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I live in Israel since the late 80's. Israeli music speaks of the life and times of the place I live in. These cds paint a picture of Israel for me. This page is in English for a reason - while there are great websites out there in Hebrew with information about Israeli music, there isn't much in English about Israeli music. For those who can read Hebrew, Mooma is the ultimate website on Israeli music.

Mashina

Mashina. Israel's most successful rock band - eight studio albums, two greatest hits albums and two live albums. They got lots of radio play during my first years in Israel and my friends took their new albums as seriously as I do The Who. Their first 3 cds were the build-up - rock'n'roll looking for and finding its center. Very listenable and a few songs on each cd touch a place not too many Israeli rock musicians reach in rock'n'roll. From the 4th one and onward, Mashina touched it and painted it bigtime. Now each cd had its own unique sound. And there's even a lyrical theme (and not just songs about babes). Their 1995 masterpiece, "Goodbye youth, hello love," is not about growing up but about what the world looks like when you're young but no longer a young adult.

In 2005, Mashina got back together and released their first studio album in 10 years. They proved that they still have it. My favorites here are "Ha-Tshuva" ("The Answer"), "Romantica Atidanit" ("Futuristic Romance"), and "Ben-Gurion". Impressive. Can you do it again, please?!

"Gvirotai V-Rabotai, Mashina" ("Ladies and Gentlemen, Mashina") has the most popular songs from their first three cds plus five new songs. Three of those five were so good that they ended up in Mashina's live set and are still played by the band. Though Israelis knew and liked Mashina's first three albums, this was their first commercial success. "Ha-Osef Ha-Shani" ("The Second Collection") has songs from the first four cds. Mashina's live cd is titled Mechonat Ha-Zman ("The Time Machine"). I have lots of live cds in my collection - this one and David Brozas second Masada concert below are equals with the best of them. Mashina 2003 Live came out during the spring of 2004 and was recorded on September 15, 2003 at the Roman Amphitheatre in Caesaria. Mashina hadn't been seen or heard from since 1996 and in 2003 they got back together for a tour. The tour sold out every venue, of course, and the boys proved they've still got it. Listen to Mashina 2003 Live and you wonder if seven years have passed. In 2003, Mashina released two new singles. The new singles open and close the cd (cool idea). I liked the acoustic version of "Tachzor, Tachzor" ("Return, Return"). The audience knows every word to every song and that adds to it all. A dvd of this show was also released. My favorite band, The Who, have disappeared into their own private lives and returned to the public eye many times during their career. That's how rock'n'roll works after 40. Looks like Mashina are doing the same - I respect 'em for it.

This is a complete Mashina collection - 12 cds in all.


David Broza

David Broza is Israel's best acoustic guitarist and more. Most of his songs are adaptations from the cream-of-the-crop of poets in whatever language the album is in - Hebrew, Spanish and English. This impresses me. The reason I am so enamoured with my favorite band, The Who, is the storytelling that Pete Townshend brings to his music. Tommy, the first rock opera, is a flowing story about a boy growing up. So is Quadrophenia. (Another of Townshend's six rock operas, Iron Man, is taken from a John Hughes poem.) The Who's cds aren't collections of singles. You have to listen to the music, read the lyrics, read the text/synopsis/short-story that is in the cd booklet and in some cases watch the movie! I like it when an artist asks a lot of his audience. He's trying to make us think. So is David Broza. He is taking the art of acoustic guitar and integrating it with poetry. When you do storytelling in rock and when you add poetry to an acoustic maestro, you are taking an artistic high road. The deeper it is, the less it will sell, your manager will tell you. Pete Townshend and David Broza, each in his own way, succeeded in bringing something deeper to large audiences. That's cool. They asked a lot of us and we got more than a catchy-pop-tune in return!

The first one on the left is his first album, titled "David Broza." One song, "Yiyhe Tov," ("It'll Be Better") became an immediate hit and will always be a part of Israeli folklore. David & Yonatan is a live recording from one of many performances that Broza did with Yonatan Geffen (who writes most of David's Hebrew songs and translates his Spanish songs into Hebrew throughout their careers). This one was recorded in late 1981 and was released in 1982. Yonatan does a 2-5 minute stand-up/speaking part followed by David playing a song. And so on. Klaf, or Aces (as its called in English) is Broza's second album. I immediately recognized the song Haifa from hearing it on the radio over the years. "Ha-Isha Sh'Iti" ("The Woman With Me") is one of the bestselling albums ever in Israel. David brought the songs to Yonatan Geffen, who translated them from Spanish. In his next album, Broza, the songs are translations of Spanish poems. Next is Away From Home, which is his first English-language cd. The green cd is his first "greatest hits" cd. Stolen Kiss, in Hebrew, has the classic "Under the Sky," by Meir Ariel. Time of Trains is his second English-language cd. The booklet inside tells a bit about the songs and how David put them together with his favorite American poets. David Broza at Masada is a classic. The show took place at 3am-6am. It ended with sunrise over the Judean Mountains and the Jordan Valley - an amazing site to see from one who's seen it a few times. The acoustic guitar solos here are among the best guitar work I've ever heard - its mindblowing what someone can do with an acoustic guitar on top of Masada! Then Elements Of Love. Second Street has two songs that stood out for me - the incredible acoustic guitar solo on In Snow and the catchy tune on Chileno Boys.

