Velvet Gloves and Spit is the third album by Neil Diamond. His first for MCA's Uni label, it included three low-charting singles: "Brooklyn Roads" (#58), "Two-Bit Manchild" (#66) and "Sunday Sun" (#68).
Upon its initial release in 1968, it only had ten songs. After the success of Diamond's next three albums, it was re-issued in 1970 with a new sleeve and now included a remake of "Shilo", a song that had previously been recorded for Bang Records, and had appeared on the preceding album, Just For You. His motivation for doing this was the release of the song as a single by his old record label with a new backing track and alternate vocal take recorded at Chips Moman's American Studios in Memphis, and its chart position at #24 outselling Diamond's concurrently-released single "Until It's Time for You to Go", which only reached #53.
The album quotes: "Much credit for "The Pot Smoker's Song" must go to the kids of Phoenix House in New York City. Without the cooperation and frankness of these young ex-drug addicts who are still struggling to find their way back, this "song" never could have been done." On early U.K. copies, "The Pot Smoker's Song" was replaced by a b-side titled "Broad Old Woman (6 A.M. Insanity)."