8 Songs You Didn’t Know Neil Diamond Wrote That Were Made Famous By Other Artists

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

In a career spanning 60 years, Neil Diamond has sold more than 130 million records, has had 16 Top 10 albums, 38 Top 40 singles, won 10 Grammy awards, and received inductions in the Songwriters and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fames, among other numerous awards, honors, and accolades.

Drawn to songwriting when he was just a teen, Diamond began writing songs while studying at New York University and by 1962 found himself signed to Columbia. After a brief stint releasing several singles under the label, Diamond continued writing for other artists at several publishing houses, often penning songs for himself that were released by other artists before he could even record them, like The Monkees’ 1966 No. 1 hit “I’m a Believer”—along with three other songs for the pop group—and Top 10 hit “Sunday and Me” recorded and released by Jay and the Americans a year earlier.

Soon after, more artists followed suit with Elvis Presley reinterpreting Diamond’s ballad “And the Grass Won’t Pay No Mind” in 1969, along with covering “Sweet Caroline” a year later—a song Frank Sinatra would also reimagine, big band style, in 1974. In 2000, Johnny Cash even covered Diamond’s 1966 hit “Solitary Man” for his third American Recordings album and earned a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his lonesome cover.

Throughout his career, Diamond has penned 10 No. 1 singles on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, including “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “America,” “Yesterday’s Songs,” “Heartlight,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “I’ve Been This Way Before,” “If You Know What I Mean,” “Song Sung Blue,” “Longfellow Serenade,” and “Desirée,” but it was often cover versions of some of his greatest songs that gained more attention over the decades than his own originals.

“The relationship between you and those good songs stays with you and you remember the hard times, the glad times and the bad times working with the songs,” said Diamond in 2020. “And most of these songs I remember the actual act of writing and what I was feeling at that time. And that’s not usual. A lot of songs you write and then you move on to something else and it can come out great or not great. But they all leave their scars on you in some way or another.”

Though his songs remain masterful in their original form, here are eight Neil Diamond songs that were made more famous by other artists.

“Sunday and Me,” Jay & the Americans (1965)
Written by Neil Diamond

I’m A Believer,” The Monkees (1966)
Written by Neil Diamond

Kentucky Woman,” Deep Purple (1968)
Written by Neil Diamond

“And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind,” Elvis Presley (1969)
Written by Neil Diamond

“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” Barbara Streisand (1978)
Written by Neil Diamond with Alan and Marilyn Bergman 

“Red, Red Wine,” UB40 (1983)
Written by Neil Diamond

“Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon,” Urge Overkill (1994)
Written by Neil Diamond

“Solitary Man,” Johnny Cash (2000)
Written by Neil Diamond

Photo: Universal Music Enterprises

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