I have been going back and forth in my mind about this release, and I am curious about everyone else’s thoughts about it.
My viewpoint is mine and this post is not directed at Neil in any way. While some may see it to be a negative, I am not writing it to come off that way.
Over the years we have seen the following albums: CLASSICS: THE EARLY YEARS, GREATEST HITS, GREATEST HITS; VOLUME 2, THE ESSENTIAL NEIL DIAMOND, THE 50th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION, NEIL DIAMOND ICON, GREATEST HITS, GLORY ROAD: THE GREATEST HITS 1966 – 1972, NEIL DIAMOND: GREATEST HITS 1966 – 1992, NEIL DIAMOND 32 ALL-TIME GREATEST HITS, and IN MY LIFETIME.
I will discuss the latter in a moment. Two others — the ICON disc and 32 Greatest Hits disc may not be official releases by Columbia or Capitol, but they are still Neil Diamond hits compilations. IN MY LIFETIME is unique in that it has a few songs never before issued on an album.
Now to THE 50th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION BOX SET. While it looks like a very nicely put together collection, I am going to be passing on purchasing it. Capitol Records is an iconic company with its pulse on the American music landscape for decades. But, here is where I have to speak up.
With exception to the two demos and the 6th disc of new songs, like IN MY LIFETIME before it, this is another hits album. And for the $99.00 + tax price point, I feel, sadly, that this move by Capitol is just another way to the wallets of Neil’s fans.
Some will gladly pay for this release just to get the nice book and the new songs. I hope you enjoy, which is what Capitol Records is certainly counting on.
But, where I wish Capitol would have gone with this one, would have just been to release disc #6 under the title; NEIL DIAMOND: MIDNIGHT RIDER or something else, add the two demos as bonus tracks, and give a more attractive price point of $14.99.
Do I really need another Greatest Hits collection with 12 new songs and 2 demos in my collection? The answer of course, is no. As for the book, it’s a nice concept idea, but I think a better option would have been to serve it up as a stand-alone book in a bookstore or on Amazon, and make it CD-free.
Just my opinion. Take it for what it may or may not be worth to you everyone. I love Neil. His music has saved my life. But, I cannot buy this and add another Greatest Hits anthology to my Neil Diamond collection.
For those who do pick it up, enjoy it. I do think this however, a better option for people who are just discovering Neil’s music for the first time and want to buy his best songs.