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Neil Diamond is an American singer-songwriter who writes hits

Updated on September 6, 2015

A singer and songwriter who wrote hits for The Monkees

I first heard American singer-songwriter Neil Diamond back in the late sixties on the radio. I think it was probably Kenny Everett's show and other DJs on BBC Radio 1 who were playing Sweet Caroline, Cracklin' Rosie and Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show.

I suppose I was hooked from that time on although Neil Diamond's very American, very middle-of-the-road pop ballads were a far cry from the protest folk and psychedelic rock I was getting into. And then there were The Monkees and they had a number one with I'm a Believer, which just happened to have been a song written by Neil Diamond.

That impressed me in a big way, that here was a guy who sings and writes his own top-class material but could also write songs that when covered by a band like The Monkees hit the top of the charts.

Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond by Irisgerh from Wikipedia
Neil Diamond by Irisgerh from Wikipedia

Neil Diamond's hit songs

The Monkees had another big hit with a Neil Diamond song when they released A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You. Over the years that were to follow Neil Diamond's songs were to be covered by many other acts including Elvis Presley who recorded his version of Diamond's Sweet Caroline .

Britain's Cliff Richard covered several Neil Diamond songs including his versions of I’ll Come Running,Solitary Man , and Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon .

Neil Diamond had become a singer-songwriter who turned out hit songs for himself and for other artists and so his remarkable career has continued that has established him as one of the top performers and writers in the world of popular music and entertainment.

Wikipedia informs us:

"As of 2001 Diamond has 115 million records sold worldwide, including 48 million records in the U.S. In terms of Billboard chart success, he is the third most successful Adult Contemporary artist ever, ranking behind only Barbra Streisand and Elton John."

I Am I Said

For me personally, the song I love most of all by Neil Diamond is I Am, I Said . The first verse and chorus of which goes:

"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."

Strangely for me, although this song came out way back in 1971 when I related to what it was about then, I actually find myself living in the situation described to a large degree today. I swapped living in Wales to come to Tenerife which has palm trees and low rents that Neil Diamond sings of, and I find myself literally "lost between two shores" because all my family and very many of my friends are all over in the UK but I am here on this island I love.

On Tenerife there are very many successful acts on the entertainment circuit that specialise in doing cover versions of songs by a chosen internationally-known act. One such singer here is Charlie Hodge, who only does Neil Diamond songs, although he also performs in the UK as one half of the Vegas Kings with his brother covering Elvis Presley songs.

Charlie knows I love I Am, I Said, and if I am present at one of his gigs he always dedicates this song to me.

© 2010 Steve Andrews

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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for your comments, Wealthmadehealthy!

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image

      Wealthmadehealthy 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      What a totally awesome hub!!! And I am so glad you are now enjoying the island life. I love island life!!

      THANK YOU, I LOVE NEIL DIAMOND!! Grew up with his songs!!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      It shows what a great writer and performer he is!

    • E M Smith profile image

      E M Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Its funny isn't it how Diamond appeals to such a cross section of people, including me.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks, Bob! I have just been practising I Am I Said to add it to the covers I do.

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      8 years ago

      Yeah, Bard, he has that magic that tugs on the heart (and libido) strings. These older, great artists have meant so much to many of us as we journeyed through life. Diamond and I are the same age - he's a tiny bit richer!

      Good luck in the sunshine...Bob

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Joy!

    • profile image

      Joy 

      8 years ago

      From the USA. Diamond is still writing and performing at 69. Check out this YouTube video of a concert at Madison Square Garden, New York City, 2008. If "I Am I Said" is a younger man's story, this song is an older man looking back over his life.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVZhaARhkIs

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for posting, Tony! Neither did I but then I am not really a Cliff fan! lol

    • Tony Flanigan profile image

      Tony Flanigan 

      8 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Neil Diamond is one of my top 3 all-time favourite musicians. Great Hub, and even tho I do remember hearing him in th '60's, I didn't know about Cliff Richard covering his titles.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks, Suzie!

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 

      8 years ago from Asheville, NC

      He's a classic - love him. Enjoyed this Hub.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Pamela!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I have always loved Neil Diamond and this hub is a great tribute to his talent.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Lilly and De Greek!

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      What a perfect title for the song writer! What else could one want but to be able to read such a title about oneself :-)

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      8 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Love me some Neil Diamond, thank you for the keen article!

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