Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Play Me: The Complete Uni Studio Recordings... Plus! by Neil Diamond, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Play Me: The Complete Uni Studio Recordings... Plus!

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

Neil Diamond was a Uni artist in the late '60s and early '70s, the period that coincided with his greatest commercial success and most consistently popular singles. This three-CD, 74-track set is just what it says it is: every last song from all six of his 1968-1972 Uni studio albums, plus seven cuts from his live Gold and Hot August Night records (also originally released on Uni). It shouldn't be taken as the total summary of Diamond's early career, as it's missing all of the hits for Bang Records that were recorded before he joined Uni (though the seven live songs do include versions of most of those big Bang hits). For all his talents as a major pop singer/songwriter, Diamond was really not a good album artist, and hearing six albums at once is going to test the limits of all but his devoted fans. If you do take the plunge, though, it's rather interesting to hear that Diamond was certainly a more eclectic stylist than he's usually given credit for, even if some of his odder ventures were rather lousy. There's some country, some near-gospel, and quite a few covers of other major singer/songwriters. Still, there's no getting around it: Only the hit singles (of which there are quite a few, to be fair) really reach out and grab you. Much of the rest sounds like the AM pop of the hit singles, but not nearly as good. There are some obscure above-average songs to be heard here, like the small 1968 hit "Two-Bit Manchild," the Dion-like bluesy "Dig In," and "Coldwater Morning." But these are balanced by some real turkey goofball experimentation, like the raps on "The Pot Smoker's Song," the country satire "You're So Sweet Horseflies Keep Hangin' Round Your Face," the kiddie tune "I Am the Lion" (where it almost sounds like he's trying to dilute Arthur Brown's "I am the god of hellfire!" shtick for the little ones when he sings the title!), "Crunchy Granola Suite," and the weird art-cum-mainstream pop of "African Suite." In addition, as an interpreter of other people's songs, Diamond is not too interesting, though you'll hear plenty of that on this set, including covers of "Chelsea Morning," "Both Sides Now," Randy Newman's "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today," "Until It's Time for You to Go," "Mr. Bojangles," and "Everybody's Talkin'." Not to harp too much on the absence of Bang material, but it should also be noted that the version of "Shilo" (from his 1968 album Velvet Gloves & Spit) is not the same as the one on the hit Bang 45.

Customer Reviews

Play Me: The Complete UNI Studio Recordings...Plus

This comprehensive collection of Neil's most productive years of songwriting leaves one almost overwhelmed. His creativity in the time he was writing these songs was beyond almost anything else going on by a single writer. He dared to explore all kinds of musical styles and came up with work that would inspire other artists later, i.e. Paul Simon and Billy Joel. His "African Trilogy, included here from his Taproots Manuscript album was beautiful and rich in opening up a continent of varied sounds and spiritualities. He is often maligned by certain critics, but Neil Diamond was a differently creative force in the late '60's early 70's, not Dylan, but uniquely himself! Some are a tad odd, some are funny, most are excellently crafted both pop and rock gems, some are remarkable interpretations of other artist's classics. For those who are willing, this is a work of a majorly talented artist.Remember the times Neil Diamond was working and open you ears for an awesome experience.

The best collection of his early work bar none

What made me buy this album was that it was seven albums in one, his entire first five years. Two of my favorite albums out of this collection are Gold which was a live concert in an intimate setting for the armed forces, and Tap Root manuscript which is a tribute to Africa, and has Soolaimon, and tremendous vocals on I am the Lion, and other Atrican style songs. He does the best cover versions of Joni Mitchell, so you'll want to have Chelsea which is a beautiful acoustic piece, and Both Sides now. He ain't heavy, he's my brother is a vocal masterpiece, it took me years of practice to hit the high note at the end.

Yes it does have some novelty songs such as Porcupine Pie, Gitchy Goomy but I love them. While I think Hot August Night is his best album, this is the other album I play most.


Born: January 24, 1941 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In a career that began in the 1960s, Neil Diamond became a major recording artist, an internationally successful touring act, and a songwriter whose compositions produced hits for himself and others. His earliest recognition, in fact, came as a songwriter associated with the Brill Building era of Tin Pan Alley in the early '60s. But he soon branched out into recording and performing, and by the early '70s was topping the charts with the self-written singles "Cracklin' Rosie" and "Song Sung Blue."...
Full Bio
Play Me: The Complete Uni Studio Recordings... Plus!, Neil Diamond
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.


Influenced by This Artist