The Best Years Of Our Lives (Remastered) Neil Diamond

Album info

Album-Release:
1988

HRA-Release:
18.11.2016

Label: Geffen Records

Genre: Pop

Subgenre: Adult Contemporary

Album including Album cover

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  • 1The Best Years Of Our Lives04:00
  • 2Hard Times For Lovers04:25
  • 3This Time03:58
  • 4Everything's Gonna Be Fine04:00
  • 5Hooked On The Memory Of You03:51
  • 6Take Care Of Me03:40
  • 7Baby Can I Hold You03:55
  • 8Carmelita's Eyes04:06
  • 9Courtin' Disaster04:32
  • 10If I Couldn't See You Again04:03
  • 11Long Hard Climb04:47
  • Total Runtime45:17

Info for The Best Years Of Our Lives (Remastered)



This mixed bag of Neil Diamond songs includes regretful ballads like "This Time," optimistic love songs like "Everything's Gonna Be Fine," and late-1980s rockers like "Take Care of Me." Though '80s production values dominate, Diamond is in fine voice and songwriting form throughout, classily nodding to newcomer Tracy Chapman in particular on "Baby Can I Hold You." While there are occasional flashes of the songwriter's early-'70s fire on songs like the title track, the subject matter here mostly centers on old memories and the pain of loss.

„This album came when Neil Diamond was firmly entrenched in his adult contemporary niche. A/C can be so pandering it's insulting sometimes, but when it's done with heart and smarts it can be sublime. Diamond apparently gets that and for the most part makes adult contemporary that is actually for adults. It takes a master to croon "Cause I do believe in forever/it's a place that lovers find" without making the sentiment cringe-inducing. And Diamond pulls it off. Despite that, even he can't keep from sounding creepy when he sings, "Ooh, babe, you're a hot little number" on "Everything's Gonna be Fine." Both he and this album are classier than that, and once you're into the song it's undeniable -- it becomes a feel-good anthem, and it works. Diamond was wise enough to co-write a number of these songs with master producer/songwriter David Foster. Foster writes his share of pabulum, but when he's good he's great, and on this album he's in fine form. Diamond was also wise enough to tone down the production so that his rugged voice and the melancholy melodies are able to shine through. The Best Years of Our Lives is an album that is romantic and sentimental without being manipulative, and despite a couple of overproduced ballads that are outweighed by the other tracks, particularly the high-spirited and hopeful title cut and the subtle remorse of "This Time," it is a strong entry in Diamond's oeuvre.“ (Bryan Buss, AMG)

Neil Diamond, vocals
Dean Parks, guitar, electric guitar
Richard Bennett, guitar
Michael Landau, electric guitar
Steve Lukather, electric guitar
Dan Higgins, horn
Larry Williams, horn
Gary Grant, horn
Jerry Hey, horn
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr., horn
David Paich, keyboards
Alan Lindgren, keyboards
Michael Boddicker, keyboards
Michael Omartian, keyboards
Robbie Buchanan, keyboards
Tom Hensley, keyboards
David Foster, keyboards
Rick Bowen, synthesizer
Kevin Maloney, synthesizer
Rhett Lawrence, synthesizer
Paul Liem, drums
Tris Imboden, drums
Carlos Vega, drums

Produced by David Foster

Digitally remastered


Neil Diamond
For Neil Diamond, it’s always started with a song. Over the course of his astonishing career, Neil has sold more than 128 million albums worldwide. He’s charted 56 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including 12 top 10 hits, and has released 16 Top 10 albums. He’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2011, he was honored by the Kennedy Center for his lifetime of contributions to American culture. Neil has been nominated for three Golden Globes, 13 Grammys, and was named NARAS’ MusiCares Person of the Year in 2009. His 2008 album, Home Before Dark, debuted in the US and UK at #1, and his songs have been covered by artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Andrea Boccelli. But he never would have reached the world, from sold-out concerts to seventh-inning stretches, without his love for songwriting.

In June, after more than forty years as a Columbia recording artist, Neil signed with Capitol Records and moved his back catalogue to Universal, Capitol’s parent company. He has history with both: his earliest hits were on Bang, a Universal imprint, and Capitol released the multi-platinum soundtrack for The Jazz Singerin 1980, which earned Neil three Top 10 singles. Melody Road, his first new original studio album since Home Before Dark, is Neil’s debut as a Capitol artist, and while it represents a new chapter for him, it also reconnects him with his past.

Neil describes Melody Road as a homecoming. It brings him back to the start of his musical journey and the early influence of artists like the Weavers and Woody Guthrie. The songs on the album reflect his lifelong love of folk music. The vocals were recorded live, in much the same way they would have been if the album had been created decades ago, and while the instrumentation is lush, the arrangements are traditional. Like the best folk songs, each of the album’s tracks tells a story, most pointedly on “Seongah and Jimmy,” a song about Neil’s American brother-in-law and Korean sister-in-law, who met and fell in love before they had learned to speak each other’s languages. Despite the specificity of the song, it addresses a universal theme. Melody Road is largely autobiographical, but the stories Neil tells are not his alone.

Neil began working on Melody Road with several new songs, as well as a few that he’d struggled to complete for more than ten years. He couldn’t find the motivation, or the willingness to address the subject matter that initially inspired them, or – in Neil’s words – they weren’t yet ready to be born. With an emotional assist from his wife Katie, he completed those tracks. By the time he was ready to record he had an album’s worth of songs ready to go. The record unfolds story by story, and song by song – the final sequence is exactly the same as the order of Neil’s original demos for the album.

Co-Produced by Don Was (who’s worked with Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones) and Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., U2), Melody Road was made with a masterful group of musicians, including pedal steel player Greg Liesz, keyboardist Benmont Tench, guitarist Smoky Hormel, and vocalists the Waters Family. Built on guitars, it’s true to the origin of folk, but it’s not defined by it; it was recorded with keyboards, flutes, horns, and, on “Seongah and Jimmy,” “The Art of Love,” and “Nothing But A Heartache,” a full string section. Yet, for all of its expansiveness and rich production, Melody Road is ultimately all about the songs. Neil’s come full circle. He’s brought five decades of extraordinary craftsmanship with him, but he’s returned to where he started, propelled by the simple joy of translating life into song.

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