Neil Diamond, fresh and recovered from a recent bout of depression, has returned to the studio. He will be working once again with producer Rick Rubin on the follow-up to the pair’s last joint effort, the acclaimed 12 Songs.

Diamond’s depression was reportedly brought on by the BMG rootkit debacle. For those unfamiliar, the record company coded Diamond’s album, as well as so many others from that year’s release class, with potentially malicious anti-piracy software. The company then needed to pull the disc from retail to fix the problem. Diamond is nothing if not a crowd-pleaser, so the scandal took a toll on the venerable showman.

That’s all in the past now, and Diamond is back with the man who resurrected Johnny Cash’s career and invigorated albums by the disparate likes of Slayer, the Beastie Boys, and Jay-Z.

According to Billboard, Rubin says no decision has yet been made on whether or not the album will be full of covers or newly-minted originals: "To kind of get warmed up, we started recording a couple of cover songs and Neil has been writing, but I haven't heard any of the new stuff he's been writing yet.”

"It depends on how long the writing process takes. I thought if it's going to take a while to write, it might be fun to do a covers album in between, but we'll see. The material is going to dictate everything.”

12 Songs will be re-issued December 12. The new edition will feature a second disc, full of demos and alternate takes.

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