Neil Diamond was one of the premier song-writers to come out of the 60s. His songs have been passed down through the rock and roll generations, because he was just that good. He had some hits of his own. But others have used his lyrics, put them with the musical style of the time, and actually did them some justice.
Let me tell you, this man could write some songs. And in my humble opinion, this first one is the greatest Neil Diamond song ever. It's mellow, it's pensive, and it's performed by him. Here is Solitary Man:
The next clip is more or less, a twofer. The video goes well with peyote, but these songs are blended very well in this live version and are two classics, all Neil Diamond fans know quite well. Here are Soolaimon and Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show:
Next up is a tune that was written by Neil. But it was made popular by the band known as Deep Purple. Take a listen to the 1968 remake of Kentucky Woman:
The next song contains a twist of irony. Neil wrote it for a group of actors, originally hired to "play" a band on TV. From that show, the Monkees made this tune a #1 hit in 1966. Neil only got it to #51, in 1971. But it came back in 2001, when Smash Mouth got it up to #25. Here is their version, you may remember it from the Shrek soundtrack. It's called I'm A Believer:
It wasn't one of his better known songs, but it's uplifting and it is another one of my favorites. Here is Neil singing, A Beautiful Noise: