Tuesday, 22 November 2016

November #2 - Neil's First Time

2. Neil Diamond - Desiree

Although I'd planned to feature this song anyway this month (because it's been on rotation: no idea why), it became a little more timely after Alyson from What's It All About, Alfie? raised a question over at A History Of Dubious Taste about whether Neil Diamond was acceptable in these circles (since most things are, but Michael Bolton clearly isn't). Of course, we all jumped up in support of Mr. Diamond... well, Jez and I did, but I'm sure the rest of you were nodding along in silent approval.

Anyway, here's one piece evidence in the Neil Diamond Rocks case, a 1977 number in which Neil tells us about his first love, and drops in a little innuendo along the way that would make Alison Moyet proud...
It was the third of June
On that summer's day
When I became a man
At the hands of a girl
Almost twice my age...
(By the way, Alison Moyet Rocks too. Get over it.)

Built around a bassline very reminiscent of It's Still Rock 'n' Roll To Me* (Billy Joel Also Rocks... but as he released that song three years AFTER Desiree, maybe he was also a Diamond fan), Desiree has everything you could want from a pop song: a great story, a dramatic performance, and stabs that Elvis could have karate-kicked you off the stage to. Today, I'm leaving my shirt unbuttoned for Neil.

*By the way, if you have the time to watch Billy's video too, I'd recommend it for the way he dances at the drum break. It looks like he's squaring off in a pub fight, about to headbutt you. Class.


  1. Just got the email alert today about this but thanks for backing me up on Neil D - He seems to be a marmite figure in the music world but I have always liked him. Yes Le Moyet and her lyrics - that was also the year of Frankie, so suddenly our innocent take on lyrics was lost forever. And, Billy being an ex-boxer an' all, a pub fight was probably always on the cards him being a "downtown man" from Hicksville.

    I did find on another site recently, a critique of the Neil D song September Morn however and made me realise that some of his lyrics are a bit troubling but only I think because he sung that one aged around 40. Check them out and see what you think.

    As for the shirt, get it buttoned up, not a good look even back in the day!

    1. What? But I've been combing my chest hair all day!

      I always think it's dangerous to judge records of the past by today's moral or social standards. Different times, and all that.

    2. So true and I wouldn't do that however there are some songs that work better if the singer is just the right age for them. Robbie couldn't really get away with some of Frank's songs when he was going through his Swing When You're Winning period.

  2. Ah, feeling the love for Neil round these parts and rightly so (thanks Alyson!)
    Will be checking out the Billy Joel vid later too, I have a 'thing' about men dancing weirdly. Probably too much to hope that his shirt is also unbuttoned in it.

    1. No, but he does wear very natty red suit / black shirt / white tie combo.

  3. Following the same inspiration I've also jumped on the Neil Diamond bandwagon!


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