Review: “Hot August Night/NYC,” Neil Diamond (DVD)


The first thing you realize when you watch Hot August Night/NYC is that 68-year old Neil Diamond has still got it. From the first song, “Holly Holy,” the Brooklyn native has the sold out Madison Square Garden crowd eating out of his hand. The women? After all these years, they still fall at his feet.

Diamond runs through the classics with the enthusiasm and energy of a performer half his age. “America,” “Love On the Rocks,” the rockin’ gospel closer “Brother Love’s Travellin’ Salvation Show,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Solitary Man,”  new tune “Pretty Amazing Grace,” which is stellar, and the220px-Neil_Diamond_2 one that nearly tore the roof off the Garden, “Sweet Caroline,” are all part of this package. He also performs an excellent version of ‘Crunchy Granola Suite,” the tune that kicked off the original Hot August Night, which still stands as one of his best.

The collection also features a cheesy documentary called “Welcome Home, Neil” where he visits his old neighborhood and a ten song CD that contains a different version of “Shilo” with an excellent vocal and drum mix and the original version of “Cherry, Cherry.” 

This is one of those Walmart-only releases. It revived the chart careers of AC/DC, Journey and the Eagles, why not Diamond?

Check out our review of Diamond’s last studio album, Home Before Dark, and the fact that he’s not yet in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“I Am I Said” by Neil Diamond (Hot August Night/NYC)

“Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond (Hot August Night/NYC)

7 Responses to “Review: “Hot August Night/NYC,” Neil Diamond (DVD)”

  1. Donna Haddad Says:

    Neil Diamond fans have no openmindedness regarding contemporary music, music in general, nor will they tolerate any comment regarding Neil Diamond unless the person commenting is floating above the earth with wings and a halo…..Neil Diamond is o.k., just o.k. he shouts half his lyrics and his fans believe he lives and breathes what their comments of him are…they follow him in hotels….and on you tubes it is clear he really isnt all that interested…..half the fun of the music industry is new, fun, and innovative music…..Neil Diamond makes a lot of money from women who believe he lives and breathes for them alone….grow up ladies

  2. Sandra Bouchard Says:

    I just watched “Hot August Night/NYC” DVD a couple of days ago. It was absolutely wonderful!!! I have been to 3 Neil Diamond concerts and I find him to be the greatest entertainer of all times. He may be a little older but so am I and think he has still got it. I love the songs of his youth but I also like his new songs. His energy and talent are amazing. I love the man and his music! Keep singing to us, Neil!

  3. A bit harsh I’d say, Donna…

  4. well Donna I am not a lady I am a man, and a big music fan. I love Bob Dylan leonard Cohen right up to new acts like Gossip and as far as I am concerned Neil Diamond is a brilliant song writer. He builds tension into his songs, his lyrics are spare but deep and as a song writer myself let me tell you that isn’t easy. Sure he made a lot of middle of the road garbage. There were years where he phoned it in, but when he writes well like he is writing now there is no one better. Your opinion of him seems more performance and image based. Granted he isn’t a great singer but as a story teller through song he is very good. There is a reason people like Michael Stipe and Bono to Bob Dylan regard him as a genius and why Rick Rubin spent the better part of a decade chasing him to work with. Listen to 12 Songs, Beautiful Noise and Hot August Night and avoid his MOR stuff and you might change your view.

  5. In the late 60s – early 70s, Neil Diamond rocked the Top 40 charts consistently. OK, “Song Sung Blue” didn’t rock but songs like “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Solitary Man” and “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” did. His recent comeback with Rick Rubin is heartening, and it’s great to hear the man wrap his voice around a new song once again – very few people do stuff like that nowadays. Neil Diamond fits comfortably on my record shelf, between Deep Purple, Devo and Dylan … and he belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Denny from 30 Days Out

  6. Hey Donna I’m 46yo and I’ve been listening to ND since I was a tiny tacker and I still get tingles up my spine every time I hear Crunchy Granola Suite. That feeling is good enough for me

  7. I am 21 and I love Neil Diamond. I have recently discovered his musical talent and I must one point I did not know who sang “Sweet Caroline”..nor did I care. But when it comes down to it, you can’t hear a word of what singers today are saying. You say Neil screams his lyrics…is it OK for him to be energetic and love what he does? He keeps his fans on their toes and out of their seats..he still sells out at 70. Everyone has their own opinion, but I will stick with “Shiloh” over mechanically engineered fake rappers anyday. LONG LIVE NEIL DIAMOND!

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