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Various Artists Featured On Neil Diamond Compilation "Forever Neil Diamond;" Out May 23

May 9th, 2006 4:07pm EDT
Neil DiamondOn May 23rd celebrate the songwriting talents of superstar musician and performer Neil Diamond with a brand new collection of songs on CD. Recorded by a tremendously varied group of artists over an equally expansive period of time, Forever Neil Diamond showcases the wide appeal of these 14 Diamond-penned classics. Beginning with pop band The Monkees' 1967 #2 Billboard pop chart hit "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" to the legendary Elvis Presley's 1970 recording of "And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind" to alternative rockers Urge Overkill's cover of "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon," Diamond's songs have stood the test of time and successfully traverse musical genres. As Robbie Robertson recently stated, "In the brilliant Tin Pan Alley tradition of songwriters, Neil Diamond is one of the greatest ever."

Neil DiamondNeil Diamond became a star in 1966 with his first two hits as a solo performer "Solitary Man" and "Cherry, Cherry" followed by the release of his wildly popular album Touching You, Touching Me, but his first #1 single was achieved as a songwriter. TV pop stars The Monkees topped the charts with "I'm A Believer," followed by "A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me" in 1967. Diamond became a permanent fixture on the Billboard charts both as a performer and a songwriter. In some occurrences, Diamond would watch a single song rise up the charts more than once - first as his own recording, then again as another performer's recording. Both Diamond and rock band Deep Purple had hits with "Kentucky Woman," Bobby Womack followed Diamond up the charts with his own version of "Sweet Caroline," and Jr. Walker & The Allstars had a hit with Diamond's "Holly Holy." Releasing cover versions of other performers' songs is certainly not unusual, but these singles were all released and rose up the charts within 1-3 years of each other, which attests to the strength of the songs themselves.

Though Diamond remained popular as a performer through the '70s, '80s and '90s, it was UB40's cover of "Red Red Wine" that took Diamond to the very top of the charts again in 1988, and Neil Diamond became "cool" in the eyes of the Gen-Xers. Alternative band Urge Overkill sealed the deal two years later with "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" which became a hit when it appeared in the box office giant Pulp Fiction. More recently, Irish punk legend Shane McGowan recorded "Cracklin' Rosie" and indie rockers Crooked Fingers (former members of Archers of Loaf) took their own stab at "Solitary Man." Forever Neil Diamond includes it all - Motown, R&B, rock 'n' roll, bubble gum pop, dance hall, Irish punk and more.

The various artists included on this collection simply recognize a well-crafted song when they see one, no matter what musical genre they represent. Inarguably, Neil Diamond knows how to write a great song.

Various Artists: Forever Neil Diamond Track List:

The Monkees - "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You"
Bobby Womack - "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)"
The Box Tops - "Ain't No Way"
Urge Overkill - "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon"
Deep Purple - "Kentucky Woman"
Elvis Presley - "And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind"
Crooked Fingers - "Solitary Man"
Shane McGowan & The Popes - "Cracklin' Rosie"
UB40 - "Red Red Wine"
Arthur Alexander - "Glory Road"
Four Tops - "I'm A Believer"
Lulu - "The Boat That I Row"
Jr. Walker & The All-Stars - "Holly Holy"
The Band with Neil Diamond - "Dry Your Eyes"