Monday, January 07, 2008

Shlomo Artzi

Music is the universal language of mankind.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Shlomo Artzi
From Wikipedia

Shlomo Artzi (Hebrew: שלמה ארצי‎) is a popular Israeli folk rock singer-songwriter and a composer.

He was born on November 26, 1949 and spent his childhood in Ramat Israel.

During his career, he has sold more than 1.5 million records in Israel.

His parents were survivors of the Shoa (Jewish Holocaust) in Europe/Germany and their memories deeply influenced him and his sister.

When Artzi was 8 years old, his family moved to northern Tel Aviv.

After enjoying success in the Israeli Naval Corps Entertainment Group (Lahakat Kheil Ha'Yam) and winning the 1970 Israeli Song Festival, Artzi's singing career had some ups and downs, which culminated in a string of records that failed to sell well in the late 70's.
In 1977, almost ready to give up on singing, he wished to make one last record "the way a record should be made", and was allowed to do so by the record company.
The success of this album, "A Man Losing His Way" (Gever Holekh Le'ibud), persuaded Artzi to continue with his singing career, which rose throughout the 1980's and reached unprecedented peaks for a musical artist in Israel with the release of the albums "Dance" (Tirkod) and "Restless Night" (Layla Lo Shaket) which sold tens of thousands, and with the live shows that accompanied these albums, which would sell out the largest parks and theatres in Israel.
His later album sales, in excess of a hundred-thousand per album, and the immensely popular live shows that followed each album, made him the most popular artist in Israel; Based on album sales and gross income from live shows, he is the most successful singer in Israel.
Artzi has sold a total of over a million and a half albums, an unprecedented achievement in the Israeli music industry.
He is well known for his marathon live shows, some of which last over two or even three hours.

Early life

Artzi's schoolmates thought he would become an actor, not a musician, as he was known for his acting skills at primary school.
However, at the age of 12 he started playing the guitar and singing in a boy scouts group and at friends' parties.
At age 16, he began writing and composing songs.

During his military service, he was first recruited to the Artillery Corps, and after serving for a year and a half, he joined a successful army entertainment group, Lehakat Kheil Hayam (Naval Corps Entertainment Group).
During his service in the group, he took part in the programs "And On The Third Day" and "Rhapsody in Blue", alongside other soon-to-be Israeli celebrities, such as Rivka Zohar, Dov Glikman, Avi Uriah, Riki Gal, and more.
He was yet to stand out during the first program, but by the second program he became the lead singer and one of the main stars.
He sang lead vocals on several songs on the Group's LPs.

In 1970 Artzi had the opportunity to take part in the Israeli Song Festival, a prestigous song contest held every year.
Still in military service and wearing a military uniform, he sang Pitom Achshav, Pitom Hayom (Suddenly Now, Suddenly Today), also known as Ahavtiha (I loved her).
The song was written by Tirza Atar, and composed by Ya'akov Holander.
Surprisingly, he won the first prize.
The song was included in his first album that came out in 1970, simply titled "Shlomo Artzi".
The song won first place in the annual Kol-Israel chart-toppers countdown, and Artzi was awarded the title of Best Singer of the Year.

After the Army, he worked hard to become a well-known musician and sang wherever he could.

Musical career

In 1975 he was selected to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest.
The selected song was At Va'Ani (You and Me), written by the legendary Israeli songwriter Ehud Manor, and composed by Artzi himself.
To seize the moment, Artzi's record label preassured him to record a completely new record in less than 2 weeks.
However, At Va'Ani didn't win the contest, and the album was a big disappointment.
This marked the beginning of the worst era of Artzi's carreer.
During the next several years, Artzi released several records that failed to sell well, and produced very little hit singles.
Later, most of these albums would become rare collectibles, as they were never released again. These include, among others, Miskhakey 26, Shlomo Artzi Shar Ve'Mesaper Al Ian HaGamad, Yesh Li Isha Yalda Ve'Lambreta Ve'Ani Gar Be'Tel-Aviv, Romansa U'Piyut, and a selection of his best songs from the period 1970-1973 which was released in 1976.

In 1977, almost ready to give up on a singing career, Artzi wished to record one last album "the way a record should be made", and was allowed to do so by the record company.

He recorded He Lost His Way, a sort of last good-bye to the business.
Nevertheless, the album was a big success and revived Artzi's career, which from this moment on would rise, and keep rising, to unprecedented heights in the Israeli music industry.

