Monday, July 19, 2010

Chris Isaak: Solitary Man

When I think of Neil Diamond, I think of my first tenure at Marshall University (1978-1980) as a student and graduate assistant in the speech department. One of my professors, Dr. A. Craig Monroe was the biggest Neil Diamond fan and he had an affinity for Diamond’s lyrics and often tried to relate concepts to Neil’s songs.

Craig Monroe was anomaly – he was an expert in interpersonal communication – yet he was admittedly very poor when it came to interpersonal relationships of his own. In many ways, he was a solitary man. The last time I spoke to him was in 1989 when I was re-entering graduate school and weighing a number of options. At that time he was the chair of the speech department.

Craig wanted to write a book about communication according to Neil Diamond. I don’t think he ever did; his lists of accomplishments do not mention such a tome. Craig died on New Year's Eve 2008.

For today’s Monday cover, Chris Isaak does “Solitary Man” a song originally done in 1966 by Neil Diamond when he recorded for the Bang record label. Isaak released the song as a single in 1993 for the album “San Francisco Days.” The single failed to chart. This particular version came from a September 2005 performance on “Soundstage.”

Neil Diamond’s Original

Originally released in 1966 as Diamond’s debut single, the song failed to make it to the top 40 and only charted at #55. When Neil signed to Uni Records, “Solitary Man” was rereleased in 1970 and charted at #21.

Live Neil Diamond’s Live Version in 1971

In the 1970s, Neil altered the lyrics from “When Sue came along, loved me strong that’s what I thought. Me and Sue, that died too” to “When you came along, loved me strong that’s what I thought. Me and you, that died too.” He used this on his double platinum “Hot August Night” live album from 1972.

No comments:

Post a Comment