HAN’S- WORST HITS OF THE 70’S- ‘YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS’- NEIL DIAMOND AND BARBRA STREISAND

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My selection today on Worst Hits of the 70’s is You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. This song went to #1 in 1978. Most of you probably know the story- the song was written by Neil Diamond and Alan and Marilyn Bergman for a television show All That Glitters. Diamond released it on his I’m Glad You’re With Me Here Tonight album and Babs covered it on her Songbird album. We would have all probably been safe from it but others got involved-radio people who heard the songs and spliced the two versions together making it a duet recording. If you listened to Casey Kasam and American Top 40 back at the time it seemed as if he told the story every other week that the song was on the charts. My guess is there wasn’t a recording studio in the world big enough to fit the two egos of Neil and Babs into it at the same time.

Back in the day I had a pretty good radar on what would be a hit- [today I admit I am totally clueless } and the first time I heard this song I knew it would go to #1. Two superstars together on a dreadful song- it couldn’t miss and it didn’t. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers was #1 on the Billboard charts for two weeks.

I never took Neil Diamond very seriously until the summer of 1992. I thought of him as a ‘file under easy listening’ type. That summer my brother and I spent going across country going to historical sites and as many baseball games at different major league parks as we could. One day we were in Seattle and stopped at a mall before the game. For some reason a new release caught my eye- Neil Diamond “The Greatest Hits 1966-1992.” It was a double album. I bought it. After the game that night in Seattle we needed to drive all night to gain some ground to get to Oakland in two days for a ballgame. We listened to the Neil Diamond album all night. I had to admit he had some great songs- and also there was a high entertainment/comedy value to some of his songs. On that CD there is a live version of Brother Loves Traveling Salvation Show- that is just downright hilarious. One thing this Greatest Hits does exhibit is the late 70’s decline- and he certainly ‘jumped the shark” with You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. As far as Babs goes- I have not been converted. I know she is/was a great talent etc- but I’ve never been a fan. When is she leaving the country by the way? Didn’t see pledge to leave if Trump was elected?

Both Diamond and Streisand went to the same high school Erasmus High School in Brooklyn, New York. They were in the school choir at the same time. Erasmus High School has dozens upon dozens of famous alumni- some states don’t have the star power that this high school has- the great American Chessmaster- Bobby Fischer, Mae West, Al Davis, Clara Bow, Joseph Barbera, Clive Davis, Moe Howard, Barbara Stanwyck and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

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44 responses to “HAN’S- WORST HITS OF THE 70’S- ‘YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS’- NEIL DIAMOND AND BARBRA STREISAND

  1. When I think of Diamond I think of the Last Waltz and how out of place he seemed… I haven’t heard this since the seventies…and that is a good thing.
    I do like some of his sixties songs.

    • He is an interesting artist- I am not a fan like I would buy his albums but I have a couple different greatest hits that cover what I want to hear but he did do some laughingly lame stuff…

    • thank you.. I am going to see if the local library system has it- some library might… I just don’t know how to categorize old Neil- I was just walking- to his greatest hits- and he’s kind of maddening- some great stuff- and some real wimp rock!

    • Mr Polyester… that is the correct word…maddening. I like Cherry Cherry and some other stuff but then…like you said…wimp rock.
      Robbie and Neil… Neil Young I could see but Diamond… I’d be interested to see what he did.

    • I think Bob Dylan of all people -went through his Neil Diamond period around the Street Legal period- as far as his fashion… Not the man you want to follow I don’t think.

    • Dylan is a man in constant change. Two artists who I have little clue who they actually are/were- Dylan- and especially David Bowie. Masters of disguises.

    • good way of putting it. how the HELL did he get himself on that stage anyway? buddies with Scorcese? Also, what do you think of Joni Mitchell standing behind stage and singing? That also seemed kind of weird.

    • Robbie Robertson just produced an album for Neil Diamond. Levon wasn’t too happy about him being on there according to his book.

      That is a good question…I’m not sure why she was back there….

    • I think he did a farewell tour a year or so ago. He has Parkenson’s. I don’t know if he’s retired from recording though or not?

    • Both are good books but Levon’s book…he sounds like he has more bitterness and anger. Robbie’s sounds pretty even handed.

