Year Released: 1980

Notable Songs: “America”, “Love on the Rocks”, “Hello Again”

Album MVP: “Hello Again”

Why I Loved It: I have no doubt this selection is far higher than most would have, if they even included this at all. I can feel the criticism before even hitting send on this post.  Fortunately, this is my countdown and not yours. Honestly, I never had much of a choice when it came to liking Neil Diamond. Both my parents were huge Neil Diamond fans and as a young kid his music was constantly shoved down my throat, so at the very least I knew all his songs. I was just nine years old when The Jazz Singer came out (I’m talking about the movie here) and I have no idea why I’d watch a flick about a New York City guy torn between his Jewish traditions and being a pop music star, but I did—and I liked it.  Well, that’s not true.

The movie sucked and was stupid but I found myself loving the soundtrack, far more than any nine-year old should. I’m not sure the tracks were love at first sight,  but they definitely started to grow on me. 

It’s not like I was limited in how often I heard it because my father obviously had the album. Ironically as I grew older I felt like Diamond’s vibe was usually a bit smug for my liking but his tracks on The Jazz Singer were authentic, and that’s because it’s a beautiful album featuring a trio of jewels that helped define Diamond’s legacy. “Hello Again” became one of my favorite slow songs ever and who doesn’t singing along to “Love on the Rocks” and especially “America”? This is a GREAT album—one 80’s aficionados don’t give enough respect to.

Commercial Success:  Believe it or not, at this point the Jazz Singer, Diamond’s 15th studio album was his most successfully commercially, rising to three on the Billboard Top 200 in the United States and also three in the United Kingdom. “Love on the Rocks” was the biggest single, reaching number-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and finishing 1981 ranked 26th on the year-end chart. “Hello Again” reached number-six on the Billboard Hot 100 and finished ’81 ranked 70th on the year-end chart. “America” was the third top 10 hit from the Jazz Singer, peaking at number-eight on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song has dated well, as its probably more popular as a national pride album today than it was back in the early 80s.  In total The Jazz Singer sold more than five million copies in the United States.

Fun Facts: As long and storied as Diamond’s career has been he’s only had two solo singles reach number-one on the Billboard Hot 100;  “Cracklin’ Rosie” (1970) and “Song Song Blue” (1972).  “Love on the Rocks” narrowly missed become his third, peaking at number-two in 1980.  “Sweet Carolina” (1969) and “I am…I said” (1971) reached four and “Longfellow Serenade” (1974) hit five, giving him a surprisingly low six top five singles for his career.  “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (1978) reached number-one but that was a duet with Barbara Stresiand.


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity 

40. Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross

39. Culture Club – Colour By Numbers 

38. Chicago – Chicago 17

37. Bryan Adams – Reckless

36. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

35. Heart – Heart 

34. Def Leppard – Pyromania 

33. Toto -Toto IV

32. The Police – Ghost In the Machine 

31. Madonna – Madonna

30. New Kids On The Block – Hangin’ Tough

29. Hall and Oates – H20

28. Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence

27. The Police – Synchronicity 

26. Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

25. Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill

24. Hall & Oates – Private Eyes