Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Real Deal
D. French | Anytown, USA | 10/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I see people diss this album because the sound isn't "big" enough. If you're looking for the "airbrushed" sound of lush orchestration, multiple percussionists, backup singers, and the huge productions which mark the decline of many great artists, then this album is not for you. Rather, this particular collection recorded live at a club in LA is Neil Diamond stripped down to his rockin' roots; just guitar, bass, drums, and Neil. He rocks your socks off from the beginning of "Lordy" all the way through the closing number, the best version of "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" that I've ever heard. I've loved this album since my college roomate introduced me to it in 1995 and still jam my old vinyl version. I implore you to also discover this ablum and find Neil Diamond at the true height of his stage prowess. The between song banter is fantastic as well (eat your heart out, Wil Ferrel.)"
Neil Diamond Unplugged!...sort of
David Hugaert | Honolulu, HI United States | 07/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded live at Doug Weston's Troubadour in Los Angeles, "Neil Diamond GOLD" is an electrical-acoustical delight to the ears, performed in an intimate atmosphere. Originally released on the Uni label in the late '60's/early '70's, it's such a real treat to hear Neil perform some of his early Bang material live, as featured on this CD, and he really breathes life into these live numbers to boot. "Lordy", "Cherry, Cherry", "Thank The Lord For The Night Time" and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" (the former three tracks are from the Bang years) really showcase Neil's ability to rock with a little bit of a hard edge in all-out fashion, while the live versions of "Holly Holy" and "Sweet Caroline" featured here don't work quite as well without an orchestra. The orchestral arrangements work wonders on both "Holly Holy" and "Sweet Caroline", where these particular live versions can be found on the double live "Hot August Night" CD set, complete with orchestral arrangements, as mentioned above. Neil really tops himself on the live "GOLD" version of "Brother Love's", as opposed to the original studio version, as he puts a signature, hard-edged polish on this live version, where Mr. Diamond rocks out like no one else I've heard before, or since. There are no duds here in this semi-acoustic live masterpiece. "Neil Diamond GOLD" is a perfect CD to relax with after a long, hard day."
Pop Passion at its finest
D. French | 01/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 2002, it's hard to imagine Neil Diamond sounding this stripped down and soulful, but he does on "Gold" and it is wonderful. This was the late 60's and "LOve on the Rocks" and "Heartlight" were more than a decade away. This cd captures Neil live at the Troubador in L.A. Caught between the Bacharach pop stylings and emerging singer/songwriter Neil seems comfortable, earnest and uncalculating as he rethinks his arrangements for a more intimate (and yes, hipper), venue. THIS is the Neil Diamond who has been covered by the likes of Chris Isaac and Urge Overkill. An intelligent and passionate songwriter and a superb performer. He is clearly having a wonderful time and the versions of the classic tunes here are full of energy. While this is not the masterpiece that Hot August Night is, it is a fascinating counterpoint to the over the top production of that and subsequent albums. The production quality isn't great (ok it's rather poor) but Diamond's small band is tight and Neil himself is splendid. The emotion and energy of this performance surpass Hot August Night. With the orchestra and larger band gone, Gold presents Neil Diamond and his material for the true timeless classics that they are."