Diamond To Blend New Songs Into Tour
With his new Rick Rubin-produced album, "12 Songs," due to hit stores Nov. 8 via Columbia, Neil Diamond plans to begin incorporating some of the material into his concert set lists. The artist will reWith his new Rick Rubin-produced album, "12 Songs," due to hit stores Nov. 8 via Columbia, Neil Diamond plans to begin incorporating some of the material into his concert set lists. The artist will return to the road beginning Dec. 3 in Atlantic City, with the rest of the itinerary still to be announced.
"The next leg will include new songs from the album," Diamond tells Billboard.com. "In the new show that we have been doing, I've included some [older] acoustic songs [such as 'And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind' and 'Glory Road'] and the audience seems to be responding very well."
The tour has been one of the most successful of the year for an artist that is continually a top draw all over the world. Based on figures for 66 shows reported to Billboard Boxscore, the trek has grossed $63 million and drawn 930,000 people this year.
As for "12 Songs," which finds Diamond stripping down to a largely acoustic, drum-less format for the first time in 30 years, it will be released in both a standard jewel case and Digipak version. The latter incarnation features an alternate take of album track "Delirious Love" with a guest appearance by Brian Wilson.
"Brian, one person, sounds like a band of angels on this song," Diamond says. "The guy is unquestionably brilliant. You might even call him a genius. Brian came in when I was out on the road, and they just did it. Needless to say, when I got the test cut, I fell down on the floor and starting weeping and thanking God."
And while Diamond admits he was reluctant to honor Rubin's request that he move in a less glitzy direction in the studio, he says, "I'd have to say that this is one of my highlights out of the albums that I've done over the years. Rick wanted that from the very beginning -- he wanted this to be one of my best albums, if not the best. I've made about 45 or 50 albums. How can I go in and say this would be the best one? But it was his goal, and surprise, he may have done it."