Song of the Day #3,622: ‘Solitary Man’ – Neil Diamond

This week I’m showing a little love for one of the most beloved and best-selling artists of all time, who has nevertheless gone unrepresented on my blog for almost ten years.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Neil Diamond!

I’m not sure what possessed me to download Diamond’s All-Time Greatest Hits recently. I suppose I was drunk with the power of my Amazon Unlimited Music streaming account. But download it I did, and found that I enjoyed the hell out of a good six to ten of its tracks.

I’ll present five of them this week in chronological order, starting with Diamond’s first Top 100 hit, ‘Solitary Man.’

Appearing on his 1966 debut album, The Feel of Neil Diamond, ‘Solitary Man’ is a melancholy soft rock tune with a supremely catchy chorus and subtle horns on the backing track. Diamond says he was inspired by The Beatles’ ‘Michelle’ to write a minor key lost-love song.

He wrote a great one.

Melinda was mine
‘Til the time that I found her
Holding Jim, loving him
Then Sue came along, loved me strong
That’s what I thought
Me and Sue, but that died too

Don’t know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl who’ll stay
And won’t play games behind me
I’ll be what I am
A solitary man, solitary man

I’ve had it to here
Bein’ where love’s a small word
Part-time thing, paper ring
I know it’s been done
Havin’ one girl who’ll love me
Right or wrong, weak or strong

Don’t know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl who’ll stay
And won’t play games behind me
I’ll be what I am
A solitary man, solitary man

Don’t know that I will
But until I can find me
The girl who’ll stay
And won’t play games behind me
I’ll be what I am
A solitary man
Solitary man
Solitary man
Solitary man
Solitary man

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,622: ‘Solitary Man’ – Neil Diamond

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I had to check the date, as I thought this might have been an April Fools joke. But since you seem to be serious…

    I recall hearing years ago an interview of Bruce Springsteen by Bob Costas in which Costas was arguing that Neil Diamond is an underrated songwriter who jumped the shark at some point, but if you look only to his earlier work, would be up there with greats. Bruce was having none of it, saying he didn’t care for Diamond’s work. In a last ditch effort, Costas held up “Solitary Man” as an example of Diamond’s great writing, but the most he got from Bruce was that the song was “okay.”

  2. Andrea katz says:

    More popular than Rod Mckuen…who also had broad appeal but a little sappy. I wish I had the same broad appeal!

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