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Touching You, Touching Me

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Music

Image of album by Neil Diamond

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Biography

Biography
by William Ruhlmann

In a career that began in the 1960s, Neil Diamond became a major recording artist, an internationally successful touring act, and a songwriter whose compositions produced hits for himself and others. His earliest recognition, in fact, came as a songwriter associated with the Brill Building era of Tin Pan Alley in the early '60s. But he soon branched ... Read more in Amazon's Neil Diamond Store

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Touching You, Touching Me + Velvet Gloves And Spit + Stones
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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 Jan. 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Import Music Services
  • ASIN: B000002PBE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Everybody's Talkin'
2. Mr. Bojangles
3. Smokey Lady
4. Holly Holy
5. Both Sides Now
6. And The Singer Sings His Song
7. Ain't No Way
8. New York Boy
9. Until It's Time For You To Go

Product Description

Product Description

(MCA) 9 tracks AAD 1969 / last copiesMedium 1
  1. Everybody's Talkin'
  2. Mr. Bojangles
  3. Smokey Lady
  4. Holly Holy
  5. Both Sides Now
  6. And The Singer Sings His Song
  7. Ain't No Way
  8. New York Boy
  9. Until It's Time For You To Go

BBC Review

Although the title clearly comes from the irresistible line in Sweet Caroline, Diamond’s fifth album didn’t actually include that song on its original stateside release. A hit between albums, it was belatedly tagged onto his previous offering, Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, in the US. In the UK it made it into the middle of this 1969 mix of covers and originals. Why so many covers, from such a feted composer, who’d already penned iconic pop hits like I’m a Believer? Because Diamond was still proving to the world that he was no longer a Brill Building backroom boy: he was a full-blooded, theatrical performer with a stentorian voice you didn’t forget in a hurry.

So here the then-28-year-old offers thundering takes on Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’, the subversive supper-club staple Mr. Bojangles, Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now and Buffy Saint-Marie’s Until It’s Time for You to Go (a minor hit for Neil, later tackled by Elvis). These shine because Tom Catalano’s production and Lee Holdridge’s string arrangements allow the masculine Sturm und Drang of Diamond’s rough-tender vocals to eke every drop of sentiment from the ballads.

His own songs are as robust as ever. New York Boy – in which he explains away his long hair ("I ain’t no hippie, just a New York Boy") is rich with pop hooks, while And the Singer Sings His Song is a classic Diamond slow-burner, full of brooding grandeur. Sweet Caroline, of course, is one of the all-time great bar-room sing-alongs (as homaged in Ted Demme’s 1996 movie Beautiful Girls). Asked to explain its success, Diamond attributed its crossover appeal to the use of the A6 chord, perhaps disingenuously underestimating its basic catchiness. The follow-up hit, Holly Holy, is the album’s true centrepiece. The singer was "trying to create or represent a religious experience between a man and a woman", but most people again just responded to the heroic build of the simple effective structure and Neil’s titanic voice, which testified – as in all the best love songs – to both joy and yearning. You’d need a gnarly heart not to be touched by Diamond’s drive here.

--Chris Roberts

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Music Man on 3 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
I make no apologies for having been a Neil Diamond fan for the past 36 years, having seen him live on numerous occasions. However, sometimes fans can be very defensive about their favourites, often turning a blind eye to albums that, if they were honest, weren't up to the standard of much earlier work. This is certainly the case of Neil Diamond. Apart from the Jazz Singer his music post "Beautiful Noise" became patchy, with far too much syrup and schmaltz creeping in. Most of his albums became cartoon like, turning him into Mr showbiz. However, every now and then a real gem of a song would slip in alongside the rubbish and you would yearn for a return to the Diamond that first captivated you. It was only after the recent release of "12 Songs" that you realised the quality was still there and maybe, just maybe, he would leave a few more classic albums before he finally hangs up his guitar and writing pad.

Having listened to 12 songs, I decided to evaluate some of his earlier work which had been gathering dust on the shelf. It was then that I came across "Touching You" again. Interesting that the title comes from a line in "Sweet Caroline" but the song doesn't appear on the album!

