Thursday, July 12, 2007

Joel's All Time Favorite Jewish Music songs

10. Oh Yerushalayim - Yehuda!
My favorite song from a very diverse artist. "Oh Yerushalayim your city is my destiny". Very meaningful lyrics and a very catchy tune.

9. Hinei Anochi- Tzlil V'zemer
A mid tempo beautiful classic from the choir always in MBC's shadow.

8. Hafachta- Diaspora
A great rock song from the first jewish rock band. Great guitar riffs. A true anthem about Jerusalem. Blue Fringe did a great cover, but not as good as the original.

7. Torah Hakdosha- Shloimy Daskal from the Siyum Hashas
Shloimy redid an MBD tune for the Siyum Hashas. With arguably the best voice in JM today he changed the lyrics for the event commerating the Holocaust and honoring all those who completed shas. Almost all the lyrics were changed, and it became an instant classic.

6.Sholom Aleichem- Regesh
An easy choice. This song is universal sung in most jewish homes at the friday night meal. Its a great nigun, and it has stood the test of time.

5. Torah Today- MBC
I could have chose many songs from Miami, but this is my favorite because it has a great sound and a good message.

4.Shema Yisroel- Shwekey
This combines the writing skills of Abie Rotenberg and the vocal skills of Shwekey. An unbelievable story and a heartfelt performance by Shwekey.

3.Im Eshkacheich- Shlomo Carlebach
Sung at almost every wedding its a true classic.

2. Chazak- Avraham Fried
His biggest hit! By far

1. Jerusalem Is Not For Sale- MBD
My favorite song from the king of JM, even if he steals some songs. The lyrics have their original meaning and a new meaning in 2007. Very catchy tune and very eloquent lyrics.

Obviously I left many great songs and artists out, but I had to pick my 10 favorites. I used songs from the most influential artists with a couple exceptions and didnt use one artist more than once.

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As per Joel's request, here's his top ten English songs (not including the ones from his original top ten). feel free to comment.

Joe Dimaggios Card
- Journeys
On Giant Shoulders - Avraham Fried
City of Gold - Blue Fringe
Deaf Man in the Shteeble - Country Yossi
BS'D - MBC
Let my people Go -MBD
In Israel- Sam Glaser
Chazak Ameinu - Voices for Israel
Jerusalem is Calling - Diaspora
Together - Yeedle

26 comments:

YK said...

Joel

Three songs of your list are in English. In my there's none. I can't say I dislike English JM songs but I definetly much prefer Hebrew lyrics. The reason is because when I hear a Jewish song in English it leads me to compare it to non-Jewish songs and I must say, their arrangemets and production are way better than ours. But the Hebrew songs are in a special category to me, so I can hear it without comparing it to other music. But do I like the songs you chose.

YK said...

In your list there's also Regesh. Do you like Abish Brodt as a singer? I can't stand more than one or two songs of him, after that my ears complain. Additionally, only one every fifty songs of Shmuel Brazil are good. The rest is just plain and boring, at least in their latest albums. You are a fan?

Joel said...

First of all Abish has a decent yeshivish voice that is an acquired taste. He is also the Agudah's first choice as the baal menagin at their events. Often music gets acclaim not because of the voice, but because the music. I.E. Carlebach, Yehuda!..
Shmuel Brazil is one the all time great jewish music composers on par with your crush YG. Here is a list of a few of R' Shmuel hits: Shmelke's niggun, Sholom Aliechem, Vyaazor, Uva Ltzion, Kichu imachem Devarim, Habet Na, Im Eshkachech( sung by Shwekey), Modeh Ani( the most overplayed song in JM the opener on jm in the am), Ka Ribbon, Hakol yoducha and Vyaatzmach among many others.
Sholom Aleichem is so popular many people just assume its a traditional song. Its transcendent how can you talk trash about it?

YK said...

I never said Brazil doesn't has hits. He did compose big hits. In the past. From his last 3 albums, (V'yatzmach, the one with gabay and a third one that I don't even remember the name) no hit or above-average songs. That supports what I said that one of fifty of his songs are good, the rest is plain. But again, he did compose great songs. That's not trash talk. All artists have their golden age and, with exceptions of course, fade away from the general's public taste. From what I see today, Brazil is fading away. So is Yerachmiel Begun (agree?). So did michoel streicher and so on. It's normal. Now, YG is still in his golden age. What he does, just works and people fall for it.

