Neil (Leslie) Diamond

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Melody Maker

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 185

["Love at the Greek"] is "Hot August Nights" part two (or to be more accurate, parts three and four, for this is another live double). The formula is much the same: Diamond performs note-perfect versions of hits old and new, adding only a few grossly sexual "oooohs" and "aaaahs"; predictably, a thousand women go wild in the background. The difference, though, between him and a dozen other middle-of-the-road singers in the same field is that Diamond can write excellent songs, and no matter how unhip the circumstances it's impossible to ignore them. They're strong on melody, usually interesting lyrically (particularly those from "Beautiful Noise", which is, naturally, heavily featured), and, above all, sound modern. Even the oldies here, like "Kentucky Woman" … and "Sweet Caroline," are jazzed up and given a fresh coating of syrup. On the debits, there's almost a complete side devoted to the mediocre "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," but to set against it is a fabulous treatment of "The Last Picasso", the highlight of "Serenade". A beautiful noise, indeed.

M.O., in a review of "Love at the Greek," in Melody Maker, March 19, 1977, p. 31.

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