Stone Doors was harder to find - I only got it in January 2006. It has 11 songs in English and one in Hebrew - Painted Postcard ("Gluya Metzuyeret"). Broza's favorite American poets are well represented here - including Walt Whitman. Some of the songs are in his familiar folk-rock style and some are southern rock. Most Israelis have never heard this side of David Broza.

Next is an interesting one - I found it on Ebay. Its titled David Broza and isn't the same as the other cd with that title. The text by Kent Zimmerman says that most of the songs were culled from Time of Trains and Second Street. The most interesting song here is Together - written for and used by UNICEF. Ramsey McLean wrote the lyrics and David Broza wrote the music. I haven't seen this song on any of his other English-language cds so I bet there's a single for it. Broza.com doesn't list this cd in the discography, but I'm putting it here as it was released in 1995, between Masada and Sodot Gdolim.

Which leads us to Sodot Gdolim ("Big Secrets"), a collection of Hebrew songs written by Yonatan Geffen and Meir Ariel.

Starting To Breath - Broza and Friends, Masada 1999 is an great example of how the artist and publisher can do an excellent job at packaging a double cd. The art design is phenomenal - colors and movement plus a stunning aerial shot of Masada. But that's not enough! David describes the story behind this second live at Masada release. As the title of the cd suggests, David brings along a number of musicians - including Manzanita (his Spanish mentor!), Nimrod Lev and the Jerusalem Salsa Band. He doesn't mind sharing the spotlight and lets them share their thoughts. And then there's the music. It opens with an acoustic set and moves onto a Spanish-Hebrew groove with the help of the Jerusalem Salsa Band. There's no better way to cap the morning than Yihye Tov (It Will Be Better)!

Isla Mujeres came out in 2000 and is in Spanish. I recognized some of the songs as translations from other albums of his. Painted Postcard is David's first greatest hits cd to have songs in English and Hebrew (and Chileno Boys has some Spanish in it!). Its a lot of fun to listen to Broza move from English to Hebrew and back again. Though the cd booklet doesn't say so, the last song, Under The Sky, is from the first live at Masada cd. A 3-cd greatest hits set with songs in English, Hebrew and Spanish is the next step. David Broza's latest album is titled All Or Nothing - it quickly became a hit in Israel in early 2003.

A double cd, David Broza Ha-Meitav (The Best Of David Broza) was released during the summer of 2004. The packaging resembles the Dylan Live 1965 and Live 1975 series. All of the songs are in Hebrew. There are a few unreleased songs, live versions of songs and songs released on albums other than those in Broza's discography (one song is from the soundtrack of a 1978 Israeli film). Two live songs are from the 1978 Nuweba Pop Festival and another two live songs are from Masada 1994. David sings one song with Meir Ariel. The cherry on the top is the last song on this cool compilation -- Yiyhe Tov with the London Philharmonic at Abbey Road Studios. With this cd, David moved back to his old label, NMC. That explains why there are no songs from It's All Or Nothing, released by Helicon. (With all the peace songs that Israeli musicians sing, they can't get two local labels to work together!!) I enjoyed listening to this compilation. There is enough new material here which means I'll be listening to it a lot. I await David's next cd of new content - whether its in Spanish, English or Hebrew!

Parking Complete was released in December 2005 and is a Spanish language cd which David recorded in Madrid and east Jerusalem. The style is cool - flamenco with Jewish, Christian and Muslim influences. There are two bonus tracks - Hebrew versions of Parking Complete and Me Voy. I appreciate that David's music is exposing me to world music. Since 2005, I find myself more interested in music from other lands and David Broza is a great messenger.

I appreciate the effort that Broza and his management put into the cd booklets. Its fun to look through them while listening to the music. Parking Complete's booklet is typical - glossy paper, color photos, the lyrics in Spanish and Hebrew and three short articles about the music and how the cd came to be. I love when musicans go all the way and give you a quality cd booklet that adds color to the music. This is one of the reasons music collectors aren't into the mp3 scene - its not just the music we're after, its the entire project created by our favorite musicians. The cover and artwork for The Who's Tommy are a part of the album. Same with The Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed cover. The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper and Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon are probably the two most influential album covers. Paul McCartney is also known for putting that extra effort into his cd booklets - his Band On The Run cover is a classic and the booklet that comes with the 25th anniversary edition is full of photos and text about the making of the cd.

Broza 5 Live was an interesting cd to find. Broza and a group of noted jazz musicians play jazz renditions of his songs. Refreshing! In early 2009 I noticed another Broza at Masada cd at the music stores and bought it it March in Beersheva. This show was recorded in the summer of 2007. Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin join David Broza on a few songs. What makes this third Masada cd special? As this show was broadcast on PBS in September 2007, Broza plays a lot of songs from his days as a musician in the US. The opener, Night in Wyoming, is sung as Night in Masada. Fans of his American material will love this show - finally a chance to hear those classics performed live! We hear only his Hebrew and Spanish songs on the radio here in Israel so its an opportunity for Israelis to hear his American folk rock. Of course his best Spanish and Hebrew songs are performed on this 2 disc show.

