LISTEN UP… Inspired our recent Neil Diamond tribute concert- here is a mix of several other well known artists who have covered versions of original Neil Diamond song. There certainly are some obscure singers on this list. I tracked all the songs down on a fun site called Second Hand Songs, SHS catalogs your favourite artists’ original songs which have been recorded or performed by others.
As you might be able to guess, the most covered Neil songs are Sweet Caroline (even Roy Orbison performed this one) and Song Sung Blue (this version by Bobby Darrin is especially peppy)! With 31 recorded covers each.
Unfortunately some of the versions I thought would be excellent additions to this week’s Listen Up are not available on Spotify- imagine Shirley Bassey singing Love on the Rocks orWaylon Jennings’ rendition of Kentucky Woman. How about a sing off between Harry Belafonte and Josh Groban as the battle for best cover of Play Me!
Hope you enjoy- if you are on Spotify, listen up here!
NOTE: The last song is not a cover, it is a duet with Neil and Natalie Maines who is one-third of the Dixie Chicks (notice a theme?)
NOTE II: The links take you to the youtube versions! A good giggle for the weekend.
When I was 22 my friend Jessica and I went to see Neil Diamond in concert and although we were seated in the last row of the Target Center, it was a fabulous concert and I have remained a fan ever since.
When I was 24, I was dating someone who knew I was musically into Neil and he introduced me to Minnesota-native, Martin Zellar and his fabulous show NEIL!, where he and his band sing all the classics. Despite this commonality, I soon parted ways with this man, but Jessica and I would try to hit the show every time it passed through O’Gara’s in St. Paul. (Jess-APRIL 27- O’Gara’s Shanty)!
When I was 36 and in fact this week, Ben, who has spent years honing his Urban Edge style through music and fashion, surprised me with tickets to see the U.K.’s Real Diamond, the foremost Neil Diamond tribute artists at the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh. Pretend Neil, John Hylton, has been performing his tribute to Neil for 22 years! The show was fabulous and hilarious.
The fabulous, Pretend Neil can really sing and was dressed the part- sparkly top and trousers with some detailing. He rallied the audience with some sing-alongs- Song Sung Blue and the ever-too-popular Sweet Caroline which he saved for his one and only encore.
The hilarious, Ben and I were the youngest by at least 10 years! A nice feeling. I was one of about 20 people who have actually seen Neil live in concert. There was a lot of hand raising. Pretend Neil was joined by Pretend Barbara Streisand- Tina Law, complete with wig! Singing together You Don’t Bring Me Flowers! In real life, Neil and Barbara performed in the same 100-member choir at Erasmus High-school, so this makes complete sense.
Ben said he has a new appreciation for Neil- mission accomplished!
Pretend Neil and his son have a Simon and Garfunkel tribute show, called Garfunkel and Simon- that is almost too much especially when you see the son sports an Art Garfunkel hair piece.