Neil Diamond is currently on the road in the U.S., in the midst of a lengthy world tour celebrating his 50th anniversary as a recording artist. “It’s been very heartening to me,” the singer-songwriter told Rolling Stone in December after seeing the positive response to the initial shows that went on sale. “I’ve been doing this 50 years and to have an audience that’s out there and anxious and enthusiastic is exciting.” In the spirit of the tour, Diamond reminisced about five songs that shaped his musical direction.
I first heard this when I started playing guitar. It was a combination of folk and rock & roll, and it angled me into the world of Woody Guthrie.
If you were a teenager into music at this time, you loved the Everly Brothers. Anybody could do harmonies, but nobody had their sound.
This actually talked about current events. It spoke about an issue that had been boiling for years and was ready to make itself known.
This had a black groove, not only by white people but non-American white people. They were as responsible as the Beatles for the British Invasion.
It had the most infectious rhythm, with a certain magic that you hope for when you make a record. It was also fresh, with a great groove.