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Neil Diamond and the American Dream

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Neil Diamond and the American Dream

As a person living in the United States today, what would you say would be the depicted "American Dream" for this decade? What do all Americans want to accomplish in their lives in this time period? It could possibly be trying to establish more advancements in technology or new medical and scientific practices. Whatever your version of the American Dream may be, it is clear that all Americans yearn for some type of accomplishment or goal in life. Throughout the previous years in the history of the United States, there has always been a varying interpretation of the American Dream for different decades. For example, the time period of the 1970's found that living in happiness and equality was all that American citizens could ask for at that time. Although this seems very basic, it is actually a big thing to ask for considering what Americans had recently gone through and what was still to come.

Among these "happy times" of the 1970's, a popular musician out of Brooklyn, New York began to make a name for himself. This man was known as Neil Leslie Diamond. Although most people that lived during the 1970's recognize Neil Diamond as one of the most prolific musicians of all time, others simply know him for his popular hit single "Sweet Caroline". Neil Diamond seemed to fit in perfectly with his surroundings in the 1970's being that his songs were known to reflect the condition of the era in which they were written, as well as the nation's consciousness during that time. Everyone just seemed to love his happy yet truthful nature. Clearly, Neil Diamond was one of the most popular and successful musicians of the 1970's. Despite some controversy to the meaning of his songs, Neil Diamond achieved the 1970's version of the American Dream of living a peaceful, affordable, and pleasant life, especially through his song "Sweet Caroline".

Before becoming famous, Neil Diamond was just like any other kid out there with a guitar and a dream. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941, Neil Diamond always felt songwriting was in his blood ("Neil Diamond" 1). During an interview for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Diamond reflected back to when he was a kid. After receiving a guitar and lessons for his 16th birthday, Diamond said "on my fifth try I came up with 'Blue Destiny', the song that got me hooked" ("Neil Diamond Biography" 1). Although it never really amounted to anything, this song was noted as his first ever single, which he made on only his 5th attempt at songwriting. Diamond attended college at New York University, and later became a writer for Tin Pan Alley after dropping out of school early. Eventually he was discovered by Greenwich and Jeff Barry who formed Tallyrand Music to promote Diamond's songs ("Neil Diamond Biography" 1). Little did they know that he would become one of the most popular musicians in American history.

As living in the 1970's, Neil Diamond knew how important the American Dream was to the people of that time period. From withdrawing forces from Vietnam, to a successful Civil Rights movement, to growing space exploration, the 1960's were a very happy time for America. Many of these feelings carried into the 1970's where United States citizens wanted to basically settle down and live a happy life ("The American Dream in the 1970's" 1). The American dream of living a peaceful, affordable, and pleasant life seemed to fit as a result of the time period of the 1960's. People needed this time period to get their lives back on track, start a family, and be happy.

This is where Neil Diamond fit in perfectly, being the relaxed, patriotic, and happy guy that he was. Diamond was basically a living example of what everyone wanted to be like in the 1970's. He was famous, wealthy, and happy with his life. After all, isn't that what every American is striving for in their lives? Not only did Diamond achieve the American Dream through his lifestyle, but he expressed the American Dream in all of his music as well. In the 1970's, Americans wanted to hear this laid-back, joyful music, which is what Neil Diamond brought to the table. By placing 56 singles in Billboard's Hot 100 singles and 48 albums in Billboard's Top 200 Album Chart, Neil Diamond gave something for the people in the '70s people to be excited about ("Neil Diamond Biography" 1). Diamond holds the attendance record for venues all over the world including the record at Madison Square Garden for most sold out nights with 8 in a row (Holden 1)! He was loved by the people back then, and still is as he is 70 years old and still performing around the United States, while selling out venues in the process. The backbone to Neil Diamond's success in achieving the 1970's American Dream was his influential music such as "Sweet Caroline" and many others.

Released in 1969, Neil Diamond's hit single "Sweet Caroline" was undoubtedly the most famous song of his career. Reaching #4 on the Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart, the song went platinum for selling 1 Million singles (Martindale, Linda Ann 698). Inside the song, Neil Diamond expresses the yearning to be happy and live a good life, which is essentially what the American Dream was in the 1970's. The lyrics "Sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good, I've been inclined, to believe they never would" show how Neil Diamond is not only expressing the American Dream of "good times", but he is living it ("Sweet Caroline" 1). Diamond explains how he thought that things would never get better, but they later did, allowing him to successfully achieve the American Dream of living a happy, and overall good life. Although this song was released in the later part of the 1960's, it



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