On Air Now
The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
23 January 2018, 10:17
Veteran singer-songwriter Neil has a career spanning over 50 years and over 100 million albums sold, which is frankly amazing.
To celebrate his stellar career, we’ve picked out just a handful of Neil's best ever songs. Is yours in there?
What other song could we start this list off with? Neil wrote this classic, soaring ballad for his wife Marsha, but her name didn’t have enough syllables for him so he used the name Caroline instead.
Almost 30 years after he started, and Neil was still scoring hits. This song from the film The Jazz Singer climbed to number 2 in the US charts, and was later covered by Gladys Knight among others.
The catchy, perky melody gets you every time, and it compliments the very personal lyrics beautifully, which Neil says leave him struggling to gather himself after singing live. One to put on and sing along to at the top of your voice.
A beautiful ballad with those gorgeous soaring strings, it’s another song that came from the hit soundtrack for The Jazz Singer. It has since been covered by several artists and orchestras, including Celtic Thunder, Donny Osmond and Steve Cherelle.
This rocking tune helped Neil to break through in the UK, where it charted at number 3, his highest position to that point. Oh, and “who’s Cracklin’ Rosie?”, you ask - it’s actually a type of wine. Neil heard a story about a native Canadian tribe while doing an interview in Toronto, in Canada. The tribe had more men than women, so the lonely men would sit around the fire and drink wine together, inspiring him to write the song.
Perhaps the most successful song Neil Diamond ever wrote - although it was the Monkees’ version that made it hugely popular. Written by Neil in 1966, this perfect slice of energetic pop has sold more than 10 million copies.
Like ‘I’m A Believer’, 'Red Red Wine' was made successful by another artist, in this case, UB40. But we think there’s a soulfulness to Neil’s original version that’s rather beautiful.
This intense, yearning song had some success when it first came out in 1967, but when a cover by Urge Overkill was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in 1994, it enjoyed a much deserved second wind. It has also been covered by Cliff Richard among others.