    • So the other members never wrote memoirs? In my experience, when dealing with a group of people, each one has a unique perspective that they believe is reality, whereas the truth is usually somewhere between the spaces. Triangulating the truth so to speak…

    • I don’t believe any of the others did write anything. Robbie took the high road no doubt. We will never know the complete truth though. Robbie’s just makes more sense…that doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent accurate.
      Levon was just so angry that some of the things didn’t add up that he said. There were good things also though.

  2. Well, I like this song. Not much of a Neil Diamond fan–good songwriter, I just don’t like his particular brand of angst/passion/unrestrained sincerity tied up in booming baritone. That said, I love Barbara Streisand. Spectacular voice–in my opinion. Great interrupter.
    I like 70s and 80s AC quiet a lot. Even back in the day when I was all AC/DC and Judas Priest I still would put on the Helen Reddy album my mom bought for me when I was seven. “Memories…Light the corner of my mind…”

    • I know we don’t “Know’ them- but when you read a lot of different reports on a celebrity- and most if not all of them- are not nice- I think you can pretty much come to the conclusion they aren’t nice- I can’t think of many people who have a worse reputation as being a nasty so and so than Babs. To balance it out and say something on the positive side about someone- I always heard that Jack Lemmon was a wonderful person. On the rock music side I have read/ heard a lot of good things about Joe Strummer of The Clash. Just to name a couple and balance it out a bit.

    • Cool. I love the Clash and Joe Strummer in particular. I didn’t know he is supposed to be a nice guy. Like him even more.
      I know for a fact Bon Jovi is super nice. I met him when my husband was working in radio. He was super cool and down to earth. Wasn’t that big of a fan until I met him. Love him now.
      –Pam

    • It’s always good to hear stuff like that- some ‘stars’ get a little too big for their britches- but i would imagine if Babs was just your average Jane- she’d still be a pain… and the ones who are nice- likewise.

    • I am right now listening to the replay of American Top 40- this week’s version is from December 2, 1978- the #1 song that week was— You Don’t Bring Me Flowers…

    • Agreed. That’s where things took a turn for me also. I tried to watch one of her specials on netflix recently, and although as charming as she always is, I only listened for about a half hour before turning it off. That sun has set for me.

  3. I don’t care for this song or the duet; although if I had to rank it, I would put it above ‘Having My Baby’, haha. That’s an interesting back story. I enjoy listening to almost all of Neil’s catalog, as long as I don’t have to watch him perform. His stage mannerisms make me cringe and are not congruous to his music, imo. Barbra I don’t care for her songs or movies. I’ve tried, but she’s not my taste. I had no idea that they didn’t actually collaborate on the duet, but it fits what I read about their personalities. I see lists of alumni from that Brooklyn high school from time to time, and am always amazed at the performers it has produced throughout the generations.

  4. Could take or leave this song. I really liked his early stuff through like early 70s. My wife is big fan so I have seen him a couple times in concert. I will say there is something special about an entire arena crowd singing Sweet Caroline in unison and the joy on peoples faces. It’s not a Springsteen concert but it was neat experience. We saw him last year at one of his last shows before he retired – what was amazing was that his voice was as good as ever even though he could hardly move on stage

  5. Someone mentioned Robbie Robertson producing one of his. One of his 00’s albums i think it was 12 Songs was produced by Rick Rubin – story is that in studio Rubin forced Diamond to play his own guitar – he was used to using studio musicians. Not as successful as Rubin work with Johnny Cash but interesting nonetheless

    • I think had those radio DJ’s just let it be no one would have ever heard this song- he did it for an album a year earlier– Barbra covers it… it disappears I think unheard- but they had to fiddle with it and splice it together- and you just knew the duet would be a successful if terrible single.

    • Listening to the replay of AT40 today in which it was #1 that week- Casey told the story again and I was wrong- at first it was spliced together by some DJ- it was getting airplay so Columbia did get the two together and they recorded it- I was wrong on that- I thought the hit record was the spliced version.

  6. Interesting back story on the song. I liked it when it came out but didn’t know it was two songs spliced together. It’s not rock and roll but it’s alright 🙂 Agree with thriller that it’s def better than, “Havin My Baby”!

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