FROM THE DESK OF DAVE RADSTOCK
As we are fast approaching Christmas, I was thinking about what Christmas really means. To many it is about children and presents,
to others it is about food, and drink, and spending time with family and other loved ones. There are many people who dread Christmas,
as they are inherently lonely, or it evokes memories of a bad time in their lives. Christmas is about all of those things, but it is also about music, and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and in that there is a massive catalogue of Christmas music, from artists of every calibre, and genre. Whilst thinking about all of this, I came round to
Neil Diamond, and I couldn’t think of another artist who embodies the spirit of Christmas more than Neil Diamond. Although he arrived late on the Christmas music scene, he immediately captured the warmth and magic of this special time of year, maybe that had something to do with his upbringing where he was encouraged to embrace Christmas, despite his Jewish heritage, never one to allow religious allegiance get in the way of making heartfelt music,
Neil Diamond does just that, especially on his various Christmas albums.
This article is not a narrative on Neil Diamond’s albums, but is a sincere plea to Diamond fans, and music lovers to celebrate this special time of year with one of music’s most enduring stars.
I have already been listening to Neil’s Christmas albums since mid-November, and what stands out is the sheer beauty in the renditions of the much loved songs and hymns, not just Neil’s warm vocals, which capture the joy, happiness, and sometimes sadness and regret of Christmas, but the musical mastery that has gone into them, the production values are top notch, and as warming as the fireside on Christmas Eve.
Christmas means many things to many people, but above all else is that sense of family, and belonging, and Neil Diamond elicits those feelings with his wonderful delivery of seasonal favourites.
The heart of Christmas can never be forgotten, to reflect on what life has given us, to be thankful for our joys, and equally reflect on our sadnesses. As we pull our loved ones ever closer this seasonal time of year, spare a thought for those less fortunate, the old lady sat alone at the end of the street, the homeless that cry for some cheer and goodwill, the children that may not have the joy that most of us have, and to love one another, as after all, that is all we have.
Neil Diamond has always been what he is, a Troubadour plying his trade, in recent years he has received more recognition for his artistry, and has put huge effort into crafting his output, along with the constant touring to spread love to the faithful.
Now that Neil Diamond will no longer be able to travel this vast world,
it is important we remember what this immensely gifted man has bestowed upon us, and what better time than Christmas to share in his gifts, and spread a little of his magic along the way.