You're So Sweet Horseflies Keep Hangin' Round Your Face
Hurtin' You Don't Come Easy
Track Listings (24) - Disc #2
Both Sides Now
And The Singer Sings His Songs
Ain't No Way
New York Boy
Until It's Time For You To Go
Done Too Soon
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
I Am The Lion
I Am... I Said
The Last Thing On My Mind
Husbands And Wives
Track Listings (24) - Disc #3
Crunchy Granola Suite
If You Go Away
I Think It's Gonna Rain Today
I Am... I Said (Reprise)
Song Sung Blue
High Rolling Man
Walk On Water
Prelude In E Major
Thank The Lord For The Night Time
Cherry, Cherry (Single Version)
Red, Red Wine
Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon
The seven studio albums Neil Diamond recorded for Uni Records between 1968 and 1972 are all collected on the three-disc collection Play Me: The Complete Uni Studio Recordings. And it's quite a revelation to listen to them ... more »front to back in succession like this, as these records highlight the most dramatic artistic evolution in Diamond's career. Diamond was no neophyte when he signed with Uni in '68; he'd already penned million-sellers like "I'm a Believer" and "Cherry Cherry." But he was still coming into his own as a solo artist, and albums like Velvet Gloves and Spit and Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show are wildly erratic, even for an artist renown for producing uneven albums. That said, there are countless life-affirming, goose-bump-inducing, campy, and brilliant songs on this collection. And one could easily make the argument that they're somehow made more likable--more human, in a way--when heard in their original context, bookended by unsuccessful experiments such as "The Pot Smoker's Song" and "I Am the Lion." This may not be the single Neil Diamond collection to get, but it surely should be the second or third one you buy. --Mike McGonigal« less
The seven studio albums Neil Diamond recorded for Uni Records between 1968 and 1972 are all collected on the three-disc collection Play Me: The Complete Uni Studio Recordings. And it's quite a revelation to listen to them front to back in succession like this, as these records highlight the most dramatic artistic evolution in Diamond's career. Diamond was no neophyte when he signed with Uni in '68; he'd already penned million-sellers like "I'm a Believer" and "Cherry Cherry." But he was still coming into his own as a solo artist, and albums like Velvet Gloves and Spit and Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show are wildly erratic, even for an artist renown for producing uneven albums. That said, there are countless life-affirming, goose-bump-inducing, campy, and brilliant songs on this collection. And one could easily make the argument that they're somehow made more likable--more human, in a way--when heard in their original context, bookended by unsuccessful experiments such as "The Pot Smoker's Song" and "I Am the Lion." This may not be the single Neil Diamond collection to get, but it surely should be the second or third one you buy. --Mike McGonigal
Joalice M. from CROYDON, PA Reviewed on 8/9/2006...
I like Neil Diamond. This is a little too much Neil Diamond for me
What you want and what you need
Timothy Schubert | Chicago,IL USA | 04/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For any true Neil Diamond fan this is the find of the century.While working in the Brill Building with the likes of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield,Carole King and Gerry Goffin and many other young and hungry songwriters,Neil signed with Bang records as a singer.He wrote some of his best songs for himself including the classics,"Kentucky Woman"(covered by Deep Purple),"Thank The Lord For The Night Time","Cherry Cherry","Red,Red Wine","Solitary Man" and "Do It",to name a few.He also covered songs such As "New Orleans" and "Hanky Panky".All of his recordings for Bang are here and many are in true Stereo.A first for almost all of them.These songs give you both a taste of Neil Diamond,Rock And Roll Star and the more mature Neil he would become after leaving Bang for Uni.Most of these songs were released as singles either when he recorded them or after he left.Bang recycled every one of these songs on numerous LP's throughout the 60's and early 70's.That doesn't take away from their lasting appeal.Every song is either a hit or worth a listen as a gem or curiosity.Neil's version of "Hanky Panky",written by his producers,Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil,has a hilarious opening with him 'refusing' to sing it while his producers cajole him into it and his version of "New Orleans" is,if not as good as Gary U.S.Bonds' original,at least a charting single.Buy this CD if you want to hear most of the early years in true Stereo.This is much better than Columbia's compilation of barely a dozen of these great songs."
