Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sunday Morning Blue: Neil Diamond: I Am I Said/Dusty Springfield: Son of the Preacher Man


I know, I know, "no-one heard at all, not even the chair" is invariable cited, just behind Sting's line about Nabokov, as worst profound lyric ever, but then Diamond resolves everything with "leaving me lonely still" and all is forgiven.
Pronted by Toronto Tim's recent raving about the 'Moods' album I invested in 'Gold', 41 of Diamond's finest (infested with the inevitable live tracks that often pad out these collections).
There is another one in the series on Dusty Springfield (best name ever) which is a fine thing also.
I think that Diamond would regard himself more as a broody, intense writer rather than the exuberant singer that Springfield was, but both remind that, although it's the power of the voice that is paramount, it's the little imperfections (or quirky lines) that catch the ear.
Their back catalogues are blighted by bad choices and moments of lamentable MOR, but when all of the nonsense is filtered out (one man's classic is another man's clunker I know) what is left is pure, controlled, sublime performance.


6 comments:

  1. Coincidence; see Boo's post for today:
    http://boohewerdinesblogthing.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/day-969-appropriately-named-albums.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Raving... moi?

    Boo's spot is a funny coincidence. I didn't notice Neil's menacing glare. Looks like he's asking, "Who pee'd in my Cheerios?"
    That's OK. I prefer early brooding loner to Neil the flash entertainer.
    Great clip during his prime. No sequins or showy theatrics, just a quiet, moving performance of a classic song.
    "I've never cared for the sound of being alone" my favorite line.

    Finding a good collection of his work is exasperating... there isn't one. I bought the 71 track box set years ago at a hefty price, thinking it would cover all the bases. Thankfully, no bloody live tracks, but several key album cut omissions... Walk On Water/Theme, Stones, Canta Libre, Captain Sunshine, I Think It's Going To Rain Today, Last Thing On My Mind, Suzanne, the best cuts from Jonathan Seagull (I've got a soft spot for that one), Songs Of Life, all MIA.. And a demo version of the marvelous Shiloh. I ended up buying a dozen albums and making my own Best Of. Naturally contrary, my favorite tunes are mostly less famous, moving story-songs,,, Brooklyn Roads (masterpiece), Shiloh (mystical), Done Too Soon (unique), Walk On Water/Theme (inferior without Theme postlude), Morningside (sad, stunning portrait).

    The remastered collection you picked up is about as good as it gets up to 1972. Hope my hype didn't lead you to a pricey let down...
    Raving? Oui...

    ReplyDelete
  3. 'Gold' has all of your favorites. I lost interest when the Elvis rhinestone suits starting appearing. Broody is fine; he just got a bit 'up himself'. Interesting point about there not being a defining album; I was wondering if there might be a classic gem (his 'Blue' or 'Harvest') but seeming ratio of 70% shite... Fair comment?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh boy, here comes a comment that's bound to get your goat, and get me deported...
    I'd take Moods, Stones, even Jonathan Livingston Seagull over Harvest or Blue. I know I've lost all credibility now. Beauty is in the eye/ear...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My goat's fine but I've just choked on my Cheerios...

      Delete
  5. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you must watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Win your ex back with TEXT messages?

    ReplyDelete