Ronnie Peterson

I first saw Ronnie Peterson at Syndrome, a Jerusalem rock-and-blues bar that's still open today. He was amazing - when it comes to rockin' blues, Ronnie Peterson is in a league of his own. A powerful stage presence. The second time I saw him was at the Camelot in Tel Aviv, jamming with an American blues musician who Ronnie brought over to Israel (he still does that - he's become our "blues coordinator!"). Ronnie got to Israel thanks to Shalom Hanoch in the 80's. Hanoch needed a guitarist for his band. Ronnie fell in love with Israel and hasn't looked back. He's played guitar with so many Israeli musicians that I couldn't list them all. He whips out a blistering solo on a Danny Robas cd. I have two of his three official cds. The first is Ronnie playing with some of the best Israeli musicians. You can recognize them on the cover. The second cd, Red Alert, was released in 2004. The title track, Red Alert, is a blues rocker with lyrics about the tension on the streets that we all feel in Israel since the Intifada started in 2000. It works -- while other Israeli musicians try to feed us their political views, Peterson sees Israel from somewhere in the center - "It makes no sense, hey, let's go build a fence."

Here's another thing to like about Ronnie Peterson -- he and his band go overseas and do a damn good job of representing Israel. Many Israeli musicians and artists go overseas and trash Israel. Ronnie is our rockin' ambassador. His website has much more about him.

Arik Einstein

Israel wouldn't be Israel without Arik Einstein. His music had the same impact on Israel as The Beatles did in the US and England. In a small country like Israel (especially in the 60's, 70's and 80's when Arik Einstein reigned), you've no idea what that means! His music will always be a part of Israel's collective memory.


I first heard Danny Robas on a quiet weekend in a quiet place. He's a very talented songwriter for starters. Danny Robas plays acoustic guitar on all of his cds. His voice is powerful and full of emotion. He's known to be a fan of The Beatles - Paul McCartney would be impressed with this Israeli melody-maetro!

His first cd, Frames, is cool in that in begins and ends with an orchestral piece. The 2nd, Names and Faces, was a hit. "Lo Nirdemet Tel Aviv" ("Tel Aviv Never Sleeps") carried the weight and the rest of the songs held their own. Next comes Path To Happiness - which did even better than Names and Faces and sold over 100,000 copies! Its one of the most melodic cds I've ever heard. "B'guf Rishon" ("Personally") was the follow-up to his previous hit. One of the songs is about John Lennon. I like the text that Robas added in the cd booklet. It lets you know where the artist was in life when he wrote the lyrics and music. Like with Mashina's last cd, we see an artist who's no longer an up-and-coming kid doing things for the first time. It adds a lot to the music when the artist is communicative in other forms on the cd!

The next 2 (here's a chance to pull out the dictionary and learn some Hebrew if you can't read them!) were well received and Robas kept up his style of good acoustic guitar, an emotional voice and songs that hit hard. Last is Danny Robus' greatest hits cd. As a bonus, it has the unreleased song "Hatzaga" ("Show") and a live version of his hit "Lo Nirdemet Tel Aviv" from the Arad Festival, 1989. The cd has incredible artwork - a picture for each song. I'll keep picking up more of his stuff whenever I see it in the music store. I have 7 of Robas' 8 cds (7 original cds + 1 greatest hits) so far.

Yehudit Ravitz

The word angelic best describes Yehudit Ravitz's voice. She's conquered the world of quiet songs and that of rock'n'roll. Best of all, she has kept busy over the years - 16 cd's in a recording career that began in 1978. The self-titled "Yehudit Ravitz" is her second album and was released in 1979. Her first album was with other musicians, so this is Yehudit's first solo recording. "Yehudit Ravitz" is a collection of songs the young singer had performed up until that time. The first song on the cd, "Lakachta Et Yadi B'Yadcha" ("You've Shown Me" according to the cd or "You Took My Hand" in free translation), written by Yaakov Rotblit and arranged by Matti Caspi, is as popular and listened to today as it was in the late 70's in Israel. Other still popular songs include "Ha-Yalda Hachi Yafa Ba-Gan" ("The Prettiest Girl in the Kindergarten"), "Slichot" ("Reflections") and Ehud Manor's gem, "Mishehu" ("Somebody").

On the day I bought the next cd (this was how I ended a great day at the beach) - "Once and Forever", with Yoni Rechter - I found myself watching that same performance on TV by luck of channel-flipping. It was recorded live in 1979. It was the opening song that gave it away (ha!) and the black and white video (yep, in 1979). A young Gidi Gov and a younger David Broza came on stage for one song on the video.

