Album Reviews

Neil Diamond – The Bang Years 1966-1968 (Columbia/Legacy)

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Neil Diamond - The Bang Years 1966-1968I have a hunch the majority of Elmore readers have been listening to these masterful songs—“Solitary Man,” “Cherry, Cherry,” “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon,” “Red, Red Wine,” “Shilo,” etc. —for well over four decades now. So another compilation of this material, just in time to celebrate Diamond’s worthy induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is just business as usual and no big surprise. But what is surprising is the sumptuous sound of these 23 tracks, like I’m hearing them loud and clear for the first time!

Mono baby! Those were the first words I told my wife when she exclaimed “Wow! I can hear everything I forgot!” Whatever digital hookie-dookie they’re using to remaster works here to astounding, and often thrilling, clarity.

As a bonus, Diamond’s liner notes from the sidewalk romance of the Brill Building, display his work with legendary Leiber & Stoller, the irrepressible Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry, Tom Dowd and Phil Ramone. All these hungry kids who grew up to be legends, if not legends in the great retelling of history, will fill the hearts and minds of those who cherish the music.

Mike Jurkovic

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