Lovescape (Remastered) Neil Diamond
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- 1If There Were No Dreams03:16
- 2Mountains Of Love04:53
- 3Don't Turn Around03:50
- 4Someone Who Believes In You04:14
- 5When You Miss Your Love04:40
- 6Fortune Of The Night04:09
- 7One Hand, One Heart03:03
- 8Hooked On The Memory Of You02:52
- 9Wish Everything Was Alright03:53
- 10The Way04:52
- 11Sweet L.A. Days04:13
- 12All I Really Need Is You04:22
- 13Lonely Lady #1703:59
- 14I Feel You03:38
- 15Common Ground04:53
Info for Lovescape (Remastered)
Something of a concept album about love (although a Neil Diamond album that didn't center on the subject of love wouldn't be much of a Neil Diamond album at all), „Lovescape“ uses a variety of producers, like Diamond's fellow singer-songwriter Albert Hammond, the talented Don Was, and Diamond himself, to craft its multi-faceted message. Love is found ("Someone Who Believes in You"), treasured ("All I Really Need Is You"), and lost ("Hooked on the Memory of You"), over the course of this 15-song cycle. „Lovescape“ features some of Diamond's most impassioned performances on songs like the Was-produced "Wish Everything Was All right," and a sensitively realized version of Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein's "One Hand, One Heart," from WEST SIDE STORY.
„Lovescape frames Neil Diamond's typically strong, if a little over-dramatic, vocal style with plinking keyboards, cooing backup singers, and hissing, breathy synthesizers. It's all drenched in the kind of reverb that screams "lite rock radio sap." Fortunately, Diamond's wine-stained voice is still full of emotion and more than capable of closing the album's gaping holes with a just-right emphasis here and a plaintive growl there. "Mountains of Love"'s sanitized world beat groove and keening horns would shrivel in anyone else's hands. But when Neil sings "Come on let's go/We've got room on that mountain of love," you want to believe in his feed-the-world message and follow him right to the top of the peak (how does he climb in those ankle boots?). A strummed acoustic guitar slows down the Hammond/Warren composition "Don't Turn Around," letting it breathe like the classic "Red Red Wine" -- Diamond's take has none of the mechanization of Ace of Base's later hit version. He has written or co-written 11 of Lovescape's 15 tracks, and it's his lilting, bruised heart duet with Kim Carnes that's the obvious standout. Elsewhere, he covers "One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story, refueling the ballad with his typical message of unification and peace, and buoys the faint country feel of "When You Miss Your Love" with a deft vocal touch, never letting it drift into dangerous Elton John territory. Although heaping helpings of synthesizer do their worst to slow him down, Diamond does his best with Lovescape's material, and salvages a handful of memorable moments for longtime listeners or the casual fan.“ (Johnny Loftus, AMG)
Neil Diamond, vocals, acoustic guitar
Kim Carnes, vocals
Doug Rhone, guitar
Hadley Hockensmith, guitar
Andrew Gold, guitar
Dan Dugmore, pedal steel guitar
Benjamin Tench, organ
Alan Lindgren, keyboards
Tom Hensley, keyboards
Robbie Buchanan, keyboards, bass, drums
Reinie Press, bass
Lee Sklar, bass
Ron Tutt, drums
Vince Charles, drums
Kenny Aronoff, drums
King Errisson, congas
Peter Asher, tambourine
Linda Press, background vocals
Produced by Albert Hammond, Don Was, Peter Asher
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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