On November 2, 2010, Neil Diamond released the album 'Dreams', a collection of 14 interpretations of his favorite songs of other composers from the rock era.
It’s nice to hear the Diamond touch added to classics like Midnight Train To Georgia, Hallelujah, and Desperado, but one of the coolest songs on the album is his own rendition of I’m A Believer, the Diamond song originally made famous by The Monkees. I’m A Believer adds a new vulnerability to the song through its mellow and soft approach. I never thought the upbeat and catchy song could have been a sweet ballad, but one listen to the Diamond version and the lyrics jump out as an honest and beautiful ballad – “I’m in love and I couldn’t leave her if I tried.”
The album includes music that deeply influenced Diamond as a young man growing up in Brooklyn, starting with “Let It Be Me,” popularized by the Everly Bros. in 1960. He also beautifully renders The Beatles’ stunning and spare “Blackbird” and the mournful “Yesterday,” Leon Russell’s underrated classic “A Song for You,” Gilbert O’Sullivan’s heart-stopping “Alone Again (Naturally),” Bill Withers soulful “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and includes a host of other well-known classics from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Diamond also tackles hidden gems from his musical contemporaries such as “Don’t Forget Me,” from the late Harry Nilsson, and the Randy Newman compositions, “Feels Like Home,” and the poignant “Losing You.”
Another standout is his version of The Eagles Desperado, which showcases Diamond alone and indefensible with only a single accompanying guitar.
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