Neil (Leslie) Diamond

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Ray Coleman

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 156

In the good old showbiz tradition of razzamatazz and "Give-us-a-song, Neil" atmosphere invoked by the theme and material of [the movie "The Jazz Singer", in which Diamond stars,] Diamond has risen to the bait with his customary and admirable lack of humility. In fairness, some of the songs are so strong as to stand up completely outside the film; "America" is a majestic piece of heart-pounding nationalism, with tune and lyrics by Neil, sung with all the tub-thumping passion of his early hits, and with a similar beat to "Cracklin' Rosie", which we all know was magnificent.

"Love On The Rocks", co-written by Diamond and Gilbert Becaud, is as simple and as good a song as the throwaway title indicates, and "Hello Again" enables Diamond to inject that passionate intimacy into a straight ballad that has won him millions of middle-class hearts.

Ray Coleman, in a review of "The Jazz Singer," in Melody Maker November 29, 1980, p. 18.

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