I just spent an hour of time that I might characterize as equal parts frustrating and fabulous. I made good use of Amazon's 'listen to samples' feature for this and two other Neil Diamond albums, headphones in place, music blasting into every cell of my aging body. Frustrating because they only play a few bars of each song -- just enough to hook you in and leave you begging for more. Fabulous because I didn't realize how much I missed this music that I probably hadn't heard for 20 or more years. Didn't I outgrow Hot August Night a really long time ago? There was a time when it was an anthem - played loudly and incessantly. I was pretty sure that time was past. The grin on my face while I was listening said otherwise.
You can blame this renaissance on a man who may be my very dearest friend in the whole world. Mind you, this is a man I've known on a fairly intimate level for about 5 years and I thought I knew him pretty well. But I gotta tell you, I would about as much have expected him to fly to the moon as to ask me to turn up the volume when a Neil Diamond song was playing, then proceed to enter into an enthusiastic and knowledgeable discussion of Hot August Night. That happened a few weeks ago, and he's managed to surprise me even more with other revelations since then, but that's not a topic for this post. Neither is the fact that I'm going to miss him like hell when I move to Georgia. I expect that to be roughly on a par with say, severing part of my soul on a permanent basis. But I digress.
Cut to the chase, and I ordered a digitally remastered and expanded version of this Hot August Night album, plus a much later Hot August Night II album, which has many of Neil Diamond's later hits plus a few crossovers. They won't arrive before I leave for Georgia, but they'll be at the office waiting when I return. I can't wait.
Now -- maybe I need a little more of that Red, Red Wine -- or not.
A work in progress
4 months ago