First Hit #1: July 1, 1972
I’m not the biggest Neil Diamond fan, and this song is an example as to why. Whatever one might think of the song’s content – which is fine, an ode to sad songs that doesn’t really do much with the idea – Diamond’s performance is strangely aloof. Going with the idea that a performer should “feel” the music they’re recording, Diamond seems to just be going through the motions. He’s a competent singer, it’s not like he’s egregiously off key or something, and he can manage shows of ambition or intrigue if he sets his mind to it. Problem is, here it’s just sort of putting the lyrics out there, and delivering the song with all the conviction of a warehouse worker ordering pallets. Not terrible, but just bad enough that I can’t consider myself that interested.