- Number of Discs: 3
- Released: March 26, 2002
- Label: MCA
Q - 6/02, p.1323 stars out of 5
- "...Diamond has created a curious canon of robustly mature, youth-bypassing pop songs...worthy of investigation."
Mojo (Publisher) - 6/02, pp.126-7
"...Here was rich madness, the soundtrack to millions of housewife crack-ups in '70s America..."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Two-Bit Manchild
- 2.A Modern Day Version of Love
- 3.Honey-Drippin' Times
- 4.The Pot Smoker's Song
- 5.Brooklyn Roads
- 7.Sunday Sun
- 8.Holiday Inn Blues
- 9.Practically Newborn
- 12.Broad Old Woman (6 A.M. Insanity)
- 13.Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
- 14.Dig In
- 15.River Runs, New Grown Plums
- 17.Long Gone
- 18.And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind
- 19.Glory Road
- 20.Deep in the Morning
- 21.If I Never Knew Your Name
- 22.Memphis Streets
- 23.You're So Sweet Horseflies Keep Hangin' 'Round Your Face
- 24.Hurtin' You Don't Come Easy
- 25.Sweet Caroline
- 26.Everybody's Talkin'
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Mr. Bojangles
- 2.Smokey Lady
- 3.Holly Holy
- 4.Both Sides Now
- 5.And the Singer Sings His Song
- 6.Ain't No Way
- 7.New York Boy
- 8.Until It's Time for You to Go
- 9.Cracklin' Rosie
- 10.Free Life
- 11.Coldwater Morning
- 12.Done Too Soon
- 13.He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
- 15.I Am the Lion
- 16.Madrig l
- 19.African Suite
- 20.Childsong (Reprise)
- 21.I Am...I Said
- 22.The Last Thing on My Mind
- 23.Husbands and Wives
- 24.Chelsea Morning
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.Crunchy Granola Suite
- 3.If You Go Away
- 5.I Think It's Going to Rain Today
- 6.I Am...I Said (Reprise)
- 7.Song Sung Blue
- 8.Porcupine Pie
- 9.High Rolling Man
- 10.Canta Libre
- 11.Captain Sunshine
- 12.Play Me
- 13.Gitchy Goomy
- 14.Walk on Water
- 16.Prelude in E Major
- 19.Kentucky Woman
- 20.Thank the Lord for the Night Time
- 21.Solitary Man
- 22.Cherry, Cherry
- 23.Red, Red Wine
- 24.Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon
Includes every track from the albums VELVET GLOVES AND SPIT, BROTHER LOVE'S TRAVELING SALVATION SHOW, TOUCHING YOU TOUCHING ME, TAPROOT MANUSCRIPT, STONES AND MOODS.
Personnel includes: Neil Diamond (vocals, guitar); Richard Bennett, Emory Gordy, Jr., Danny Nicholson (guitar); Reine Press (bass); Dennis St. Johns (drums).
Producers: Tom Catalano, Neil Diamond.
Compilation producer: Mike Ragogna.
Recorded between 1968 and 1972. Includes liner notes by Robyn Flans.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Erik Labson (Universal Mastering Studios West, North Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Neil Diamond (guitar); Emory Gordy (guitar, vibraphone); Dan Nicholson, Richard Bennett (guitar); Nathan Gershman, John DeVoogdt, Wilbert Nuttycombe, Shari Zippert, Ronald Folsom, Don Bagley, Hyman Goodman, Walter Wiemeyer, Jerome Kessler, Myron Sandler, Paulo Alencar, Sven Reher, Walter Rower, Baldassare Ferlazzo, Henry Ferber, Tibor Zelig, Alice Ober, Jess Bourgeois, Philip Candreva, David D. Turner , Giacinto Nardulli, Robert Lipsett, Timothy Barr, Jay Rosen, Philip Goldberg, Sidney Sharp, William Henderson , Marilyn Baker, Richard Kaufman, Ralph Schaeffer, Jesse Ehrlich, Samuel Boghossian, Haim Shtrum (strings); Alan Lindgren (keyboards); Dennis St. John (drums); Jefferson Kewley (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Robyn Flans.
Photographers: Ed Caraeff; Frank Bez.
Unknown Contributor Role: Frank Bez.
This sweeping collection covers singer-songwriter Neil Diamond's output for MCA's Uni imprint, for which he recorded from 1968 to 1972, and charts his artistic development from the ambitious pop writer of "Two Bit Manchild" to the existential wizard of "I Am...I Said." PLAY ME also incorporates many lesser-known Diamond gems, like the country-flavored "You're So Sweet Horseflies Keep Hanging Round Your Face," which carries more than a hint of the influence of his erstwhile producer Chip Taylor, and his elaborate "African Suite," from 1970's TAP ROOT MANUSCRIPT album. In addition, seven live tracks, featuring songs Diamond recorded for his previous label, Bang, are included.