12 Songs (Neil Diamond album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
12 Songs
12 Songs (Neil Diamond album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by Neil Diamond
Released November 8, 2005 (2005-11-08)
Recorded April 2004–Summer 2005
Genre Rock, country
Length 54:15
Label American/Columbia
Producer Rick Rubin
Neil Diamond chronology
Stages: Performances 1970–2002
(2003)Stages: Performances 1970–20022003
12 Songs
The Best of Neil Diamond
(2006)The Best of Neil Diamond2006
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk 8.3/10[1]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly A[3]
Pitchfork Media 4.1/10[4]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[6]

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[7][8] 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.[9]

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.

Extended copy protection[edit]

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.

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)


Chart (2005–2006) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[11] 40
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[12] 11
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[13] 6
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[14] 86
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[15] 10
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[16] 20
Irish Albums (IRMA)[17] 16
Italian Albums (FIMI)[18] 82
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[19] 40
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[20] 43
UK Albums (OCC)[21] 5
US Billboard 200[22] 4


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[23] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[24] Gold 50,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[25] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Weber, Scott. "Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Atkins, Martyn (November 7, 2005). "12 Songs". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ Hogan, Marc (November 21, 2005). "Neil Diamond: 12 Songs". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Rolling Stone review". 
  6. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (November 6, 2005). "Neil Diamond: 12 Songs". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ Jones, Roben (2010). Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-1-60473-401-0. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Partner...beginning in 1964. 
  8. ^ Louie, K F. "Neil Diamond Album Overview 1968-1972". home.netcom.com. 
  9. ^ "SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT - cp.sonybmg.com/xcp". 24 December 2008. 
  10. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (2 September 2007). "Rick Rubin - Recording Industry - Rock Music" – via www.nytimes.com. 
  11. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  12. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  16. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  17. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 8, 2006". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  18. ^ "Archivio – Artisti". FIMI. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  20. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  21. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  22. ^ "Neil Diamond Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  23. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2006 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Music Canada. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Irish album certifications – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Neil Diamond – 12 Songs". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 12, 2013.  Enter 12 Songs in the search field and then press Enter.
  27. ^ "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]