Hot August Night

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Hot August Night
Hot august night.jpg
Live album by Neil Diamond
Released December 9, 1972
Recorded August 24, 1972
Venue Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, California
Genre Rock
Length 93:05
Label MCA
Producer Tom Catalano
Neil Diamond chronology
Hot August Night
Singles from Hot August Night
  1. "Cherry, Cherry"
    Released: March 17, 1973

Hot August Night is a 1972 live double album by Neil Diamond[1] ("Hot August night" is also the opening lyric to Diamond's 1969 single "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show"). The album is a recording of a Diamond concert on August 24, 1972, one of ten sold-out concerts that Diamond performed that month at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. This also marks the first album released by the newly formed MCA Records (a merging of the Uni, Kapp, and Decca labels).[2]

Diamond later released three live "sequel" albums, Hot August Night II (1987), Hot August Night/NYC (2009), and Hot August Night III (2018).

Australian reception[edit]

Hot August Night is one of the biggest selling albums in Australia,[3][4] where it spent 29 weeks at number 1 on the album charts during 1973 and 1974. This makes it equal 4th for the most weeks at number 1, tying with Delta Goodrem's 2003 album Innocent Eyes.

Hot August Night was the number one charting album in Australia for the 1970s[citation needed], entering the Australian album charts in late 1972 and still charting in the top 20 in 1976. It was the number 1 album of 1973 and the number 3 album of 1974.[5] It re-entered the Australian top 10 in 1982, then had another chart run in 1991-92 peaking at number 21.[6] During the 1991-92 chart-run it was listed on the chart as 14 x Platinum.[7] Based on album accreditation levels used until 1983, it equates to a 700,000 sales milestone. When the album entered the catalogue albums chart in 2010, it was listed as 10 x Platinum.[8][additional citation(s) needed] Based on accreditation levels since 1983, it also equates to a 700,000 sales milestone. However, because ARIA was only formed in 1983 and record companies have not reported complete record sales records to them, sales are an estimation only and in the case of 1970's albums like Hot August Night, the conservative estimates may be falling short.[3] In 1996, MCA Managing Director Paul Krige estimated that cumulative sales of Hot August Night in Australia have exceeded one million units.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[12]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Lester Bangs called Hot August Night a "fine presentation of the entire spectrum" of Diamond's work and praised its music as "great, pretentious, goofy pop" with a melodramatic, "hymn-like feeling".[13] In his review for Creem, Robert Christgau panned the album as a failed attempt at "bad art", and found Diamond's humor "sententious" and his country-western songs tasteless.[11]

In a retrospective review, Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Hot August Night "the ultimate Neil Diamond record ... [which] shows Diamond the icon in full glory."[10] Rob Sheffield, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), dubbed the album "the triumph of Neilness" and said that its music is slightly more "lax" than his studio recordings, but "festive".[12]

Track listing[edit]

1972 vinyl edition[edit]

All tracks written by Neil Diamond, except "I Think It's Going to Rain Today", which was written by Randy Newman.

Side one
2."Crunchy Granola Suite"4:26
3."Done Too Soon"3:22
5."Solitary Man"3:14
6."Cherry, Cherry"4:43
7."Sweet Caroline"4:06
Side two
1."Porcupine Pie"1:51
2."You're So Sweet"2:17
3."Red Red Wine"3:56
4."Soggy Pretzels"3:24
5."And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind"4:39
7."Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon"2:48
Side three
1."Play Me"4:43
2."Canta Libre"5:28
4."Song Sung Blue"4:53
5."Cracklin' Rosie"2:45
Side four
1."Holly Holy"6:18
2."I Am... I Said"6:09
3."Soolaimon" / "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show"9:36

2000 compact disc release[edit]

2012 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Compact Disc Release[edit]


  • Neil Diamond — vocals and guitar
  • Richard Bennett — guitar
  • Danny Nicholson — guitar
  • Emory Gordy, Jr. — guitar and vibraphone
  • Alan Lindgren — keyboards
  • Reinie Press — bass
  • Dennis St. John — drums
  • Jefferson Kewley — percussion
  • String section — Sidney Sharp, Philip Candreva, Paulo Alencar, Baldassare Ferlazzo, Robert Lipsett, Haim Shtrum, Ron Folsom, Henry Ferber, Hyman Goodman, William Henderson, John DeVoogdt, Wilbert Nuttycombe, Jay Rosen, Walter Wiemeyer, Shari Zippert, Ralph Schaeffer, Tibor Zelig, Walter Rower, Salvatore Crimi, Richard Kaufman, David Turner (violins), Linn Subotnick, Philip Goldberg, Sven Reher, Myron Sandler, Marilyn Baker, Samuel Boghossian (violas), Jesse Ehrlich, Jerome Kessler, Raymond Kelley, Nathan Gershman, Alice Ober, Giacinto Nardulli (violoncelli), Timothy Barr, Jess Bourgeois, Don Bagley (bass violins)

Orchestra conducted by Lee Holdridge

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1972 USA Billboard Album Top 200 5
1972 UK Album Chart 21
1973 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart 1
1975 Dutch LP Top 50 14


  1. ^ Diamond, Neil (December 9, 1972). Hot August Night (album). MCA records. MCA 2-8000. 
  2. ^ "MCA Records Announcement". Billboard Magazine. Billboard: 16–17. November 25, 1972. Retrieved August 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Dale, David (July 12, 2007). "The music Australia loved". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  4. ^ "They love Diamond in Australia: Los Angeles - Neil Diamond's two-record set, Hot August Night, has sold in excess of $2 million in Australia, reports Lee Armstrong, MCA's international vice president. The label estimates that one in every 35 persons in Australia owns a copy in some musical form. The LP is distributed in Australia by Astor, which recently received a licence of the year award from MCA's president Mike Maitland." Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (November 16, 1974). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 10. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  6. ^ Position 21, 138th week: Hot August Night - Neil Diamond, 14 x Platinum "ARIA Albums Chart". November 24, 1991. 
  7. ^ Position 41, 145th week: Hot August Night - Neil Diamond, 14 x Platinum "ARIA Album Chart". January 12, 1992. 
  8. ^ "Research into the Top 200 Highest Selling Albums in Australia". Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  9. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (June 29, 1996). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 10. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  10. ^ a b Thomas, Stephen. "Hot August Night - Neil Diamond". AllMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (March 1973). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob; et al. (November 2, 2004). Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 233–4. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  13. ^ Bangs, Lester (March 15, 1973). "Neil Diamond: Hot August Night". Rolling Stone. New York. Archived from the original on March 29, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]