Last week, solitary man Neil Diamond announced a secret show in his native Brooklyn (supposedly his first ever Kings County gig). After a torturous week of speculation, we've finally got the details: tonight's free show is at Erasmus Hall High on Flatbush Avenue, Diamond's alma mater, and tickets will be distributed on a first–come, first–serve basis starting at 3pm, with doors at 5pm and Neil at 6pm. The promoters have asked that nobody line up before 3pm, but we hear the queuing has already begun. To get you hyped for tonight's show, we bring you five classic Diamond tracks:
5. "Kentucky Woman"
After penning hits for artists like the Monkees and Deep Purple, Diamond burst onto the scene with a string of huge singles of his own, including this 1967 classic. Check out the video to hear Diamond's tribute to a Bluegrass–state lady and get a kick out of his pompadour as well as that awkward gap between the single ending and the sounds of applause kicking into the mix.
4. "Brooklyn Roads"
Everyone knows Neil Diamond lived in Brooklyn before it was cool. (That's just how hip he is.) So how could we not include this tune? Watch his heartfelt performance of the early album cut at Madison Square Garden in 2008, which he leads off with a reminiscence about his youth in the borough.
3. "Sweet Caroline"
Some songs take on a life of their own. This Diamond sing–along wasn't always the fixture at sporting events that it is today, but it was always catchy as hell. Check out this ’70s performance, and ask yourself why the audience doesn't seem to realize that they should yell "Bah! Bah! Bah!" and dance along like it's the eighth inning of a ball game.
This is classic ’80s Diamond. "America" was not only a massive radio hit, but featured in the climax of his remake of The Jazz Singer, shown here in the video. This movie is where all things Neil crystallized: the anthemic songs, the Jewish heritage and, of course, the sequined shirts.
1. "Don't Go There"
Here's another one from Diamond's MSG performance. This tune comes from his 2008 LP Home Before Dark, the singer's second album with producer Rick Rubin. The song has got a nice little groove, and should prime you for tonight's show as well as Diamond's forthcoming album Melody Road, another Rubin production, out Oct 21.