Review Summary: Israeli Rubber Soul.
Before even trying to understand such seemingly excessive claim, you will have to understand the situation in Israel in the 60's. Being as conservative as the Jewish people always were, the 60's Israeli community was also very closed and proud, partly because the Israeli people were raised to be so. Therefore, the music scene was very monotonous, consisting only of eastern European folk melodies and pro-Israel Hebrew lyrics. The music community was in fact so closed-minded, that The Beatles were actually banned to play in Israel in the late 60's, to avoid the "bad" influence on youth, and a kid in the 50's who was caught listening to Jazz could be kicked out of his school.
The High Windows was the trio to change it all. Rightfully so, their self-titled debut and only album is considered the first Israeli pop album. It is the album that revolutionized the entire Israeli Rock and Pop scene, much like Rubber Soul did globally. The lyrics were so controversial, criticizing both the religious population and the military, that some of the songs were labeled offensive and banned to play on radio. Nonetheless, some of the songs became Israeli classics, and are loved to this day.
The High Windows was also revolutionary musically. Taking a lot from many British acts, and especially The Beatles, the album utilizes vocal harmonies and fresh instrumental arrangements. The dreamy guitar lines that accompany songs like You Can't Go or First Love are executed perfectly, and fit just right. The sad ballads like Doleful Singing, which was written by Rachel, a famous Israeli poet, and Little Girl are extremely gloomy and bleak, marking another high point of the album.
The performance in the album is very well; the personnel naming some amazing Israeli talents. The production is also very good and 60's sounding and both vocalists are great.
The band was firstly named The Windows, as a tribute to The Doors, a band which its influence is very obvious here, especially on the song Where Are Our Ancestors, but later changed to The High Windows, implying the drug culture that just barely arrived to Israel.
Much like Rubber Soul, The High Windows was both musically amazing and very influential on the music scene, starting a Pop, Rock and even Progressive Rock culture in Israel. The album led to the forming of other great Israeli bands like Tamouz and Churchill's. It is an essential piece of history, and a fun album to listen to on its own.
The High Windows was released in April 1967. The record label is Hed Arzi and it is 33:47 minutes long.
- You Can't Go
- All Week Long
- Doleful Singing
Arik Einstein - Vocals
Shmulik Kraus - Guitars, Vocals, Composing
Josey Katz - Vocals
Other musicians involved in the recording were:
Zigi Skarbnik - Piano, Pipe Organ, Vocals
Shmuel Aroch - Bass Guitar
Zohar Levi - Drums
Producer - Beny Amdurski