Rare recordings by Neil Diamond at the beginning of his career are to be released on a new CD to mark his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next month.
"Neil Diamond: The Bang Years 1966-1968" features 23 "career-defining" tracks the crooner wrote and recorded when he was a struggling artist at independent label Bang Records. The album, which will be released on the eve of his Hall of Fame induction on March 8, features "extensive and revelatory liner notes" written by Diamond himself.
In one extract, he writes, "I realized that something was happening that had never happened before for me. My new songs contained something that none of my previous ones had... They contained me and my life at their core. I had finally found, on the crossroads of desperation and opportunity, the understanding of what I needed to do to write truly affecting songs - I had only to be open and honest, dammit, about my own life and experiences and to stop trying to make up silly songs about made up people, situations and relationships for singers whose lives and feelings I knew nothing about."
The tracks include the restored original mono recordings of "Solitary Man", "Shilo", "Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon" and "I'm a Believer", which became a big hit for Monkees.