Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits is the first compilation album of songs recorded by Neil Diamond. It was released in 1968 by Bang Records after Diamond left Bang for Uni Records. Bang would eventually release four Neil Diamond compilation albums on top of the two original Diamond albums that Bang issued in 1966 and '67. Ten of the twelve songs on this album are original Diamond compositions with the remaining two cover versions of oldies.
After Columbia Records absorbed Bang Records, this album was replaced by a new compilation titled Classics: The Early Years which replaced the cover songs with additional Diamond originals: "I'm a Believer" (which became a hit for The Monkees) and "Shilo" which Bang initially rejected as a single but was later released as a single and became a hit in 1970 after this album was released.
Neil Leslie Diamond (born on January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. As a successful pop music performer, Diamond scored a number of hits worldwide in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. According to David Wild, common themes in Diamond's songs are "a deep sense of isolation and an equal desire for connection. A yearning for home – and at the same time, the allure of greater freedom. The good, the bad and the ugly about a crazy little thing called love."
As of 2001 Diamond has 115 million records sold worldwide, including 48 million records in the U.S. In terms of Billboard chart success, he is the third most successful Adult Contemporary artist ever, ranking behind only Barbra Streisand and Elton John.
Though his record sales declined somewhat after the 1980s, Diamond continues to tour successfully, and maintains a very loyal following. Diamond's songs have been recorded by a vast array of performers from many different musical genres.
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984, and in 2000 received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award.
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