Neil Leslie Diamond was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941, into a family descended from Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants who worked as dry goods merchants.
While writing music was an immediate passion, Diamond was also cheap hockey jerseys an accomplished athlete who was good enough with a sword to attend NYU on a fencing team scholarship. However, the draw of songwriting was too strong and he eventually dropped out of university to ply his trade at such publishing houses as the Brill Building, home to many a legendary tunesmith.
As he tours on wholesale nhl jerseys his 50 Year Anniversary Tour, Diamond can certainly kick back knowing he made the right choice in career. But the man with 38 Top 10 singles to his credit didn't always have an easy ride for much of his career, his biggest successes were writing for other acts. Even after he was a star, it was often cover versions of his material that gained more attention than his own versions.
Here are 10 Neil Diamond tunes that were (mostly) made more famous by other artists than by their composer:
1. Sunday and Me, Jay and the Americans (1965)
Credited by most music historians as Diamond's first real hit, this single reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. This was far from the top position reached by the clean cut Jay the Americans, who made a career that continues to this very day off the songs Cara Mia and Come A Little Bit Closer.
2. Where Do You Run, Billy Fury (1965)
Diamond's skills crossed the Atlantic on numerous occasions. This was one of the first times, when English film star and early rock n roll superstar Fury covered this tune. For all those scratching their heads going "Billy who?," Fury dominated the UK charts until fellow Liverpudlians The Beatles knocked him down a few notches. The Fab Four had once auditioned to back Fury on a tour and not been hired.
3. I'm A Believer, The Monkees (1966)
This dittie was recorded by the made for TV band, The Monkees. It hit Billboard's No. 1, stayed there for seven weeks and was the biggest selling single of 1967. Produced by Jeff Barry and released on the Colgems label, the B side was I'm Not (Your Steppin' Stone). Another hit for The Monkees, this song was later covered by the Sex Pistols.
4. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You, The Monkees (1967)
Another top charting track for the Monkees, this hit wholesale jerseys No. 2 on the Billboard charts and also marked the beginning of the band wanting to be allowed to record their own original material rather than tunes coming out of the Brill Building stable where Diamond worked. Coincidentally, Diamond was also chafing under the house rules, and wanted to do his own thing.
5. It's not in either act's set list, and hasn't been for a very long time.
6. Roch Voisine, On the Outside (1990)
Hold on a minute, how can this be? A French Canadian pop star singing a Diamond tune seems too weird to be true. Actually, the song from his album Double isn't a Diamond song, but it samples Diamond's 1972 track Cheap China Jerseys Play Me from his album Moods throughout. This is another place the man's music is increasingly appearing.
7. Red Red Wine, UB40 (1983)
This cover of a pretty well known Diamond classic on the album Labour of Love put this Birmingham, UK, reggae act on top of the charts all over the world. Previously associated with fairly political tracks such as Food For Thought, this hit turned the band into a squishy pop act with a tinge of reggae on top as they pursued covers such as Can't Help Falling In Love and I Got You Babe for continued commercial success.
8. Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon, Urge Overkill (1994)
Taken from the soundtrack to the motion picture Pulp Fiction, this Neil Diamond cover not only took this Chicago band out of the underground and into the charts, it also picked up numerous MTV awards. Urge Overkill proved a flash in the pan, but the exposure for Diamond gave his career a bit of a jolt in the mid 1990s.
9. It Comes and Goes, The Melodians (2000)
A track that has been recorded over and over again through the years since its publication in 1965, this rock steady version stands out from all the schlocky earlier takes by singers such as Mike Berry or Sadina (Priscilla Mitchell). Diamond never released his own version of the tune.
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