On January 1, 1994, Berry Sakharof released his second solo album "Signs of Weakness", one of the best and most influential Israeli rock albums of all time !!
Yes, yes, we did not exaggerate. This is a milestone in Israeli Rock. An album that may have been hard to digest in real time, but today there is already a consensus about it. An album that, although was not commercially successful and did not include "hits" that blow the charts, its impact on artists and songwriters resonates to this day.
Similar to "Puzi" by Arik Einstein in the 60s, "End of the Orange Season" by "Tammuz" in the 70s and "White Wedding" by Shalom Hanoch in the 80s, "Signs of Weakness" created, in our opinion, a musical revolution in the Israeli rock of the 90s.
But before this revolution became public, it was first and foremost Berry's personal revolution.
Although this is his second solo album, it can be said that this is actually his first solo. This is the album in which Berry left the nest shared with his old friend Rami Fortis, who accompanied, advised, and even participated in writing and performing the first solo album - "All or Nothing". It's the first album in which most of the lyrics were written by Berry himself (some in collaboration with Dan Toren). An album where he would get to do whatever he wanted. No rules or dictates, no sticking to formulas, no trying to please anyone or think what is expected of him.
Just like "Achtung Baby" for "U2", "Signs of Weakness" created Berry's personal musical revolution and we find a lot of similarities between the two. The initial shock from The Edge's moaning guitar sound at the opening of "Zoo Station" was not much different from that of Berry's "sawing" guitar in the first few seconds of "Kama Yossi". The sound of Larry Mullen's industrial drums, Jr. was not really far from those of Rea Mochiach and Bono's distorted sound was replaced here by distorted and sampled sounds that only further emphasized the musical upheaval.
The resemblance to "Achtung Baby" is not limited to that, The Edge said that before and during the creation of "Achtung Baby" he listened to Electronic music and Industrial Rock, which greatly influenced the creative process. Berry, on the other hand, was not far away from that. In the first season of Channel 8 "Albums" TV series, Berry noted that he was greatly influenced by the Electronic Dance wave that began at the time. He said the samplers added a new color to the music and the electronic world intrigued him. From there, the road was really short for the "musical upheaval" of Berry, which later will also produce waves that would sweep away more artists.
"Signs of Weakness" is Sakharof's first joint work with Rea Mochiach, which will continue to collaborate with Berry in the future. It is indeed Berry's album, a very personal album in which he was free to create and develop musically and creatively. But Rea Mochiach was a catalyst that contributed greatly to the end result. He was a partner in composing, playing, and integrating elements of electronic music and samples into the songs, this was very Innovative in Israeli music. Sakharof's and Mochiach collaboration produced a groundbreaking album that featured a very unique sound for the period, an album that combined rock and electronics, analog with digital, and prismatic guitars with electronic sound.
This album included songs that became "classics" in Berry's repertoire and are an integral part of his setlists, such as: "Kama Yossi" written about Berry's growing up experience in the "Ramat Yosef" neighborhood in Bat Yam and included samples by Ray Charles, "White Noise" which included samples from the song "Thousands Are Sailing" of "The Pogues". Alongside them, you can find excellent songs like: "Hallucinations" ("Hazaiot") whose drum sound at the opening threw us straight to his mother band "Minimal Compact". "Too Bad You Are Not" ("Chaval Sheat Lo") whose lyrics include the name of the album ("Signs of Weakness") and whose guitars in its first seconds reminded us a bit of "Sonic Youth". "Naftali the Fish" whose oriental violins sound will serve as a basis for Berry's masterpieces that included distinct "oriental" motifs, such as "Whole Heart" ("Lev Shalem") from the album "Touches" and later also for a full sample in the song "Monsoon" from "The Other" album, taken from "Naghm Fe Hayati" by Farid al-Atrash. "Moments" ("Regaim") with the nervous drum machine, the mesmerizing "Deep in the Whipped Cream" ("Amok BaKatzefet") with the dominant bass of Oded Schechter, and more.
Although in the years after its release, "Signs of Weakness" sales were weak, compared to Berry Sakharof's other albums, there is no doubt that this is one of the albums whose influence on Israeli music is immeasurably greater than its commercial success. Over the years, "Signs of Weakness" began to be considered by many as one of Sakharof's best albums and one of the best Israeli rock albums of all time. The originality, innovation, and exceptional production quality in this album is undoubtedly should be placed side by side with masterful albums in Israeli music and this is reflected in the various ranking lists, such as the broadcast magazine "Kan" which ranked it first place on the list of "The greatest Israeli Alternative Albums" or "Ynet" that ranked it 13th on the "100 Best Israeli Albums" list.