| April 2004–Summer 2005|
Rock music, Country music
8 November 2005
| November 8, 2005 (2005-11-08)|
The Best of Neil Diamond (2006)
Neil Diamond albums, Country music albums
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.
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.
- "Oh Mary"
- "Hell Yeah"
- "Captain of a Shipwreck"
- "Save Me a Saturday Night"
- "Delirious Love"
- "I'm on to You"
- "What's It Gonna Be"
- "Man of God"
- "Create Me"
- "Face Me"
- "Men Are So Easy" (bonus track on special edition)
- "Delirious Love" (featuring Brian Wilson) (bonus track on special edition)
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.
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.
1Oh Mary5:1312 Songs (Neil Diamond album) Wikipedia
3Captain of a Shipwreck3:55