"Galuy V'Ne'elam" ("Covered And Discovered"), released in 1980, was a huge stepping stone in Yehudit's career. Her voice is powerful and confident and she wrote most of the music. "Arba Lifnot Boker" ("Four In The Morning"), "Shir L'lo Shem" ("Song With No Name") - written by Shalom Hanoch, "Kmo El Mayim" ("As To Water") - written by Yaakov Rotblit - stand out in this cd.

"Mila Tova V'Osef Shirim" ("Just The Right Word And Other Selected Songs") was released in 1982, a year after Yehudit's first solo tour. I love the mellow, romantic feel to her early period - its symbolizes an innocent Israel not yet 35 years young. And this young but successful singer has a greatest hits cd while still in her 20's.

"Bo L'Rio" ("Come To Rio") is next. This is Ravitz's Brazilian album - Brazilian rhythms with lyrics translated into Hebrew. If you like Brazilian music, you'll enjoy "Bo L'Rio". The rhythms are balanced by Yehudit's voice and I like how it wasn't over-produced as it could have been.

"Derech Ha-Meshi" ("Silk Road"), released in 1984, opens with the rock song "Ad Ktze Ha-Maslul" ("Up To The Limit"). The title track, "Derech Ha-Meshi", has a catchy tune. I love the melodic, chilled out feel to Yehudit's songs. "L'mi Sh'Aino Maamin" ("For The Unbeliever") - written by Lea Goldberg - and "Vidui" ("Confession") are both popular songs from "Derech Ha-Meshi".

"Ba M'Ahava" ("Coming From Love"), released in 1987, was her biggest hit - this is where Yehudit Ravitz became a rock star in her own right. Eight songs that count! "Ba M'Ahava", "Rehavat Ha-Rikudim" ("The Dance Floor"), "Shabatot V'Hagim" ("Weekends And Holidays"), "Pachad" ("Fear"), "Sof La-Sipur" ("End Of The Story") are the five biggest hits here. This is where Yehudit flew to the top in Israel. She perfected her rock-voice over the last few cd's and Israelis loved it.

The follow-up to "Ba M'Ahava", "Shem" ("Name"), was released three years later in 1990. Ravitz spent a lot of the time in between performing. "Nashim Yoshvot Ba-Cheder" ("Women Sitting In A Room"), "M'Shana L'Shana" ("From Year To Year") and "Africa" are my favorites. I remember hearing "Ba M'Ahava" and "Shem" on the radio all the time in the early 90's.

"V'Meod Lo Pashut Lichakot" ("And Its Not At All Easy To Wait") was released in 1993. The mix of rock and quiet melodies are the signature of a mature, confident artist. Ravitz does both with style.

Her next cd, "Ad Lean Sh'Halev Lokeach Otcha" ("Wherever The Heart Takes You"), is a collection of live performances from 1994 and was released that year. The first song is a dance-pop version of the song Coming From Love with Gidi Gov. The biggest surprise for me was the cover of Mashina's "Ba'Rehovot Shelanu" - its great hearing one favorite play the music of another favorite. I'd love to hear Yehudit Ravitz cover more Israeli rock anthems. There isn't one song here that isn't well known in Israel - if you like live music and want a way to get into Yehudit Ravitz's music, "Wherever The Heart Takes You" is a great place to start. I appreciate that the cd booklet lists the source of each song.

"Greatest Hits 1" was also released in 1994. By then, Yehudit Ravitz had a rich catalog of songs and was Israel's hottest female singer. The cd has a rock feel to it especially when compared to "Greatest Hits 2". Good thinking on the part of the record company -- both "Greatest Hits" titles have a unique feel to them and were thoughtfully put together. "Greatest Hits 1" doesn't abandon the soft and mellow - it includes songs like "Slichot" (a Jewish prayer), "Vidui" ("Confession"), "Mishehu" ("Someone") and closes with "Ha-Yalda Hachi Yafa Ba-Gan" ("The Prettiest Girl In The Kindergarten"). "Ayze Min Yalda" ("What A Girl") was released in 1997 and has a few songs written by Yehudit. This is her most alternative-style cd in that she lets herself try different styles. Fast songs, synthesizers and a relaxing instrumental.

"Ga'agua" ("Longing") was released in 2000. The artwork is colorful and the songs are reflective. The songs aren't as popular as those on her previous cds, but they're more chilled out and even "stoney" as we Americans like to call it. "Longing" comes with a bonus disc of 5 songs that has songs every Israeli is familiar with. My favorite is Ravitz's cover of Corinne Allal's "Zan Nadir" ("Rare Species"). The other 4 songs are classic duets with Arik Einstein, Gidi Gov, Rami Kleinstein and there's even a powerful cover of Boaz Sharabi's "Halevay".

"Yehudit Ravitz And The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra" is a masterpiece! I love hearing my favorite musicians do orchestral versions of their stuff. The Orchestral Tommy that The Who did in the 70's is the best of these and Ravitz is no less deserving. Released in 2001, the cd artwork looks classical and Sarit Hadad joins in on the song "Mishehu" ("Someone"). "Sof La-Sipur" ("End Of The Story") is the most powerful tune. "Greatest Hits 2" is actually her 3rd collection (including "Mila Tova V'Osef Shirim"). There are so many to choose from and the people who compiled it went for a mellow rhythm.