Complete collection of Diamond's fruitful middle period
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 07/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following his early success as a songwriter ("I'm a Believer") and recording artist for Bang Records ("Solitary Man" "Cherry Cherry" "Girl You'll Be a Woman Now" "Thank the Lord for the Nighttime" "Kentucky Woman") Diamond spent five fruitful years on the Uni label. MCA's triple-disc set collects all six studio albums from this 1968-72 period, plus non-LP singles and a handful of cuts from two contemporaneous live albums. It's an exhaustive (and, at times, exhausting) treatment that shows Diamond a superb singles artist and inconsistent album auteur.His Uni debut, "Velvet Gloves and Spit" placed three singles onto the lower rungs of the chart (including the fine "Two-Bit Manchild" and autobiographical "Brooklyn Roads"), but was otherwise commercially stillborn. The title cut of the follow-up LP, "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" cracked the top-40, and subsequent chart-toppers, "Cracklin' Rosie" and "Song Sung Blue," led a successful run at the top-20.Diamond's albums mix lower-charting singles, oddball experiments and, ironically for such a gifted songwriter, covers of contemporary composers. His originals are canny, hook-filled combinations of folk, rock, country, gospel and soul. In between the hits and misses are numerous little-known gems, including the blues of "Dig In," the shuffling soul of "Free Life," and a a surprisingly effective cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now."The six albums draw an arc of growing sophistication, trading the free-spirited pop found on the earlier releases for increasingly consistent balladry. It's a compelling collection, augmented by live recordings of his Bang hits, handsome photos, a detailed discography and Robyn Flans' over-the-top liner notes ("His vocals stir the listeners' dormant emotions with his passionate delivery of a style that belongs only to him"). Perhaps not for beginners, but it's a bargain for anyone interested in getting beyond the well-worn hits.4-1/2 stars, if Amazon allowed fractional ratings."
The set to own
Chuck S. | New Jersey | 06/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recently, there have been various Neil Diamond collections released from his UNI/MCA years, that it's gotten to the point of confusion for many fans - which one should one buy? That question has now been answered - with this 3 CD set. All six of Neil Diamond's studio albums from MCA - every song. And the price is a bargain. If you were to buy all 6 separately, you'd probably spend twice as much, and not get every song that is here. Plus, the sound quality is much better here. If you've followed Neil at all during this period, then you know the hits. I won't go into them, except rest assured you are getting the actual studio hits as you remember them, not some inferior live version that somehow seems to find its way onto these greatest hits compilations. You may also find some Diamond gems (no pun intended) here that's you'll call your favorites. Some of my favorites include "Sunday Sun", "Walk On Water", "New York Boy", "Memphis Streets" and "Free Life". Also, hear the many styles that Neil had performed at that time. Hear the rock & pop songs, the gospel side, the jazzy & bluesy side, the African rhythms, a few humorous songs, and even a hint of country. It's amazing when you think of how many different types of songs he recorded - and they're all here in this one package. You also get seven live "bonus" tracks, taken from either the Gold or Hot August Night album. One track, "Lordy", had never appeared on any studio album. If you enjoy Neil Diamond's music, especially from the earlier time periods, then I strongly recommend this 3 CD set - even if you already own some of the original albums that make up this set. Neil Diamond - in my book, he's the greatest!"
Not quite the Complete Bang Recordings, but close...
Brent | 02/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the most complete collection of Neil Diamond's BANG recordings that I've found, and while the sound quality isn't great, it's very good (and is certainly at least as good as the original BANG vinyl). Unfortunately, the collection is missing at least one track: 'The Time is Now' (the b-side of 'Kentucky Woman'). Until Neil decides to release a complete re-mastered collection of his BANG recordings, this is (so far as I know) the best yet available. 1. Solitary Man 2. Red Rubber Ball 3. La Bamba 4. Do It 5. Hanky Panky 6. Monday Monday 7. New Orleans 8. Someday Baby 9. I Got the Feelin' 10. I'll Come Running 11. Love to Love 12. Cherry, Cherry 13. Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon 14. The Long Way Home 15. Red Red Wine 16. You'll Forget 17. The Boat That I Row 18. I'm a Believer 19. Shilo 20. You Got to Me 21. Thank the Lord For the Night Time 22. Kentucky Woman 23. Shot Down 24. Crooked Street BONUS TRACKS 25. Solitary Man - stereo remix 26. Do It - remix 27. I Got the Feelin' - stereo remix 28. Cherry, Cherry - stereo remix 29. I'm a Believer - stereo remix 30. Shilo - new version (UNI Records)"