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Tap Root Manuscript


Price: CDN$ 7.35 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Tap Root Manuscript + Moods + Stones
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 1 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • ASIN: B000002PBO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,888 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cracklin' Rosie
2. Free Life
3. Coldwater Morning
4. Done Too Soon
5. He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother
6. Childsong
7. I Am The Lion
8. Madrigal
9. Soolaimon
10. Missa
11. African Suite
12. Childsong (Reprise)

Product Description

Neil gets all experimental with children's choirs and African chants on side two of this ambitious 1970 LP, but still delivered the hits with Cracklin' Rosie; Soolaimon , and He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother .

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Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Marsh on April 7 2004
Format: Audio CD
I was born in late 1969, and my parents must have bought this album shortly thereafter, for I have always known it. These songs are interwoven into my earliest memories. Consequently, it's probably not possible to write an entirely objective review. But I think my judgment may have matured to the point where I can separate at least some of the musical wheat from the chaff of my childhood.
This album was obviously a labor of love for Neil Diamond. Everything about it was lovingly wrought, including the packaging. In fact, my only complaint about the CD reissue is the loss of the gorgeous design work of art director John C. Le Prevost, designer Virginia Clark, photographers Jim Metropole and Larry Bartome, and calligrapher Jonzarr Haber. The original album cover had a satisfying heft to it, being printed on incredibly heavy, textured stock. Although it housed a single record, it folded out like a double album, revealing the other half of the moody, introspective photograph that began on the front cover and continued on like a Cinerama movie screen. Included inside was a booklet, printed on fine writing paper, supplying the lyrics for 'Childsong,' 'I Am The Lion,' 'Soolaimon,' and 'Missa' (in both English and Swahili) in earthy sepia calligraphy. Additionally, it included Neil Diamond's own explanation of the concept of the album:
"When rhythm and blues lost its sensuality for me I fell in love with a woman named gospel. We met secretly in the churches of Harlem, and made love at revival meetings in Mississippi. And loving her as I did, I found a great yearning to know of her roots. And I found them. And they were in Africa. And they left me breathless. The African Trilogy is an attempt to convey my passion for the folk music of that black continent. -n.d.
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Format: Audio CD
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!
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Format: Audio CD
There is something unique about Neil Diamond and he seems to be harnessing this uniquness very well on this album. This album demonstrates his ability to write really catchy songs and very mystical profound, moving songs. The album does fall short with a few average songs, some long winded instrumentals and some expermentions with African music that seem but aimless. These "songs" are still beautiful though, even if I don't have patients for them. I don't like the specific references to people used in the song "Done too soon" a style exemplified by Billy Joels "We didn't start the Fire". But the song ends with a very pretty universal tone. "Coldwater morning" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. With classics like Crakling Rosie, He's not Heavy, and strong songs like solomain and the fun "I am the lion", and the strange "childsong" added to this the experimental and beautiful production, This album is worth buying. I give it 3 1/2 out of five stars.
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Format: Audio CD
This was such a departure from the Brill Building tunes! Neil Diamond so dominated the sixties with song after wonderful song. This album has included a few of his 'traditional' pieces here to satisfy the fan who wants the music the way it had been. The commerically popular include "Cracklin Rosie" and "Done Too Soon" and his emotive "He Ain't Heavy".
The magic, though, comes on side two with "The African Trilogy". I, too could have done without the sound effects, but they do not distract me too much (not like the critic) from the wonderfully gentle and passionate music. Almost a full decade before Paul Simon discovered the beautiful sounds of Soweto in Graceland or Brasilia in Rhythm of the Saints, N.D. was way out in front of the pack.
I had been too many years without hearing this album. It was immediately as comfortable and familiar as a lover's embrace.
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Format: Audio CD
What makes this CD such a joy to listen to is the musical arrangement of the songs and the catchy lyrics. The instrumentals "Madrigal", "Missa", and "African Suite", give this CD a "progressive-rock" feel to it. Very creative! "Childsong" and "I Am The Lion" are wonderful arrangments as well. Let's not forget the hit "Cracklin' Rosie", which Neil says the inspration of this song came from him visiting an Indian Reservation in Canada, where the natives were lonely on Saturday nights and drank "Cracklin' Rose" Wine (aka Muscatel). The song "Free Life" can pertain to an existence with no worries, and just feeling carefree, which is the way you'll feel when you listen to this CD. Please enjoy!
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