There really is no need to parody Neil Diamond, as these days he does a bang-up job of that himself, overemphasizing petty heartache and giving far too much attention to what remains of his lion’s mane of hair. But, at one time, Neil Diamond was a hipster rocker–truly! Songs like “Sweet Caroline” and “I Am, I Said” have worn down over time, but when they were released thirty years ago they carried an emotional wallup–spunky and mournful all at once.
“Super Diamond,” an unabashed cover band from San Francisco, rekindles that spark. What is most alluring is that Frontman Randy Cordero, a.k.a., “The Surreal Neil,” plays the straight man, refusing to take advantage of an easy parody. He tightly winds up such mainstays as “Kentucky Woman” and lets them rip, like hyper-kinetic tops.
He is perhaps a better Neil Diamond than Neil ever was–even in his heyday.