12 Songs (Neil Diamond album)

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12 Songs
Studio album by Neil Diamond
Released November 8, 2005 (2005-11-08)
Recorded 2004–05
Genre Rock, country
Length 54:15
Label American/Columbia
Producer Rick Rubin
Neil Diamond chronology
Stages: Performances 1970–2002
(2003)
12 Songs
(2005)
The Best of Neil Diamond (2006)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]

12 Songs is the twenty-sixth studio album by Neil Diamond, released in 2005. It was his first album of all-original, all-new material since 2001's Three Chord Opera. It was produced by Rick Rubin and is often erroneously cited as the first Diamond album since the Bang Records era to feature the artist playing acoustic guitar; in truth he played guitar on his Uni/MCA output and his Columbia output, possibly uncredited on most, if not all, albums.

The working title for the album was self-titled. The original pressing of the album was copy-protected using Sony's controversial XCP technology.[3]

Album history[edit]

Initial work on the album began after Diamond had concluded his tour behind Three Chord Opera in 2002. Retreating to his Colorado cabin, Diamond found himself temporarily snowed in, and started to pass the time away by working on new material.

Not long afterward, Diamond met Rick Rubin. Rubin expressed interest in working with Diamond, and the two got together several times at each other's homes before ever going into the recording studio.

Rubin, using the artist's Bang and early Uni albums as a springboard, encouraged Diamond to keep writing material over the course of a year. Once the two collaborators had plenty of material at their disposal that they felt strongly about, Rubin put together some of the same musicians he had used for Johnny Cash's American Recordings releases, including Tom Petty sidemen Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, and encouraged Diamond to play guitar himself in the studio. The sessions were also the last ever performance by organ player Billy Preston, who died in June 2006.

The end result, 12 Songs, ended up being one of Diamond's most successful and critically acclaimed studio albums in years, debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Rubin's influence would extend beyond the recording sessions, as the subsequent tour behind the album found Diamond using tougher-sounding arrangements of his classic songs with his longtime backing band, and playing more guitar onstage than he had done since the Hot August Night era.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Oh Mary"
  2. "Hell Yeah"
  3. "Captain of a Shipwreck"
  4. "Evermore"
  5. "Save Me a Saturday Night"
  6. "Delirious Love"
  7. "I'm on to You"
  8. "What's It Gonna Be"
  9. "Man of God"
  10. "Create Me"
  11. "Face Me"
  12. "We"
  13. "Men Are So Easy" (bonus track on special edition)
  14. "Delirious Love" (featuring Brian Wilson) (bonus track on special edition)

Extended copy protection[edit]

Example of notice displaying information about XCP in a media player.
Neil Diamond's 12 Songs was originally copy-protected using Sony's controversial XCP technology.

In November 2005, it was revealed that Sony BMG was distributing albums with Extended Copy Protection or XCP, a controversial feature that automatically installed rootkit software on any Microsoft Windows machine upon insertion of the disc. In addition to preventing the CD's contents from being copied, it was also revealed that the software reported the users' listening habits back to Sony and also exposed the computer to malicious attacks that exploited insecure features of the rootkit software. Though Sony refused to release a list of the affected CDs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation identified 12 Songs as one of the discs with the invasive software.[citation needed]

Rubin says that he and Diamond were not aware of XCP, and Rubin provided this explanation to The New York Times:

By December 2005, Sony BMG had remastered and repressed 12 Songs and all other albums released with the XCP software as standard, non-copy-protected CDs.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005–2006) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[5] 40
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[6] 11
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[7] 6
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[8] 86
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[9] 10
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[10] 20
Irish Albums (IRMA)[11] 16
Italian Albums (FIMI)[12] 82
New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 40
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 43
UK Albums (OCC)[15] 5
US Billboard 200[16] 4

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[17] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[18] Gold 50,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[19] Gold 7,500x
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[21] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review
  3. ^ List of titles affected by XCP
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  6. ^ "Neil Diamond - 12 Songs" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  7. ^ "Neil Diamond – 12 Songs" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  8. ^ "Neil Diamond – 12 Songs" (in French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  9. ^ "Neil Diamond – 12 Songs" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  10. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  11. ^ "GFK Chart-Track". Chart-Track.co.uk. GFK Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  12. ^ "Archivio – Artisti". FIMI. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  14. ^ "Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "2006-03-04 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  16. ^ "Neil Diamond Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Neil Diamond. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  17. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2006 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Music Canada. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Irish album certifications – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  20. ^ "British album certifications – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 12, 2013.  Enter 12 Songs in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  21. ^ "American album certifications – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 12, 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]