Touching You, Touching Me (Remaster) Neil Diamond
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- 1Everybodys Talkin (Album Version)02:47
- 2Mr. Bojangles (Album Version)04:54
- 3Smokey Lady (Album Version)02:42
- 4Holly Holy (Single Version)04:40
- 5Both Sides Now (Album Version)03:34
- 6And The Singer Sings His Song (Album Version)03:40
- 7Aint No Way (Album Version)02:43
- 8New York Boy (Album Version)02:39
- 9Until Its Time For You To Go (Album Version)03:33
Info for Touching You, Touching Me (Remaster)
Neil Diamond's first gold album, 1969's „Touching You, Touching Me“, was also the first time the singer extensively featured other songwriters' songs, perhaps a sign of his increasing artistic confidence. In addition to the Fred Neil hit 'Everybody's Talkin'' and Buffy Sainte-Marie's 'Until It's Time For You to Go,' there's also Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now' and Jerry Jeff Walker's 'Mr. Bojangles,' with Diamond's own opus, 'Holly Holy,' and his 'Smokey Lady' more than holding their own with the classy competition.
„Although the title clearly comes from the irresistible line in Sweet Caroline, Diamond’s fifth album didn’t actually include that song on its original stateside release. A hit between albums, it was belatedly tagged onto his previous offering, Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, in the US. In the UK it made it into the middle of this 1969 mix of covers and originals. Why so many covers, from such a feted composer, who’d already penned iconic pop hits like I’m a Believer? Because Diamond was still proving to the world that he was no longer a Brill Building backroom boy: he was a full-blooded, theatrical performer with a stentorian voice you didn’t forget in a hurry.
So here the then-28-year-old offers thundering takes on Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’, the subversive supper-club staple Mr. Bojangles, Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now and Buffy Saint-Marie’s Until It’s Time for You to Go (a minor hit for Neil, later tackled by Elvis). These shine because Tom Catalano’s production and Lee Holdridge’s string arrangements allow the masculine Sturm und Drang of Diamond’s rough-tender vocals to eke every drop of sentiment from the ballads.
His own songs are as robust as ever. New York Boy – in which he explains away his long hair ('I ain’t no hippie, just a New York Boy') is rich with pop hooks, while And the Singer Sings His Song is a classic Diamond slow-burner, full of brooding grandeur. Sweet Caroline, of course, is one of the all-time great bar-room sing-alongs (as homaged in Ted Demme’s 1996 movie Beautiful Girls). Asked to explain its success, Diamond attributed its crossover appeal to the use of the A6 chord, perhaps disingenuously underestimating its basic catchiness. The follow-up hit, Holly Holy, is the album’s true centrepiece. The singer was 'trying to create or represent a religious experience between a man and a woman', but most people again just responded to the heroic build of the simple effective structure and Neil’s titanic voice, which testified – as in all the best love songs – to both joy and yearning. You’d need a gnarly heart not to be touched by Diamond’s drive here.“ (Chris Roberts, BBC Review)
Produced by Tom Catalano, Tommy Cogbill
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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