"Ir Ktana" (Small Town) was released in 2007. The cd comes with a bonus disc of mostly duets. Many of Israel's best poets and lyricists wrote songs for "Ir Ktana" - yet another contribution to Israeli culture by Yehudit Ravitz.

"Ba M'Ahava - Caesaria 2008" is a live cd - two discs - of Yehudit Ravitz's July 3, 2008 Caesaria show. I applaud the music label for giving us an entire concert and not one of those 10 song tour compilations. We are treated to 28 tracks (really 29 songs as Eretz Tropit Yafa and Bo L'Rio is one long seven minute medley). Caesaria 2008 isn't over produced - Ravitz's voice is raw and you can hear her improvising and working hard to hit all the notes. This is what we want in a live album. The cd was released in September 2008 (fast!) and I bought it in Beersheva in February 2009. This cd was also released as a dvd.

These are all of Yehudit Ravitz's main studio, live and compilation cd's. Of course she has appeared with other Israeli musicians on dozens of cd's. There are a few dvd's that I will eventually get.

Gidi Gov

Gidi Gov's done a lot - from music to theatre to TV. These are his two most popular cds. These songs rock! They were both big hits. Today Gidi Gov has a successful TV show called Layla Gov. In a small country like Israel, entertainment and content-creation is more fluid in that you're not stuck doing one shtick forever. If you want to move around, you can. Yonatan Geffen, another of many examples, wrote some of the most beautiful poems and lyrics that Israel has to offer, yet he's just as well known for his popular Friday piece in Maariv that Dave Barry would be proud of!

Corinne Allal

The album Antarctica was a hit in the late 80's. I remember hearing it in 12th grade before I knew much Hebrew. The song "Antarctica" was one of a few great songs on Corinne Allal's most popular piece of work. "Eretz Ktana Im Safam" ("Small Land With A Moustache"), "Shir L'Shira" ("A Song To Sing") and "Ha-Taasiya Ha-Avirit" ("The Powerful Industry") are my favorites. The last song is about the Lavi Project, an air force jet that Israel almost made in the 80's and the piano melody is as interesting to follow as the lyrics. In February 2005, I bought her greatest hits cd, "Corinne Allal - The Collection". I love it! "Shir B'Kef" ("A Fun Song"), "Zan Nadir" ("Rare Species"), "Sfat Imi" ("My Mother Tongue") and "Ein Li Eretz Acheret" ("I Have No Other Land") stand out. The above Antarctica songs are mixed in as well. I wish Roger Daltrey would learn Hebrew just so he could sing "Shir B'Kef"!!

Tislam

Throughout the 80's, Tislam wrote the book of rock'n'roll like no other Israeli band before them. Their Hebrew version of Smokin' In The Boys' Room, "Meashim Biyahad", finally brought Israel some good homegrown rebellious rock. I remember hearing that song in 12th grade while smokin' in the boys' room! Radio Hazak was originally released in 1981 (and in 1995 on cd). The song Radio Hazak ("Loud Radio") is as popular as Meashim Biyahad. "Tnu Li Rock'n'roll" ("Gimme Rock'n'roll") is a cool tribute to rock'n'roll. "Lirot Ota HaYom" ("To See Her Today") is another great tune from Radio Hazak. It finishes with five songs in English - including Loud Radio, Smokin' In The Boys' Room and Gimme Rock'n'roll. Tislam rocks in Hebrew and English!

"Nagnu Achshav!" ("Play It!") is their greatest hits cd. 18 songs. Of these songs, "Yesh Lach Oti" ("You Have Me") and "K'sh'At Bocha At Lo Yafa" ("You're Not Pretty When You Cry") are the most popular. Tislam will always be played on Israeli radio stations and their music, their style and their rockstar image paved the way for Mashina to become rock stars in the 90's.




Nurit Galron

Nurit Galron is one of Israel's most successful and prolific singers since the 70's. She and Yehudit Ravitz are made of the same special singing material -- and they've even toured together. (What I would do to see both of them perform together!!) Galron started out with a bang -- her first album was one of the most memorable of the late 70's. "Nurit Galron" was released in 1978. One of the songs, "Shalechet" is a song her mother sang a generation before in an Israeli army band.

Songs In The Middle Of The Night ("Shirim B'Emtza Ha-Layla"), released in 1981, is a collection of poems written by Natan Zach. Many of these songs are still a part of Nurit's reportoire. Slow, thoughtful songs.

"Sympatia" ("Sympathy") is a collection of previously unreleased Galron recordings that has a jazzy feel to it. One of the songs is a Nomi Shemer poem. "Yesh Li Sympatia" ("I Have Sympathy") is the most popular song on "Sympatia". This is a favorite! "Ani Raiti Yofi" ("I Saw Beauty") is a romantic look at Israel in the early 80's and was released in 1982, a few months after Sympatia.

