Capitol/UMe will release an essential selection of some of the greatest live performances by Neil Diamond on 7 August. His five Hot August Night albums will each be available in 2LP black and limited edition color vinyl sets.
The albums capture the full excitement and drama of Diamond’s famous concert experiences, across five memorable titles: Hot August Night, Love At The Greek, Hot August Night II, Hot August Night III and Hot August Night/NYC, the latter available on vinyl for the very first time. Additionally, Neil Diamond’s 23-track All-Time Greatest Hits, will also be released on black vinyl as a standard weight 2LP edition on 7 August.
“Among the most celebrated series of shows”
On 24 August 1972, with Diamond and his band in peak form, they took over the Greek Theater in Los Angeles for ten sold-out nights. The shows were immortalised on the two-record set Hot August Night, with the residency described by Robert Hilburn in the Los Angeles Times as “among the most celebrated series of shows by a mainstream pop-rock performer ever in Los Angeles.”
Hot August Night went double platinum in the US, topping the Australian charts for a mighty 29 weeks, and became one of the bedrocks of Diamond’s discography. Its title came from the opening lyric in one of his best-loved songs to that point, 1969’s ‘Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show.’ The new edition will be available as a black 2LP or crystal-clear limited-edition 2LP.
The 1977 double album Love At The Greek was the star’s second LP to be recorded at the famous Hollywood location, and his second album produced by Robbie Robertson. Highlights included ‘Holly Holly’ and a 15-minute version of ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull.’ It will be available on vinyl for the first time in 30 years as a black 2LP or a translucent non-metallic gold limited-edition 2LP.
The platinum-certified Hot August Night II was recorded in August 1986 and first released the following year. It showcased new live versions of 20 of Diamond’s biggest hits, including ‘Love On The Rocks’ and ‘Song Sung Blue.’ It will also be making its first vinyl appearance for 30 years, as a black 2LP or a white limited-edition 2LP.
Hot August Night III marked Diamond’s triumphant return to the Greek Theater in August 2012. This 40th anniversary celebration of the original concerts and album release had Billboard remarking: “His voice remains powerful and accurate; he reaches towards the baritone register for emphasis, just as he did in the ’70s…he never falters in delivering every line with conviction.”
The album features ‘Forever in Blue Jeans,’ the early ‘Kentucky Woman’ and other such signatures as Sweet Caroline’ and ‘I Am…I Said.’ In its vinyl debut, it will be released as a black 2LP or a sea glass limited-edition 2LP.
Hot August Night/NYC was cut at Madison Square Garden in August 2008 and released the next year. It boasts 25 career-spanning hits from Diamond’s four-night run at the famous New York location. The album opened on the Billboard 200 at No. 2 and went platinum. Hot August Night/NYC is also making its first appearance on vinyl and will be out as a black 2LP or translucent red limited-edition 2LP.
The black vinyl 2LP edition of All-Time Greatest Hits is a comprehensive hits collection with the original studio recordings of such standards as ‘Sweet Caroline,’ ‘Holly Holy,’ ‘I Am…I Said,’ ‘Cracklin’ Rosie’ and many others, including his seldom-performed original solo version of ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,’ his huge hit with Barbra Streisand.