At the time of his greatest popularity, Neil Diamond was quite experimental in some of his albums, which boldly showed his unusual willingness to take chances in pursuit of broadening his musical abilities and interests. This album, "Tap Root Manuscript", was the result of one such effort to experiment with African sounds and instruments, and one which paid off in terms of his commercial success and also with a number of top ten hits coming directly from the album. Some of the songs, like "Crackling Rosie", were not part of the concept, while others such as "Soolaimon", definitely were. At any rate, the combination of the two aspects of the album made for a number one Billboard rating.
Included here are other popular songs like "Done Too Soon", and a cover of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother". I especially like the whole African song cycle, from "Childsong" through its reprise at the end of the album. "I am The Lion", "Madrigal", and "African Suite" are all interesting and quite innovative for the late 1960s time frame of the original recording. This was a trend-setting album and another notch in the growing body of recordings Diamond produced in his reign as one of America's favorite singer-songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s. Enjoy!