The High Windows

So there’s been this thing going around social media where DJs post 10 records from their collection over 10 days. Krister was recently asked to do it, but we hate social media and what’s the point if you can’t tell a story.

Day 7

The High Windows – Your Eyes

A major label record that not many people seem to know about. Perhaps that is because the group is from Israel. The High Windows are extremely well-known back home though, often being called the Hebrew answer to The Beatles. Their first and only album The High Windows (1967) is universally lauded as the first real pop album from Israel and perhaps the most important release ever in that country, which was extremely conservative at the time. One of the songs was even played in space by the first and only Israeli astronaut. The album has been remastered and reissued a few times by original label Hed-Arzi, most recently on double-vinyl in 2018.

The trio toured around Europe during 1967/68 when the country was at unrest – check out the live clip from Paris below – eventually landing in London. There they enlisted the help of Ralph Murphy of the duo Harper & Rowe, who helped them translate some of their songs into English. They released their first English language recording in 1968, this single, where “Your Eyes” was on the b-side. Both songs were co-written by Murphy and Shmulik Kraus from the trio. Murphy even joined the band for a while after the trio was reduced to husband-and-wife Shmulik and Josie. Both sides are great but “Your Eyes” is such a timeless song that could have been a classic. Definitely Fading Yellow material. I first heard it on the CDr compilation series Lost Jukebox which was created by Jeffrey Glenn. It was eventually released in Hebrew in Israel as well. Despite being released in four countries it didn’t see any success (the French picture sleeve is a beauty).

As an interesting side note, Ralph Murphy was a British musician and songwriter who grew up in Canada. Back in London he produced records for many labels, including Carnaby. One of the songs he wrote with Shmulik actually ended up on a 45 recorded by John Walker (of The Walker Brothers), another musician who had left the continent for England. “Traces of Tomorrow” was included as a b-side to the Japanese issue of “Over and Over Again” in 1971. I haven’t heard, but you can hear the Spanish language version here.

The High Windows broke up in 1968 but reformed again 1973-74, still without Arik Einstein. I’ve got the UK stock copy on CBS. It was issued on Epic in the USA.

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