November 17, 2005

Diamond makes beautiful noise on chart

By Fred Bronson

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Neil Diamond's latest album "12
Songs," which entered the charts at No. 4, is the
highest-debuting set of his career, and is instantly tied for
fourth place among his top releases.

The only Diamond albums to chart higher than "12 Songs" are
"Jonathan Livingston Seagull" (No. 2 in 1973), "The Jazz
Singer" (No. 3 in 1981) and "Serenade" (No. 3 in 1974). "12
Songs" is tied with "Beautiful Noise" (No. 4 in 1976) and "You
Don't Bring Me Flowers" (No. 4 in 1979).

The Rick Rubin-produced "12 Songs" is Diamond's 45th chart
album, in a career that stretches back 39 years, to the debut
of "The Feel of Neil Diamond" in October 1966. Of those 45
albums, 14 have reached the top 10. "12 Songs" is the
highest-charting since "The Jazz Singer," which debuted on the
Billboard album chart exactly 25 years ago.