Ah, the BATTLE OF THE BANDS after Valentine’s Day. Let’s go for something different that the normal February ‘love song, shall we?
My selection today was originally written and performed by Neil Diamond. Neil’s version is not a part of the contest, cause that would just be silly. You guys would all vote for him, naturally. But here it is anyway, if you want to give a
Here’s what Wacky Watchee has to say about the song and Neil.
Initially released on Bang Records in April of 1966, "Solitary Man" was Diamond's debut single as a recording artist, having already had moderate--but accidental--success as a songwriter for other artists; their versions of the songs he had already written and composed were released before his own versions of them were. By July, the track had become a minor hit rising to #55 on the U.S. pop singles chart. It would then be included on Diamond's first album, The Feel of Neil Diamond, released in August 1966.
While nominally about young romantic failure, lines in the lyrics that read:
Don't know that I will
But until I can find me
I'll be what I am--
A solitary man...
have been closely identified with Diamond himself, as evinced by a 2008 profile in The Daily Telegraph: "This is the Solitary Man depicted on his first hit in 1966: the literate, thoughtful and melodically adventurous composer of songs that cover a vast array of moods and emotions..." Indeed, Diamond himself would tell interviewers in the 2000s, "After four years of Freudian analysis, I realized I had written 'Solitary Man' about myself."
"Solitary Man's" dynamic melody, matched with the melancholic universality of its lyrics, would make the song an attractive target for later interpretations.
After Diamond had renewed commercial success with Uni Records at the end of the decade, Bang Records re-released "Solitary Man" as a single and it reached #21 on the U.S. pop charts in summer 1970.
Diamond originally recorded two versions of the song, as he later did with "Cherry, Cherry." The one of these had his harmonic vocal track on the refrain of the song. The other version was him singing the song alone, without his prerecorded harmony on the track.
On such live albums as Gold: Recorded Live at the Troubadour, Hot August Night and some subsequent recordings, Diamond altered the lyrics to "then you came along" from the original "then Sue came along."
In a 2005 Rolling Stone retrospective, Dan Epstein wrote, "'Solitary Man' remains the most brilliantly efficient song in the Diamond collection. There's not a wasted word or chord in this two-and-a-half minute anthem of heartbreak and self-affirmation, which introduced the melancholy loner persona that he's repeatedly returned to throughout his career."
OK, now this one has been covered A LOT. Here are the two versions I’ve decided to pit against one another today.
First, Chris Issak
Next, The Sidewinders
Now leave me a comment with you vote. Tell me why you chose as you did and then head on over to the site of Mr Stephen T. McCarthy, you can find him HERE Stephen has a super BATTLE playing for you and he is also the Keeper of the List (that means he has a list of all the current participants). Please try to visit everyone and cast a vote.
I’ll be back on the 21st with my vote and the final tally. Until that time Happy Trails!