It's not easy to digest your comparison between Carlebach/ Yehuda and Brodt. Abish just sings (as you put it, "decently") Brazil's compositions; the "music" (opposed to the voice) is not his, it's Brazil's. Yehuda is, today, an exceptional vocalist in terms of vocal range, vocal dynamics, tuning and improvisation. He wasn't great at the beggining, I admit, but today he proved to be one of the most talented musicians, not only singer, of JM. His voice, arrangements, compositions, harmonies make his music popular. Abish sings. Decently. How can that be like Yehuda and Carlebach?

Kindly,
YK

Joel said...

My comparison of Abish to Carlebach and Yehuda is as follows: I like the music all three put out. Abish sings R' Shmuel Brazil's songs on Regesh. Those songs were not hits because Abish sang them they were hits because they were great melodies. Carlebach's, Yehuda's or Regesh songs are not great songs because of their vocal talents or productions. Thery're great becasue the tunes are hits. Yehuda has a good voice, but not a superstar voice of Shwekey or Fried. Carlebach's voice is average at best, but his songs are still supreme.

Joel said...

Michoel Striecher did not fade away. He made aliyah, and stopped putting out albums. If he wanted to be relevant he would be. Shmuel Brazil is still coming out with albums regularly with hits. Do you think Kichu imachem Divarim was not a huge hit? I do not think this equals fading away. Yerahmiel Begun continues to put out material. I think his newer albums are quality, but they dont compare to Torah Today, Klal Yisroel together and BS'D.
One thing Yerachmiel has in common with your boy Yossi Green is they love putting themselves in their songs. I think Yossi ruins them more. For me , he ruined Ohad and Gertner albums with his voice. His voice is bad and he should stick with what he does best, and keep his mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

my Favorites:
1-Rachem. 2-Yerushalaim is not for sale. 3-Lulei Toiroscho(carlbach). 4-Tanie. 5-Hamalach, shlomimy dachs. 6-Ad heino, avraham fried. 7-Chaim Dovid's niggun. 8- Meheiro, miami boys choir. 9-vnisgov. 10-hiney ma tov, avram fried
nobody can argue with 4

yitzik

Joel said...

yitzik, you can only use each singer once. its an unwritten rule.

YK said...

Joel

Humm, you have raised a good point, which I also think about. As much as I admire YG he's not perfect. He seems to have a need to be actively involved in the music, not only in producing and making the vocal arrangements, but also by filling in w/ his signature choir. That doesn't means his choir is good.

YG is very creative in vocal harmonies and arrangements. Eli Laufer is also very good at it, but Eli's choir is not him times 100, unlike YG. I don't think his choir totally ruins his songs, but it should definetly be improved - maybe by adding other people to the choir. Any chior that consists of only one person times 100 doesn't sounds right. Eli Gerstner did that in some songs of Chevra Acapella and it also sounded weird.

Yitzik
Interesting list and very consistent list. I can't argue with any of your choices, they are all well established classics. Tanie is indeed a huge one.

YK

YK said...

Hey Joel

I didn't realized b4 but you didn't included even one YG song. Don't you think he deserves at least one place there, maybe instead of Hafachta?

Tanie, Aderaba, Rotzoh, and many other options could bring YG's music to your list.

Personal vendetta against YG?

YK

Joel said...

I actually thought YG composed Chazak. I guess not. I like yossi's songs a lot, but one of his songs is not my top ten favorites. Although my favorite Yossi Green song is definitely Daagah Minayin. My issue with Yossi Green is not a personal one, rather a musical one. I dont like his voice, and the fact that he ruins great songs.

Joel said...

I definitely would not take out Hafachta. Jewish rock is a growing. Every list should have some diversity, and avoid using just the typical artists that play to seperate seating crowds. what about your omission of any english songs?
Most jewish music albums have an english song so put one in.

YK said...

Carlebach's voice was also below average but we all loved his music. The same logic should apply to YG.
What's the difference?

I already explained my omission of english songs in my first comment. That's just a personal thing.

Regarding the diversity of my list, I wasn't trying to make justice to all branches of JM. My list does not represent the full spectrum of JM, and I never intended to do that. It's just my personal favorites.

Did you hear Hisnaari?

Joel said...

You can not compare Carlebach's music to Yossi Green's. Carlebach's music is so far supreme to anything else in jm. Conservative and Reform jews sing Carlebach. Thats how big he is. No one outside of Jewish music enthusiasts know of YG. Carlebach sings his own songs. YG sells them to artists with good voices, and forces his way onto the song. His voice is an F while Carlebach's is a C. Its futile comparing anyone in JM to Carlebach just like its futile to compare any baller to MJ or any boxer to Ali.

