On February 23, 1976, the only album by the supergroup "Tamouz", "End of the Orange Season", was released.
This is one of the most important and influential albums in Israeli music. A Hebrew cornerstone. "Blue and white" masterpiece. A one-off magic in the form of eight perfect songs, that distill the essence of Israeli rock in 40 minutes.
Although this album was not a commercially success, in real time, today it's considered a classic, an immortal masterpiece that influenced the development of Israeli music.
The story of the album began with the return of Shalom Hanoch from England, in 1973. After his great success with Arik Einstein, he flew to England with the aim of trying to develop an international career. Although he got to work with the producer of Elton John and record an album in English with members of Elton's band, Shalom Hanoch failed commercially and returned to Israel. Upon his return to Israel, he began writing new material. He also returned to perform live with Arik Einstein and at the same time tried to form a new lineup composition.
At that time Ariel Zilber went through similar "adventures" as Shalom Hanoch. In 1971, while Shalom Hanoch was in England releasing his English album, Zilber was in France releasing an EP featuring two songs in English: "Movie instead" and "When it's time." Like Shalom, Zilber returned to Israel in 1973, because hise EP was unsuccessful, even causing him to shelve an entire album he recorded in English.
(Photo: Gerard Alon)
In 1974, Mati Caspi offered Shalom to form an Israeli supergroup in the style of "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young", which would include Caspi, Hanoch, Ariel Zilber and Danny Litani. However, after several meetings that failed to produce the long-awaited connection, Caspi and Litani retired, leaving Zilber and Hanoch, who found a common musical ideas and fertile ground that drove them to continue working together. The two began working on songs and materials for an album, while at the same time receiving encouragement from Arik Einstein, Hanoch's partner since 1967 on masterful albums such as "Mazal Gedi", "Puzi", "Shablul" and "Plastelina". Arik gave the two a room to work in, for free, and even funded them. What’s more, he invited them to be his warm-up show on the “Sa Leaat” tour.
Zilber and Hanoch knew that they could not base the show on vocals, guitar and keyboards and that they had to add more musicians, especially a drummer. At this point Hanoch and Zilber had a revolving door of musicians who accompanied them in Einstein's warm-up performances. Eventually, the band settled down with drummer Meir Israel, who had previously played in several bands, including "Uzi and the Styles", and two other "young" musicians at that time, that was just released from the "Nahal" band in the Israeli IDF: guitarist Yehuda Eder and bassist Ethan Gedron.
It is interesting to note that not only did Arik Einstein support and encourage Shalom Hanoch and the band, by allowing them to be his warm-up show, but he was also the one who gave the band its name: "Tamouz". He thought it would broadcast something like the hot of the summer.
The musical material for the album began to crystallize during performances that the band held as Einstein's opening show. Shalom noted that he played to the band members many things to which he was exposed during his stay in England, including the bands "Genesis" and "Yes". The band was based on pre written songs, mostly by Hanoch and Zilber, when they changed and arranged them in a different way, to suit a rock band. For example, the song "The Deeper The Bluer" was originally a short song from the album "Shablul" by Shalom Hanoch and Arik Einstein. The song "I Don't Know How to Tell You" was recorded by Hanoch with the band "Bnei Noach" in 1973. The song "Holech Batel" was written by Meir Ariel, who also performed it in a different melody, when the new melody that Zilber gave it was recorded in 1971 By Tiki Dayan. The song "Quiet Love" was originally called "Peaceful Love" which Hanoch sang in English, and "You Wanted Me That Way" was originally performed in English, back in 1968 by "Ofarim Duo", then it was called "Purple Eyes".
In the middle of 1975, the band entered the studio and recorded their first two songs: "The Streetlight" and "The End of the Orange Season", which came out as a single. In addition, the song "Holech Batel" was also recorded. Anyone who listens to these versions of the early recordings will find that they are different from the final versions that entered the album, especially that of "The End of the Orange Season". The versions of "Streetlight" and "End of the Orange Season" came out as bonus tracks in the 2006 expanded edition of the album.
Michael Tapuach, who was the manager of the "Triton" Studios, where the band recorded the single, was very enthusiastic about the musical material of the members of the "Tamouz". He offered them his services as the band manager, let them use the studio and decided to pair them with recording technician Louis Lahav, who had just returned from the United States after working with Bruce Springsteen. It was this connection between Lahav and the band that created the "Big Bang", that led to the creation of one of the greatest albums ever created in Israel. The band's musical vision along with Lahav's creative production were the winning combination that led to this masterpiece. Lahav spurred the band to experiment, explore and stretch their musical boundaries, as well as the lengths and complexity of the songs. His perfectionism left no chance for the existence of a product that would be less than a masterpiece. Hours of Sisyphean work in the studio on every bar and note, gave birth after, painful contractions, a simply masterful A-L-L--M-I-G-H-T-Y album!!!
Without exception, all eight songs on this album, became classics: "The Deeper The Bluer", which was a 3-minute song in the days of "Shablul", stretched to a length of about 9 minutes, with changing rhythms and styles that pushed the boundaries of " Israeli rock "as it was known until then. "The Streetlight (Someone Stopped the Stream)", written by Hanoch after returning to Israel as an acoustic song, become a duet with blues influences. "I Don't Know How to Tell You" written by Hanoch in the early 1970s as a minimalist song of love, pain and breakup, recorded two years earlier with "Bnei Noach", has become an epic, dramatic and chilling piece. "Holech Batel", originally composed by Meir Ariel (his version can be found in his compilation album), received completely different energies. There is no need to say too much about the theme song "The End of the Orange Season". This is without a doubt one of the great rock songs writtenin Israel. "Silent Love", which developed from the song "Peaceful Love" from Shalom's "English" album, became a heavy rock piece, with riffs, shouts of Shalom and a drum solos by Meir Israel. It's intresting to note that after the dissolution of "Tamouz", Ariel Zilber recorded his own version of the song, which even challenges the original.
"You Wanted Me That Way", which was also originally performed in English back in 1968 by "Ofarim Duo" and is called "Purple Eyes", received aromas of Funk and Groove that kicks you right in the stomach.
It can be said that the only song that did not change during the joint creative process was "Can't Sleep Now" by Shalom Hanoch, which remains as acoustic and raw as on his creation day. Apparently both the band and Lahav thought it would be a crime to touch such a perfection.
After the release of the album, the band went on their first tour as a lead show. One of the mythological performances that the band held in "Tzavta" was even commemorated on video:
However, despite the one-off magic that exists on this masterful album, the band failed to translate it into success on stage. It soon became clear that this was a commercial failure. Apparently the Israeli audience was not ready for such complex materials and in a sense this is a tragic case of a band that simply was "ahead of its time". The commercial failure began to seep into the band and the frictions that began behind the scenes finally reached the stage as well and heralded the band's bitter end.