Growing up in such a hard rock fashion, I was pretty closed-minded to the talents of anyone not wearing spandex, leather, or denim.  Everything lesser was softrock and I pictured myself in my aunt’s car, without fail.  It took me a while, but I came around to really love Neil Diamond and appreciate his songwriting immensely.  Check out Crooked Fingers’ debut album.  Strong resemblance to Neil on a few cuts.  That album is tied with first place for me, along with “Take Back The Universe And Give Me Yesterday” by Creeper Lagoon.