Song of the Day: Neil Diamond, “Solitary Man”

Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 82 years old today. He’s sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time, and has had ten #1 hits (“Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue,” “Longfellow Serenade,” “I’ve Been This Way Before,” “If You Know What I Mean,” “Desirée,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “America,” “Yesterday’s Songs,” and “Heart Light.” “Solitary Man” was nowhere near as popular, only reaching #60 on the Hot 100 in 1966, but it’s been covered by Billy Joe Royal, B.J. Thomas, Jay and the Americans, T. G. Sheppard, Gianni Morandi, The Sidewinders, Chris Isaak, Johnny Cash, Johnny Rivers, HIM, Crooked Fingers, Cliff Richard, Ólöf Arnalds, Theuns Jordaan and Farhad Mehrad.

32 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Neil Diamond, “Solitary Man”

  1. I saw Neil Diamond many years ago. Love this song. Actually, my ex-boyfriend had become our business partner. He got these fabulous seats in front row at the Palace because his wife loved him. He hated him so he sat by himself like a jerk up near the exit, leaving his seat vacant, while the three of us had a great time. He was the ONLY person in the place not standing and having a blast. Neil did a great show. He had some great songs. I really don’t see why he was treated like Karen Carpenter by many. I think he was respected among musicians. Did you ever see that “Last Waltz” concert, last performance by The Band? I loved that. I’ve misplaced it. Some great entertainers there and I think he was one. (I am sure you’ve seen it–why would I ask?)


    1. I never heard about him being treated like Karen Carpenter, who was a better-than-average drummer and had the voice of an angel. Neil was a fantastic songwriter and held his own when playing guitar.

      I’ve only seen bits and pieces of “The Last Waltz,” though I’ve heard the album motre than once.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved watching the Last WAltz and my son loved it, too, even though he’s a bit of a snob about music. Really neat to watch it. Yeah, quite a few people I went to school with dissed Karen Carpenter (I liked her fine) and put Neil Diamond in that group. John Denver. Along with the bubble gum crowd (also kinda fun at times). You’ve heard that joke about Jerry Garcia going to heaven, right??


          1. Well, I’ll screw it up, but it goes something like Jerry Garcia dies and goes to heaven and he says,” wow, I was worried I might not have been good enough to go to heaven but here I am with some of the greatest rockers in the world” (he says as he sees Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, etc.–I might not have the guys right). Anyway, he says, “man, it’s great to get the band back together and this really must be heaven” At that point, Karen Carpenter walks out and says, “Ok, take it from the top guys ‘close to you.'” Probably messed it up, but it was kinda funny.


  2. Happy Birthday, Neil! This is one of his first and best songs. I have always been a fan with “What a Beautiful Noise” and “I Am I Said” being two of my favorites. For some reason his “Hot August Night” album was never one of my favorite. Thinking about the tracks, I should go back and listen to it again. But then I do not like a lot of live albums.


    1. Live albums can be a real disappointment. “Chicago at Carnegie Hall” was awful, even they were embarrassed by it. On the other hand, “Frampton Comes Alive” and “Cheap Trick at Budokan” were excellent. Most live albums wind up somewhere in between. I’d rather hear the studio versions.

      Liked by 1 person

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