and was Diamond’s second number 1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart. Diamond also got international recognition for the song as it reached number 1 in Switzerland and number 2 in Germany.
And when describing the style of the song, Diamond said, “Occasionally I like using a particular lyrical style which, in this case, lent itself naturally to telling the story of a guy who woos his woman with poetry.”
9. Cracklin Rosie (1970)
Cracklin Rosie is actually a type of wine and the song was inspired by a story Diamond heard about a native Canadian tribe. There were more men than women in the tribe, and so the lonely men would sit around the fire and drink wine together.
Luckily for Diamond, this inspired him to write “Crackilin Rosie” – the song that helped him break through in the UK.
8. Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon (1967)
Many people may know this song from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994) where Urge Overkill’s cover makes the movie, however, the original was sang and written by Neil Diamond.
This intense and yearning song will remain one of Diamond’s best for years to come.
7. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers ft. Barbra Streisand (1977)
This beautiful and sad song tells the story of two lovers who’ve drifted apart as they “go through the motions” and heartache of life together.
The song was originally recorded as two separate solo version by Diamond and Streisand. However, after performing the song together, it gained popularity and an official duet was recorded by the pair.
6. Hello Again (1980)
“Hello Again” is a beautiful ballad and featured in the 1980 movie, The Jazz Singer.
The song is especially known for its soaring strings and has since been covered by several orchestras and artists, including Celtic Thunder, Donny Osmond and Steve Cherelle.
5. Delirious Love (2005)
“Delirious Love” is one of Diamond’s more modern songs and describes the “euphoria” of falling in love. The song was even featured in an episode of the series Scrubs in 2006.
The hit song comes from his album, 12 Songs, and Diamond gained inspiration for the album as he was snowed in at his Colorado cabin one year.
4. Play Me (1972)
This acoustic ballad has become one of Diamond’s must-play songs at any live performance. The song has gotten a bit of a reputation among the female audience members as they describe it to have a “bizarre aphrodisiac effect”.
The song is also widely priased by critics and musicians, and is even one of David Wild’s – American writer and critic – favourite songs.
3. I Am… I Said (1971)
Don’t let the catchy and perky melody of “I Am… I Said” fool you. This song actually unveils some very personal feelings, and Diamond even said that, after performing it live, he always has to gather himself.
“It was consciously an attempt on my part to express what my dreams were about, what my aspirations were about and what I was about. And without any question, it came from my sessions with the analyst.”
2. Forever in Blue Jeans (1978)
When Forever in Blue Jeans were released, it poeaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 charge and at number 2 on the Easy Listening chart. Critics describes it as a feelgood song about “doing OK without the glitter of wealth and fame”.
And when asked about the song, Diamond said, “the simple things are really the important things”.
This popular classic even had an effect in the sales of denim jeans in the late 1970s.
1. Sweet Caroline (1969)
This is probably the most well-known song of Neil Diamond, so much so, that if this song play at any bar or party, it’s pretty much guaranteed that everyone will sing along.
Neil Diamond actually wrote this soaring ballad for his wife Marsha, but since her name didn’t have enough syllables for the song, he used the name Caroline instead.
“Sweet Caroline” peaked at number four on the Billboard charts and even went platinum for sales of one million singles.