"N'Giya Achat Raka" ("A Gentle Touch") was released in 1984. The title track is a popular song but many of the other songs are new to me. This was the hardest of Galron's discography to find. I finally bought it in March 2008 in a box set of four of her cd's.

"Mashehu Ba-Levava" ("Heartfelt") was released in 1986 and was Nurit's first crack at rock and blues. "Baalat Ha-Halomot - Blues" ("Dreamer's Blues") and "Ata Harei Yodea" ("As You Know") are my two favorites here. "Mashehu Ba-Levava - Nurit Galron B'Hofa'ah" ("Heartfelt - Nurit Galron Live") is a live cd that sums up Galron's 80's era music. It finishes with the fast rhythm of "Ani Eshtageya" ("I'll Go Crazy"). Ilan Vertzberg plays on this 1988 release. He's worked with Nurit throughout her career - composing and arranging the music as well as playing electric guitar.

"Tzipor Ha-Nefesh" ("The Soul Bird" and a play on words from something close to "dearest wish"), with Yossi Banai, is based on a bestselling children's book. Yossi leads into each song with a short reading and Nurit sings with lots of help from Ilan Virtzberg who produced the album and played most of the instruments. For those who follow Israeli rock, Yossi Banai is the father of Mashina frontman Yuval Banai. The Banai family is one of Israel's most prolific contributors to Israeli culture.

"Ahareinu Ha-Mabul" ("The Storm Behind Us"), released in 1989, is perhaps Galron's most rock'n'roll cd. Galron wrote seven of the ten songs. The Russian-Israeli musician Arkada Duchin worked on a few of the songs. Yehuda Poliker and Yehudit Ravitz also contributed. The title track, "Ahareinu Ha-Mabul" is the most popular song here. It ends with a quiet tune, "Alumat Ha-Or" ("Ray Of Light").

"B'Toch Ha'Searot" ("Within The Storms") was released in 1992. I recognized many of these songs from the radio. A bunch of Israel's best musicians appear on "B'Toch Ha'Searot" -- Corinne Allal, Aviv Gefen, Arkadi Duchin, Yehudit Ravitz and Yoni Rechter. Nice booklet!

"Nurit Galron - Classic - With The Raanana Symphonette Orchestra" was released in 1995. Galron sings along with the classics (Shubert, Bach, Hendel, Mozart) with a few by Israel's greatest poets -- Nomi Shemer and Ehud Manor. My favorite is a cover of the Beatles "She's Leaving Home".

"Ha-Makom Ha-Hoo" ("That Place") was released in 1996. The songs were written by Israel's best songwriters - Shlomo Artzi, Aviv Gefen, Arkadi Duchin, Rami Fortis, Ilan Vertzberg and Ben Artzi. The lyrics are deep and the music, darker than Nurit's other material, reflects this.

"Asif" ("Collection") is a 1997 collection of Nurit Galron's songs until that point. The liner notes say that a few of the songs were recorded live and one has a fun Latin beat to it.

"L'hitraot Motek" ("Goodbye, Dear") was released in 2000 and was produced by Mashina keyboardist and saxaphonist Avner Hodorov. Ronit Shachar and Leah Shabbat feature prominently on this cd. With such excellent musicians onboard, its no wonder the last song is a beautiful instrumental. The other songs also carry an upbeat rhythm. The Best of Nurit Galron came out in the summer of 2005. Two discs with a nice booklet that has comments on many of the songs. I got it and love it, it takes you on musical journey of Galron's varied styles of music.

"Ma Sh'Ha-Shayim Notnim" ("What Heaven Offers") was released in April 2006 - her first studio album since 2000! "Sfinoteya" ("Her Ships") is a catchy tune about traveling. "Shir Ivri" ("A Hebrew Song") is a good song and will become popular. So will a few others - Natan Zach, Yaakov Rotblit, Meir Goldberg and other established Israeli poets wrote the songs.

The bottom five cd's are a four disc box set of Nurit Galron titled "The Original Albums". I bought it in Beersheva in March 2009. It includes the original LP versions of Sympathy, "Ani Raiti Yofi", "N'Giya Achat Raka" and "Mashehu Ba'Levava". When they take music from LP to disc, its often remixed a bit. Some instruments come out stronger than others. Every time I listen to these four, I hear the subtle differences between the album and cd versions. I have album versions of a few cd's of The Who and The Beatles - the differences on these are even more pronounced. This nice box set is what it took for me to complete my Nurit Galron collection. There is one live album of hers that hasn't been released on cd.

I was lucky enough to see Nurit Galron live on March 19, 2005. The show was at Kibbutz Eilot - a five minute drive from Eilat. She played 18 songs in the 75 minute show and I recognized about half of them. Ilan Vertzberg, her guitarist, was very impressive. One of his solos had the crowd of 300 drooling! I hope to see her again. I have all but two cd's of Nurit's by my count and each time I'm at a music store, I look for them.

