Neil Diamond (3) Matches Wits With Gene Simmons (14) In The Latest SOTC March Madness Matchup

Categories: Kiss, Neil Diamond

The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—continues.We continue matching up the Queens combatants with a face-off between the No. 3 seed, Neil Diamond, and KISS loudmouth Gene Simmons. Check out the arguments in favor of each, then cast your ballot at the Sound of the City Facebook page.

The true pop demographics of New York are probably closer to the national averages than one might suspect, and they almost certainly were during Neil Diamond's late-'70s ascension to multi-platinum popdom. In other words, even in New York from 1977-1980, he was easily more popular than The Ramones. Brooklyn-born and Brill Building-raised, that makes him a New York City musician of the first magnitude, even if he'd long since decamped to Los Angeles and traded his Brill-era brilliance for a far shlockier and arguably even deeper brilliance. The American Popular Song goes on and on... read a curlicued inset on his first album after heading west. Maybe so, but it sure can start to smell funny in that California sun.
Jesse Jarnow

The bass-plunking, blood-spewing, fire-breathing, capitalism-practicing industry known as Gene Simmons began life in Israel as Chaim Weitz but eventually relocated to Jackson Heights, where he formed a band named Wicked Lester before finally settling on the KISS name and concept. The band's music was primarily upbeat and celebratory (or perhaps predatory, depending on your point of view), but KISS' visual presentation—primarily that of Simmons, "the Demon"—contained an undercurrent of darkness that was latched onto by multitudes of young fans who would go on to form bands with more sinister motifs, even if none of them would go as far as Simmons and release a comic book inked in their own blood.
Chris Steffen

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cant wait for Chicago 2012! i wonder if I will be the only 21 year old there.


Neil all the way!


Which kind of processed cheez-food do you prefer? Some may think that the once called "Swiss" has more class that the one called "Pepper Jack" but it's still cheez-food. I'd vote for Neil though because Gene dated but never had a hit single with Cher or Diana Ross, while Neil Diamond's association with Sinatra produced the epic, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore." This song is so much heavier than, say, "God of Thunder," that it's not even funny. Also, while Kiss Alive had a pretty cool cover, on Hot August Night shows Neil's hair was bigger and better, and he looks like he is about to puke on himself while simultaneous doing something phallic with his hands. wins all the way. 

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