Hisnaari is an ok song, but not a memorable one. Just a sidepoint: I think Avromi Flam is a moron. He came to a show in Chicago, and right after his first song he said," It's great to see Yiddishkiet outside New York" It's idiots like him who perpetuate negative New York stereotypes that civilization ends at the Brooklyn bridge.

Anonymous said...

5 all time underated english songs;1.pintele yid(sharf,schwebel,levine)2.thundering sounds(chaim mittelman)3.its gonna happen(simcha weber)4.crack of dawn(mbd)5.torah in e.y.(nochum stark)

YK said...

Joel

I also much prefer Carlebach's voice over YG's. However, I don't evaluate the quality of a song based on the song's popularity and appeal to the general public. Abi Meleibt was a hit and it's pointless; Ma Ma Ma is a hit and I don't like it so much. Even if YG's songs are not as popular as Carlebach's, I think they both contributed a lot for the growth of JM. Carlebach obviusly had a much bigger impact.

Avrumi's phrase was probably pointless, but I know him personally and happens to be that he's a very nice guy, who's broad minded and warm. I don't love his music, but I love Hisnaari. And he's from NJ (although that's = to NY in practical terms).

YK said...

Anonymous,

English songs seem to be more Joel's department. I don't really know these songs, except for Torah in E.Y.

I'm not a fan of Stark, although I have both his albums. I only like "Sunshine", from the good old days.

YK

Joel said...

I know something about english songs, but your choice of songs is very remote. Nathan Stark's song is a whole lot of not much. Crack of dawn is forgettable, and the rest i've never heard of. Here's my top ten(not including the ones from my original top ten). post it. feel free to comment.
Joe Dimaggios Card- Journeys
On Giant Shoulders -Avraham Fried
City of Gold- Blue Fringe
Deaf Man in the Shteeble-Country Yossi
BS'D- MBC
Let my people Go -MBD
In Israel- Sam Glaser
Chazak Ameinu-Voices for Israel
Jerusalem is Calling- Diaspora
Together- Yeedle

YK said...

You hit the mark with Deaf Men, Chazak Ameinu and BSD - I agree they are top-notch.

But what about someday and we are one (mbd) ?

Joel said...

Someday is a good song, but it is so overplayed. It's sung at every NCSY event, and I'm sick of it. Its the Nickelback of Jewish music. We are one is a great song, but I think MBD has better english ones than that.

C Yehuda said...

I tend to dislike nearly all Jewish English songs. Maybe it's for the same reason I don't like Jewish novels: they always have to have a moral. It's hard to pull that off without becoming sappy or preachy.

So maybe my general hatred of English songs gives my opinion credibility. Or maybe not. In any case, one of the very few Jewish English songs that I like (a lot) is the Ahavas Yisroel song from the Marvelous Middos machine. It's got good words and a beautiful tune that fits the words like a glove. (And the kid who sang the original version, which is much better than Yeedle's cover, had a very nice voice, as well.)

YK said...

Hey,

I also tend to dislike them. There are many hebrew songs which are not prechy, like Chaim David and Madregot (a very unknown Israeli group). For some reason, the English JM songs are preachy. I hope that changes.

Joel will for sure disagree though..

YK

Joel said...

I disagree. I like english songs. Liturgical music is hardly as inspiring to me like original lyrics.
I think its time to put Uncle SY in blog cherem for his negativity towards jm.

YK said...

Joel

The best way to fight negativity is to fight back with a realistic and honest approach to JM.

Based on what I read in your post in Uncly SY's blog, you are very good at laying out your points of view and criticisms. Whenever you feel like it, let me know if you want to post something of your own here. Let's fight Uncle SY.

YK

Anonymous said...

I would like to share with all of you a new jewish rap / jewish hiphop artist I recently discovered.

He is named Jordan Chaviv. I find his music really true and sincere. He has this incredible lot to hig range and it seems so effortless. You can listen and learn more about him on his official website :

www.jewishrnb.com


Let me know what you think about him.

YK said...

Dear Anonymous

I just saw the We Will Survive video.
I'm personally not a big fan of alternative JM, but I did enjoy listening to that song.
I like his falsetto too.
But overall, it's a type of music that I'm not very familiar with, so it's hard for me to comment in depth.

YK