Tzvika Pik

Tzvika Pik is Israel's disco hippy from the 70's. He has a high-pitched voice and a "still dating girls young enough to be his daughter" image to match! Tzvika Pik crashed onto the Israeli music scene in 1971 when he was chosen to play the role of Claude in the Israeli version of Hair. He became an instant star in tiny Israel. When I went to see Hair in Israel in the early 90's, I wondered who the singer behind Claude was! Years later I found out it was Pik -- they kept the original Hebrew soundtrack and there's no need to remake it.

I like the spacey cover, aptly titled "Hamra'ah" ("Blast Off"). I love the trippy-disco-rock feel to the music. My girlfriend bought "Maala Maala" for me in April 2005. This two disc live set was released in 2004 and comes with a cool double-sided poster of Tzvika shaking shaking hands and posing with everyone from Yitzhak Shamir to Shimon Peres to Ehud Manor. The colors and artwork are as 70's as it gets - kick ass graphics. By 2004 he was in his 50's but you can't tell by his voice - he hits the high notes just like a 22 year old. His interaction with the audience is funny. Visit his website - its got cool graphics and pictures!

The Triple Collection is Pik's most important release - it has all of what you need as far as studio releases in one 3 cd set. I love listening to the songs on Hamra'ah in their original context and order - it starts and ends in the 70's. The Triple Collection starts with Diva and gives you the essential songs of his career - 70's to recent. Psychedelic cheese pop is a funny way to describe his music, but I'm a fan so who'm I to laugh?

"Shirim Sh'Ohavim" ("Songs You Love") is a 15 track collection of Pik's love songs. Some are new and some go back to the 70's. I like that its released by independent Israeli label, "Ha-Tav Ha-Shmini" ("The 8th Note"). Though it doesn't have a booklet inside, it cost $5 and is a good presentation of some of his best songs.

Matti Caspi

Matti Caspi is one of Israel's most prolific creative minds. He initiated and participated in too many musical projects to list. A few of his cd's have a Brazilian flavour to them. "Eretz Tropit Yafa" ("Pais Tropical - Songs From Brazil") was arranged and produced by Matti Caspi. Ehud Manor (who else!) translated these rhythmic Brazilian songs into Hebrew. Caspi, Yehudit Ravitz, Corinne Allal, and a few other Israeli musicians sing and play the music. An Israeli classic from 1977. According to Mooma, "Eretz Tropit Yafa" had quite an impact on Israeli music at the time.

"Eretz Tropit Mishaga'at" ("Crazy Tropical Land") is the studio version of a Brazilian music show that Caspi put together in 1987. Some of the songs are the same as on "Eretz Tropit Yafa". Ehud Manor takes care of the lyrics. More relaxed Brazilian rhythms. Matti Caspi continued to release Latin American flavored cd's over the years. Its Israeli world music!


Shalom Hanoch is considered Israel's best blues musician. He's been rockin' for decades. This is a cd of quiet songs. Nueba Pop Festival 1978 was Israel's answer to Woodstock! A pop festival in the Sinai desert. 20 tracks of singing and stage accouncements. I really like this cd - some of Israel's best musicians from the 70's and until today are here - Mati Caspi, Yehudit Ravitz, Dani Litani, Zvika Pik, Esther Shamir, Korin Allal, David Broza and Shalom Hanoch. Almost all of the songs mention the Sinai, the Negev and being in nature. As a Woodstock collector, this is cool to have!

Rafi Persky is a guitarist who's first cd, "Kama Pe'amim Safarta Ad Eser" ("How Many Times Did You Count To 10"), had a bunch of hits. He's disappeared and reappeared over the years, but this 1989 cd made a difference in Israeli rock. Songs like "Kama Pe'amim" and "Million Dollar" can still be heard on the radio. Persky's rebellious lyrics and well anchored guitar work were ahead of their time. Etnix showed up on the Israeli music scene in 1989 and made a huge impact in no time. As their name suggests, they mixed rock with dance, mizrachit ("eastern") and everything else in between. "Maximum Etnix" is their greatest hits. "Keturna Masala", with Zahava Ben, helped Etnix and Ben reach out to new audiences. "Jessica", "Tutim" ("Berries"), "Tzipor Midbar" ("Desert Bird"), and "Moshita" are only a few of the hits here. Listening to it really brings back fun memories of the 90's.

I've read that the story of Hava Alberstein is the story of Israel. This woman with a beautiful voice recorded her first album is the 60's. The only cd I have of hers - so far - is a greatest hits cd that was released in 1992.

Ariel Zilber is a part of the Israeli music scene since the late 60's. This cd (if you can read a bit of Hebrew, try to pronounce it!) was all over the radio in the late 80's and early 90's. I especially remember the song "Milliard Sinim" ("A Billion Chinese"), a funny look at the world from the eyes of tiny Israel. Oshik Levi had some huge hits in the world of Israeli mellow 70's rock. "Ze M'Kfar" is my favorite - I'd heard it on the radio through the years and in March 2005 finally took the plunge and bought his greatest hits. Impressive body of work.

Noa, or Achinoam Nini, is one of Israel's most internationally acclaimed vocalists. This is a bootleg - which means I'll have to buy some official cds as well now! Its from a jazz festival in Mendrisio, Switzerland, July 6, 2001. She sings in English with a few songs in Hebrew. I recognized one of the songs - I Will, an early Beatles love song. Cool!

