David Browne
June 26, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Neil Diamond: The Greatest Hits 1966-1992

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Neil Diamond
genre
Reissues

We gave it a C

To quote a modern sage, the robot in Lost in Space: ”Danger, Will Robinson!” Neil Diamond: The Greatest Hits 1966-1992, an ambitious, 37-track compilation marks the first time a collection has spanned Diamond’s entire career, from 1966’s ”Cherry, Cherry” through his more ponderous, yet melodic, Lite FM ballads of the ’80s. Along the way, you can relive the brooding, melodramatic glories of ”Solitary Man,” ”September Morn,” ”Kentucky Woman,” and ”If You Know What I Mean,” among others. What the packaging doesn’t indicate — except in very fine print — is that his 1969-72 hits for MCA, like ”Sweet Caroline” and ”Cracklin’ Rosie,” are heard in live versions from the last few years. And those tracks are almost unlistenable, since Diamond has lately taken to shouting out his lyrics like a demented carnival barker in order to reach fans in the back rows of arenas. The Greatest Hits is a serviceable introduction to the man’s work, but some of these songs are ”the hits” in name only. C

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