Shlomi Artzi is the king of the middle road in Israel, the Bruce Springsteen of Israeli rock and pop. Now 60, he still holds a very special place in the hearts of many Israelis who have grown up with him and he still manages to sell out the biggest concert venues in Israel year after year. You see, a little bit like Brucie.
I personally know a 60 year old woman who has seen him countless times and never fails to get excited about a new record of his. She even persuaded me to come and see him at one his sellout shows. While less enthralled by the music, I was amazed at the passion of the crowd and their undying love for Shlomo Artzi.
Born in a moshav to Holocaust survivors, his family moved to Tel Aviv when he was 8. He started writing his own songs at 16 and started getting some serious attention during his army service, some of which was in the army’s entertainment group. In 1970 he won the Israel Song Festival and was also named Singer of the Year. A less than successful few years followed, before picking up again in the 80s, perhaps reaching a peak with the albums Dance and Restless Night. In the 90s he had some mega success by Israeli standards, including the album Two, which featured a collaboration on the title track with Rita, Israel’s most successful female artist.
Shlomo Artzi’s recent album sales, exceeding a hundred-thousand per album, and the live shows that follow each album, have cemented his place in Israel’s music history. He has sold over a million and a half albums, a more than impressive number for an Israeli musician.
Yes, Shlomo Artzi is on Facebook.
Below are a couple of his songs performed live, the media of choice for Shlomo these days where he still manages to sell out the big concert halls and ampitheaters, year after year.