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Christmas Music Playlists with Neil Diamond Songs
Thank The Lord For Christmas Time
Neil Diamond has written some of the most famous songs of all time (‘I’m A Believer’, ‘Sweet Caroline’, ‘Cracklin’ Rose’) and his compositions, whether performed by himself or interpreted by other artists, have sold over 100 million copies. With a career that spans the generations the Brooklyn born bard shows no signs of slowing up and in the process appears intent on adding to his growing catalogue of Christmas songs. His first Christmas release came in 1984 when ‘You Make It Feel Like Christmas’ was released as a standalone single. And though it veered very closely to safe MOR rock there was something altogether genuine in those famous vocals.
‘You Make It Feel Like Christmas’ would resurface again on Neil’s first Christmas LP ‘The Christmas Album’ in 1992, an album that was awash with his interpretations of old favourites ‘White Christmas’, ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Sleigh Ride’. For the most part this is a work of hushed numbers with Diamond offering a contemplative view of the season. The mix of songs were divided equally between the secular and religious domains which gives ‘The Christmas Album’ a beautifully balanced feel that will appeal to all of the family. Of greatest interest is the orchestral ‘Silent Night’ which brings the curtain down on proceedings. From our standpoint it is among one of the more beautiful modern versions of this famous carol. ‘The Christmas Album’ was a major success for Diamond, selling 1 million copies, during a period of his career that saw his profile slip somewhat. It was no doubt helped by his appearance at the Christmas in Washington TV special held in December 1992.
After the success of ‘The Christmas Album’ a second volume of Christmas songs from the master songwriter was inevitable and ‘The Christmas Album, Vol. 2’ duly arrived just 2 years later in 1994. This time proceedings kicked off in euphoric mode with Diamond’s sparky version of ‘Joy To The World’ introducing an album that is marked by its innovative covers. So ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ somewhat unexpectedly has a vibrant reggae feel. ‘Winter Wonderland’ appears rocked up and ready to party, while ‘Deck The Halls/We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ goes completely acapella. So far so completely surprising but inevitably Diamond returns to a more traditional sound that so defined his original Christmas album on later tracks ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘The First Noel’.
A full decade and a half would pass before Neil donned his Christmas robes again for 2009’s ‘A Cherry Cherry Christmas’. This album may have sought to revisit quite a few of the tracks that illuminated his first two Christmas albums but there were also nice surprises in the shape of the newly composed title track. Adam Sandler’s ‘The Chanukah Song’ was another new addition which Diamond takes on with the glee of a 4 year old as the season draws close. ‘A Cherry Cherry Christmas’ is a nice collection in its own right, offering a good cross section of the songs that Neil Diamond holds most dear as Santa does his rounds each year.Author: Kevin