In 1990 or 1991, I saw the Israeli version of the musical Hair. The show, in Jerusalem, was a blast - I love the movie and even have the soundtrack for the Broadway version. I didn't know this then, but the music from the show I saw was taken from Israel's first production of Hair, which premiered in June 1970. And what young Israeli musician plays the lead role in Hair? Tzvika Pik - he became a star overnight. Ehud Manor translated Hair from English into Hebrew. And did a great job - the songs flow and Manor's Hebrew lyrics preserve the spirit of the original lyrics. I hope there will one day be a Hebrew version of Tommy!

The Best Israeli Songs Of The 70's

I saw this 3 disc box set in a music store in Eilat and couldn't resist. What a collection of songs! Too many musicians to list. My only criticism - there's no booklet with information and stories about the music. I recognized many of the musicians - some of them are on this page. The music has that happy and mellow 70's feel to it. An Israeli army band's ("Lahakat Ha-Nahal") original version of "Shir L'Shalom" ("Song For Peace") is among the many songs here that have been covered by other Israeli musicians over the years. A great way to visit Israel in the 70's!

The Israeli Songs Of The 70's (Volume 2)

I found this in Beersheva in March 2009. This is a continuation of the previous collection. I wasn't sure when I bought it, but a quick check on the label's website confirmed this. Israeli 70's music was influenced by what was going on in the US and UK, but not too much. The songs are homemade Israeli folk music with a mellow, stoney 70's feel to them. The cover hinted at this and I was hoping for a second and deeper collection of Israel 70's music. These collections of Israeli music are the way to go - music stores here are full of them, they're usually a bargain and they introduce you to a bunch of musicians at once.

Israeli Folk Music

Jerusalem! 22 songs of love to a special place. "The Beautiful Songs of Jerusalem" includes the original version of Jerusalem of Gold and an orchestral version. Yoram Gaon's voice stands out - he sings three songs here. The cd booklet has the lyrics in Hebrew as well as an English transliteration. Nomi Shemer was one of Israel's most prolific poets. Her most famous song is Jerusalem of Gold. I bought this double cd (50 songs!) to hear some of the rest. I recognized a bunch of them. Something to listen to on holidays.


Putumayo released this cd of Israeli music in 2007 while we were in South America and Jamaica so I bought it as soon as we got home. Etti Ankri, David Broza, Rona Kenan, Gidi Gov, Tea Packs, The Idan Raichal Project and others are represented in this compilation. So much of what people hear about the Middle East has to do with the ongoing conflicts. What people miss is the rich culture Israelis and Arabs are enjoying.


Mor Kardasi - The Beauty And The Seas

We bought this cd in November 2008 - our first of Ladino music. Ladino is a Jewish language which is a mix of Spanish, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Turkish and even Greek. Ladino was developed in the Middle Ages. Mor has a powerful voice. Ladino music has the haunting ambience of Celtic music with the romantic touch found in Spanish and Hebrew music. We're so impressed that we hope to grow this part of the collection!

Yasmin Levy - Mano Suave

On April 13, 2009 we saw Yasmin Levy perform in Jerusalem. We loved every minute of it and it was a great reason to get us to Jerusalem during Passover (and Easter). Her band was excellent as well - they bring together a unique sound and its amazing how these Ladino musicians and singers are helping to preserve a Jewish language. I bought this cd at the show. We spent the rest of our time walking and touring Jerusalem and got a lot of exercise out of it. Yasmin Levy's music is as authentic Jerusalem as it gets.


We were in the Old City of Jerusalem during Passover and the Jewish Quarter was one big festival! Religious families celebrating the holiday. We'll never forget the atmosphere we felt there. Klezmer and Jewish music performed live at Kikar Hurba (the center of the Jewish Quarter) and just outside the Kotel. So when I saw an outdoor stand of music at Kikar Hurba, I couldn't resist! What I found was a treasure chest of Jewish music at 10-20 shekels a piece.

I bought these four cd's. I've known of the Piamenta brothers for years and was glad to get my hands on two of their cd's. The other two looked interesting. They're all fun to listen to - there's nothing like Jewish ambience!

Eyal Golan - Ze Ani

I finally got an Eyal Golan cd as a birthday gift in August 2009. Ze Ani - "Its Me" - is his latest album. He's the biggest thing in Mizrachi music this decade so I was curious. Every musician in Israel has shared a stage or song with him and those who haven't are awaiting their chance. He's had enough ups and downs in his career that it seems obvious he's headed towards "legendary status". I don't know much about Mizrachit, but I know this.

The cd sold 160,000 copies and was downloaded 600,000 times via cellular phones (legally!) in Israel - a record in Israel for legit downloads. As for the music? I'm new to the genre and immediately caught onto why he's doing so well. Each song has a reason to be on the cd and the rhythms and melodies are upbeat. Golan's voice is the voice of Mizrachit.

World Music Forever was created by Kenny Sahr. Be sure to visit Sixties Collection and my personal site.