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Berry Sakharof - All or Nothing

Berry Sakharof's debut album, "All or Nothing", was released on August 2, 1991.


As the name of the album, "All or Nothing" was a kind of gamble by Berry Sakharof who until then had not been accustomed to being "in the spotlight". Although he began his musical career at the age of 16 as a member of the band "Cosmic Dream", unlike his friend Rami Fortis whose first album was released in 1978, Berry did so only in 1991 when he was 34 years old.


The album "All or Nothing" was the opening shot for the glorious career of one of the great musicians in Israeli rock, and this is the story behind it:


1. Rami Fortis and Berry Sakharof began their musical collaboration in the early 1980s with the band "Minimal Compact ", but their first couple collaboration was in 1988 with the international band "Foreign Affair", when at the same time the two collaborated on Fortis' second solo album, "Stories from the Box"(1988).


2. The fruitful cooperation officially led to the establishment of the "Fortisakharof" brand in 1990. That same year, the album "1900?" Was released, which carried a new line in the Israeli rock scene.


3. Berry was always the quieter of the two, with Fortis making his voice heard not only in music but in interviews, TV and radio shows, while Berry was usually hidden & shy. Berry had a very "cold" relationship with the media, so the idea of ​​working on a solo album and marketing it was not easy for him.


4. Despite this, Berry decided to zone out and go independent, but like a good friend Fortis was there in the background throughout all the recordings, accompanying, advising, and even participating in writing and performing. Fortis was even a partner in the video clips for some of the album's songs, as can be seen in the song "Spaceships".


5. Work on the album was done from January to May 1991 in three different studios: Anchor Studios, Triton and Dee. B., where the final mix was held.


6. Berry wrote all the melodies for the songs and the two instrumental pieces "Cats" and "All or Nothing", except for the song "The Man on the Wall" which was a cover version of a song composed by Meir Hernick and originally recorded by Samson Bar Noy back in 1955.


7. In terms of lyrics, Berry still did not feel confident enough and used lyrics written by musicians such as Eran Tzur ("Evening Sick" and "Nymph"), Dan Toren ("The Guardian of the Garden"), Rami Fortis ("Blind Faith" and "Spaceships") Sami Birnbach ("Click") and more. Berry also relied on the writings of writers and poets, such as Shaul Tchernichovsky ("I do not like her"), Yehuda Paradis ("The Man in the Wall"), Jonah Wallach ("There is") and David Avidan ("Invitation to a Daily Show").


8. Berry did not believe in rehearsing a particular song, or performing it repetitively multiple times until it came out perfect on the recording. On the contrary, he believed that authentic initial execution is the real thing. He would record quickly and without correction, sometimes adding or improving a little but no more. He did not record the same piece of music more than two or three times.


9. Berry wrote all the musical roles with pencil and paper. He did not plan the album from beginning to end but created it while in motion, following his musical imagination and feeding on the musicians that surrounded him.


10. Those who were present at the studio said that there was a good atmosphere of sharing the work.

Berry gave everyone creative freedom and encouraged them to bring out what they feel when they hear the music. What felt right to him just went into the album.


11. Berry brought the basics to each song, but the piece itself was born in the studio with the atmosphere we described; spontaneously, nothing was calculated or performed according to defined rules.


12. The musicians with whom he said that he searched throughout the work on the album for the unconventional and original. He brought a bunch of musicians from the street, he suggested to the drummer to use brushes and not sticks (in the songs "All or Nothing" and "Spaceships"), and he incorporated electronic music (in the song "There is") and more...


13. The song "The Guardian of the Garden" was written by Dan Toren, his first and certainly not the last collaboration with Berry. Toren said the text was a combination of several fairytales "The Giant in the Garden", "Humpty Dumpty" and "Alice in Wonderland".


14. The music for the song "Pressure" began to emerge in the mid-1980s as part of "Minimal Compact". Sammy Birnbach and Rami Fortis co-wrote. It was originally called "Pressure" but it was not eventually recorded as a minimal song. While working on the album Berry remembered it and decided to include it on the album.


16. The musician Ronen Shapira who played piano on the album said that Berry gave him the opportunity of a lifetime in the song "Pressure". He asked him to write an orchestra and this was the first time he had written for an orchestra. Berry sang the melody to him and Shapira wrote the orchestra on a page. The group of inexperienced musicians Berry brought from the street played the song in one take and that is what entered the album at the end.


17. In the song "Invitation to a daily show", the musician Amir Gvirtzman, who was responsible for the wind instruments on the album, plays musical instruments that he invented especially for the event. This is "Zumba", is actually "Zorna" with a special mouth. This was the first and last time the instrument was recorded on any album.


18. In "Spaceships," Berry asked bassist Gil Smetana to make his bass guitar sound like a contrabass. He sat with him in the studio for hours until Smetana reached a fragmentary sound he saw in his vision.


19. Bassists and singer Malka "Yoyo" Spiegel-Newman participates in background vocals on the album, only that it was recorded backward under the influence of the "Tears For Fears" song "Sowing The Seeds Of Love".


20. On the same day that the album was released, the album "Black Flower" by "Carmela, Gross Wagner" was also released - Eran Tzur's band, who as mentioned participated in writing lyrics for Berry's album. Berry was the one who recommended to Nana Disk manager to sign Eran and his friends on a recording contract.


Listen to the album on: Spotify, Apple Music


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