Diamond Re-Teaming With Rick Rubin For New Album

Neil Diamond and Rick Rubin have begun working on the follow-up to the former's acclaimed 2005 album "12 Songs." While an album of covers or another album of originals have both been discussed, Rubin

After he recovered from a bout of depression brought on by the Sony BMG rootkit fiasco, in which the company coded his acclaimed "12 Songs" album with potentially malicious anti-piracy software and then pulled the disc from retail, Neil Diamond went back to work writing songs for his next effort with producer Rick Rubin.

"To kind of get warmed up, we started recording a couple of cover songs and Neil has been writing, but I haven't heard any of the new stuff he's been writing yet," Rubin tells Billboard. "But we still had a bunch of songs from the last sessions we did, so some of those might work their way into the next one."

While an album of covers or another album of originals have both been discussed, Rubin says it's too early in the process to know which way it will go.

"It depends on how long the writing process takes," he says. "I thought if it's going to take a while to write, it might be fun to do a covers album in between, but we'll see. The material is going to dictate everything."

Still, even the session players, including ace guitarist Smokey Hormel, are optimistic about another Diamond-Rubin effort. "We've had one session since '12 Songs.' I think it was just to try out some things," he says, "but it was really great."

As previously reported, "12 Songs" will be reissued Dec. 12 with a second disc of demos and alternate takes.