Sunday, 21 November 2010

Neil Diamond goes back to basics with covers CD; talks Twitter, rock and baseball hall of fame

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Neil Diamond recorded his latest album, "Dreams," with just a guitar and a microphone, interpreting old classics in a very intimate setting that puts the focus squarely on his voice.
But the 69-year-old legend is hoping the stripped arrangement draws listeners closer to something else he holds dear — the songs' lyrics. While he knows people are pretty familiar with the tunes on this album, which include "Midnight Train To Georgia," ''Hallelujah" and "Yesterday," he wanted to highlight the stories behind them that made them special in the first place.
"On my songs, I worked very hard on the lyrics and I want people to hear them. I felt these songs deserve to be heard, and so they are," said Diamond in a recent interview, where he delved more into "Dreams," discussed his affection for Twitter and getting "Sweet Caroline" into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Associated Press: Explain the title "Dreams."
Neil Diamond: I titled it that because the album is really a dream of mine. It was an idea, a feeling, a desire of mine to do these songs. ... I haven't been able to do it for my entire career. I just felt at this point, if not now, when?
AP: After two such successful albums with Rick Rubin, what made you want to do covers?
Neil Diamond: I went into the studio just to sing for my own amusement. Just take my guitar in front of a microphone and sing. I didn't have any new songs of mine to sing, so I went back and just did some of my favourite songs that have been out there. I did it every Friday for months. Just as an upper for me. Kind of a tonic for the rest of the week. ... It was more like an accidental album.
AP: Do you ever get intimidated reinterpreting someone else's song, like the Beatles song?
Neil Diamond: I've never gotten intimidated. I will always try a song. There are certain songs that you just cannot sing. They are not made for you. I did try a Brazilian song on this album, and there was no way I could sing it. It was kind of a bossa nova thing. No way I could get all the words and the notes in. I was very frustrated. I tried, and tried and tried and just said, "It is just not made for me to sing."
AP: You are on Twitter. Talk about social media and interacting directly with your fans.
Neil Diamond: Yeah, I tweet. Occasionally I do. There is nothing lost in translation. I like that and it is simple. As a songwriter, you are limited to a very short list of words, a number that you can use in a song. A hundred words, 150 words, that is it. So, to have a medium where I can reach out to people and share part of my life and have only 147 or so characters ... you have to say it very briefly and I like that.
AP: As a musical icon and grandfather, how do you combine that?
Neil Diamond: Well, I would like my grandkids to be involved in music. I have given them guitars. I have offered them lessons. They just take to it. I've never put any pressure on them. If they continue to love it, and want to do it, they will. But, the bottom line is, I want them to have their hearts and minds open to music, because it is nourishment to the soul.
AP: John Fogerty's "Centerfield" was recently honoured by the Baseball's Hall of Fame this year. Do you think Sweet Caroline will get its due from the hall?
Neil Diamond: It was honoured by the Baseball Hall of Fame? Wonderful, I didn't know they honoured songs. Well, hey, you know "Sweet Caroline" is there and it would love to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. That would be a real kick for me, because I'm a big baseball fan.
AP: What did you feel when you were finally nominated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Neil Diamond: My music is very broad. It is based on rock 'n' roll. But it also has a folk element, it has a country element to it, which is pretty strong. I was never sure they would take me in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They still haven't, I have just been nominated. But, I am very happy to be a part of that. I think any group that has a Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and the Everly Brothers is a group I want to be a part of.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Neil Diamond Tickets Prices Rise

Since Neil Diamond last played in Wellington, he has doubled his ticket prices,but he's still a steal compared with the Rolling Stones.

According to Ticketek's website,The most costly tickets for Diamond's gig at Westpac Stadium on March 4 will set fans back $199.90,Cheaper options to watch the man responsible for a swag of hits including Sweet Caroline and Cracklin' Rosie are priced at $149.90 and $99.90.

In March 2005 Neil Diamond performed in front of 33000 the tickets of which only cost between $60 and $100.

Sherayl McNabb attended the 2005 concert, "I love Neil Diamond" she said, but she don't know the reason for this high price but may be because value of money increase.She expressed that no matter how expensive the tickets are but you wouldn't like atmosphere where people are drunk and fighting around you-that happened with us in 2005

"I would have expected the price to go up, but $200 is too expensive."

She said that she would consider paying $100, as it would going to be very difficult in tight economy to sell out 33000 tickets this time

Neil Diamond told The Dominion Post last month that he was looking forward to performing Down Under. "The audiences down there are spectacular and any performer wants to get in front of an audience like that. That's what it's all about."

The singer-songwriter has sold 128 million albums worldwide. His 2008 album, Home Before Dark, went straight to No 1 in New Zealand, the United States and Britain.

He will also perform at Vector Arena in Auckland on February 26 and 28.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A new 14-song collection by Neil Diamond

A new collection of 14 songs, title "DREAM" by Neil Diamond is available in stores now. The album title "Dream" is comprises of his favorite songs from other composers of the rock era.

The covers include "Let It Be Me" by the Everly Brothers, "Blackbird" and "Yesterday" by the Beatles, and Leon Russell's "A Song for You.This album spot-lighted on music that influenced Neil Diamond when he was growing up in Brooklyn.

Other songs include Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)," Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," and Randy Newman's "Feels Like Home" and "Losing You."

Diamond Mentioned that "he has wanted to record these songs for more than 40 years"