Neil Diamond wrote "Solitary Man" and recorded it on BANG records as his first single in 1966. It reached #55 that time. As Neil’s popularity grew on Uni records, BANG decided to re-release the single in 1970. That time, it reached #21 on the Hot 100 and #6 on the Easy Listening chart, #31 on the Canadian pop chart and #24 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart. It’s been covered by many artists since then. Here are two of them.

Billy Joe Royal

From his 1982 album Makin’ Believe.

Johnny Rivers

From his 1973 album Blue Suede Shoes.

Those are our contestants for this battle. I hope everyone reading this votes in this battle, even if you’ve never voted before. It’s simple:

  1. Listen to the two songs.
  2. Decide which song you like the best.
  3. Vote for your favorite by leaving me a comment with your choice. If you feel like telling us why, feel free.
  4. Then, visit the other participants and vote in their Battles:

Voting for this round ends next Wednesday, March 1 at 12:00 noon, so make sure I have your vote by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Billy Joe and Johnny!

23 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Solitary Man”

  1. I think I’ll lose on this one but surprisingly I pick the Billy Joe Royal…I like the sound of that recording more….and I’m a Rivers fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I vote for Johnny Rivers. I prefer hearing the voice of the singer clearly as opposed to having the vocal mixed in with the crashing and banging of the instruments. Don’t know if that makes any sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going against the tide and voting for Billy Joe. I like the tempo, and the vocals are brought to the front and center. The repeated ending is rather annoying, though.

    I think Johnny Rivers’ version is overproduced, and the instruments overshadow his vocals a bit. It just sounds like the Secret Agent Man covering Neil Diamond.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like both of these artists. Both versions are good. However, I prefer the production and presentation better with the Johnny Rivers version. He gets my vote.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Billy Joe Royal sounds very true to Neil Diamond’s version. Johnny Rivers sounds like he made it more his song.

    I’m going to go with Johnny Rivers but this is one of those songs where I’d really rather listen to ND.



    JOHNNY RIVERS is always going to be a tough artist to beat, and this was no exception. Billy’s rendition was fine, but I didn’t prefer it to Johnny’s take on the song which seemed, to me, imbued with deeper feeling.

    ~ D-FensDogG

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s one of my favourite Neil Diamond songs! The covers are both good and I had to listen to them a couple of times. In the end, I preferred Johnny Rivers’ vocals, so I’m going with him.

    Liked by 1 person

You can use Markdown in your comments. Thanks for your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s