Weekly Vinyl – Neil Diamond

19 Aug

Hot August Night
Neil Diamond
(1972)
NDaugust
No joke, I put this album on, 1st record, 1st side, and I thought it was a classical album that somehow got mixed up. The prologue is very deceptive for the first minute.

With patience, and a bit of time, the white funk comes out.
It is ironic in a way that I’m listening to this album. The album is called Hot August Night. I’m listening to this on a hot August night. You are reading this, perhaps, on a hot August night.
The night that this live album was recorded was August 24, 1972. I’m assuming the temperature was hot, Los Angeles in August, a fair assumption.
Yet the music does not get me “hot”. It is forgettable. Yes, there is “Sweet Caroline” and some of the hits that one might have heard before. The weird thing about this album is the fact that it is live and is so devoid of energy. Most live albums have this performance energy that cannot be replicated in a studio. On this recording, the performances are flat and uninspired. I do not hear the excitement.
The one thing you will learn from this album is that Neil Diamond wrote “Red, Red, Wine.” UB40 made this a hit. I love that song. This is an example of the cover being so much better than the original. It is fitting that this song is followed by a song called “Soggy Pretzels.”
Listening to this album is like eating soggy pretzels.

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