However, as on a later album "Stones" Diamond shows his ability to not only write songs of quality, but also to do meaningful covers of other artists' material. Nostalgia can be a dangerous influence when judging music from your formative years, but this album is really very good. The stripped down arrangements, with that great voice reminding us how he used to deliver songs with a real credability, saddens true fans even more when they look at the pile of mediocre stuff he produced in later years.
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By G FLEMING on 16 Dec. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
brilliant
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Best Neil He Never Wrote! 22 Sept. 2000
By David Hugaert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Let's face it, some of the songs Neil Diamond performs on "Touching You Touching Me" were written by other artists:Mr. Bojangles (Jerry Jeff Walker), Everybody's Talkin'(Fred Neill), Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell) and Until It's Time For You To Go (Buffy Sainte-Marie). But, hey, when he sings them, he really makes them come to life! His compositions on this CD are better than the above mentioned songs, like the up-tempo "Smokey Lady", the religious "Holly Holy", the touching "And The Singer Sings His Song", and the country-bumpkin tones of "New York Boy". Every song's a winner here, which makes "Touching You Touching Me" a must buy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Touching You, Touching Me Neil Diamond CD review 16 Feb. 2009
By Matthew G. Sherwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Touching You, Touching Me is a very good, affordably priced CD with many "covers" performed by the awesome Neil Diamond. Neil's been around for decades and his talent is clearly the reason why. Neil can take a song and breathe new life into it in a way that very few other contemporary artists can; and he tackles many different types of songs which proves his versatility.

"Everybody's Talkin'," a song written by Fred Neill, starts the CD off with Neil Diamond doing a somewhat country variation on this ballad; Neil's excellent sense of timing and his fine diction bolster his performance very well and "Everybody's Talkin'" makes a strong start for this album. "Mr. Bojangles" is a song by Jerry Jeff Walker that many artists loved to sing and still love to sing; but when Neil does it he places his own stamp on this tune with his voice that is able to convey every emotion under the sun. "Mr. Bojangles" is clearly a major highlight of this album.

"Smokey Lady" has Neil rockin' hard and this works well for this tune; the electric guitar and the keyboard work fit in so well with Neil's vocals. What a great song for Neil to perform! Listen also for "Holly Holy;" I have always associated this song with Neil Diamond and the backup chorus is absolutely wonderful. "Holly Holy" is easily another huge highlight of this CD and I could never tire of hearing Neil perform this outstanding tune.

"And The Singer Sings His Song" sports some excellent guitar work as Neil sings this with all his heart and soul; and I really like "Ain't No Way." "Ain't No Way" has that great Neil Diamond sound and the backup singers harmonize to perfection--and beyond! "New York Boy" is a very pretty tune with a catchy melody and the CD ends well with Neil Diamond performing "Until It's Time For You To Go" written by Buffy Sainte-Marie. "Until It's Time For You To Go" is a most tender bittersweet love song that always touches me when I hear it; and it leaves me wanting more--which is a good sign that this album is a good one.

Overall, Neil Diamond can do just about any type of song he wants to do and make it come off as a masterpiece; this CD proves it. It's too bad that this CD couldn't have offered us a couple more songs, but then again it's well worth the comparatively low price of admission. Neil Diamond fans will like this. I suppose it's also a good CD for people just starting to know Neil Diamond if they want to begin with a budget priced CD.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Forgotten Gem. 5 May 2015
By Cynthia Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Truly a forgotten gem from 1969, it was Diamond's 5 overall release, his 3rd for the UNI Label, between "Brother Loves" and "Tap Root Manuscript". Please do not expect to find "Sweet Caroline" on this cd; only the lyric was used as the album title, although it was included on the UK release making it a ten track LP. I saw Neil in concert for the first time in 1970, and he stated that the next number "And the Singer Sings His Song" was probably his favorite, he had yet to release "I Am... I Said". Four of the nine selections were written by others, w/ Lee Holdridge as Arranger and Conductor (Holdridge would go on to be A/C for John Denver). Tracks which in my opinion stand out most are "Mr. Bojangles" written by Jerry Jeff Walker, "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, his own composition of "And the Singer Sings His Song" and finally Buffy Saint-Marie's "Until It's Time For You To Go". Even though he did not write all of these titles, he certainly makes them his own. I went through two LP's as a young kid first discovering Neil's talent; and it's still just as plain why, this may have been recorded @ the start of his career; but all you have to do is listen to see why he is still releasing albums in the twenty first century, the man simply knows how to sing songs which go straight to the heart. I highly recommend “Touching You, Touching Me”; I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
dkr99 31 Aug. 2011
By dkr99 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent CD. It plays well and the quality was very good. Love Niel Diamond's music. The price was also great. Thanks Amazon.
One of my favorite favorite ND albums 6 Mar. 2013
By Maheen Wickramasinghe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
All I can say, is wow!!! This is one of the best Neil Diamond albums I have ever owned. His Uni material, in my opinion, are his strongest and best works. I love the way he does Everybody's Talkin' I will never forget the first time I heard it! I couldn't believe it sounded so country!!! I am a huge country fan and the way Neil does this ballad is just beautiful. This is an outstanding album and one I'd highly, strongly recommend. Keep it up Neil!!!
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