In 1979 he recorded Drachim (Ways), with a fresher style.
His 1981 LP Chatzot (Midnight) was the second part of Drachim.

In 1980 Artzi started his own radio show on Israel's Army Radio, Galey Tsahal.
In this show, he talked about the week's headlines and tells interesting stories he has heard or seen during the week.
Od Lo Shabat (It isn't Saturday yet) is still broadcasted every Friday at 13:10 local time.

His records Tirkod (Dance, 1984), "Layla Lo Shaket" (Restless Night, 1986), and Chom Yuli August (July August Heat, 1988), are milestones of Israeli 80's songwriting.
The albums sold in excess of a hundred thousand copies, an unprecedented achievement in the Israeli music industry, and the live shows that accompanied the albums would sell out even the largest parks and theaters in Israel.

1992
Shlomo Artzi - Moon שלמה ארצי - ירח



In 1995 the best Israeli musicians recorded together a CD in memory of Yitzhak Rabin, named Shalom Chaver.
Shlomo Artzi played two songs during the memorial service, which later became anthems of those days --Haish Ha'hu (That Man)

Shlomo Artzi - That Man שלה ארצי - האיש ההוא



Uf Gozal (Fly Little One) ,which is written by Arik Einstein and Miki Gavrielov.

Shlomo is singing this song with Gidi Gov.

Gidi Gov(Hebrew: גידי גוב, born Gideon Gov: גדעון גוב) (born in August 4th, 1950) is an influential Israeli singer, entertainer and actor of Israeli cinema and television.

Uf Gozal Shlomo Artzi and Gidi Gov


In 1996 he released an album called Shnayim (Two), which has sold 160,000 copies (4x platinum).
The most notable songs in this CD were the title track, sung with Israeli singer Rita, "Menagev Lach Et Hadmaot" (Wiping Your Tears) and "Ze Ma Shenish'ar" (That's All That Is Left).


Shlomo Artzi - Ze Ma Shenish'ar



Containing his best love songs, Artzi released Ahavtihem (I Have Loved Them) four years later. His album Tzima'on (Thirst), which was released in 2002, sold 150,000 and is one of Israel's bestsellers.

At the end of 2006 Shlomo Artzi announced his new album Shfuim, to be released in the spring of 2007.
A new single from this album, "HaAmiti", became available during the first days of January, 2007.

Shlomo Artzi-Island (Iceland) שלמה ארצי-איסלנד-שפויים

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10 Comments:

Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I'm surprised I've never heard of him. Interesting dude.

I'm listening to one of the clips just now. I can't understand the lyrics, naturally, but the melody is captivating.

Kind of James Taylor-y.

January 07, 2008 5:20 AM  
Blogger Deb @ Sugarfused said...

Raggedy, I love that you bring music to your weblog that I'd otherwise never know about. It reminds me of what an isolated world I live in lol!

Have a great Monday!

January 07, 2008 7:28 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I Raggedy, I'm with the crowd today. I hadn't heard of him before either! Thank you.
Stay cool,
..

January 08, 2008 12:05 AM  
Blogger Gattina said...

I don't know him, but he has a very nice voice and also is a very handsome man !

January 08, 2008 7:13 AM  
Blogger cube said...

I always learn something when I come by here :-)

January 08, 2008 9:57 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Raggedy ~ I have never heard of this guy before... thanks for the bio and YouTube clips. ~ jb///

January 08, 2008 8:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

If you receive the cable TV station "Link"; it has some great World Music and showcases artists we're probably never hear of otherwise. It's worth a look.

January 09, 2008 8:21 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Nice stuff. Pressed for time right now, so I'll be back to catch the rest. Thanks, dear heart.

January 11, 2008 7:20 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

I have to admit I have never heard of him but there are many talented artists that were never know or get to hear.
Thabks for the ears up.

January 14, 2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard him sing and of him, but not in such interesting detail as you've posted here. You're a terrific researcher. Wow, I learned a lot.

Raggedy, this is such a treat.I LOVE music!
My first blog was based on music and I used to have "Tuesday Afternoon" Tunes...


(This is my first time here or I haven't been here very often onlcy because I've not been blogging much. I've noticed your unique and VERY creative comment signature.)

On a different and much different note, your sister was beautiful. I'm sorry you lost her so young. Hugs,
Gel

January 28, 2008 8:42 PM  

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