A Time For Everything?

Articles, General — By on April 15, 2010 8:04 am

I don’t know about you, but for me, things have been awfully dead in the Jewish music business.  Since the release of Benny Friedman’s mega album Chanukah time, I can think of only two other artists who have released new albums:  Yehuda Green and Shloime Gertner.   I am sure there are more, (not counting Purim albums and re-releases of music that is already out there) but those are the only two I can think of off the top of my head.  I know that things are seasonal in the Jewish music business, but I am wondering why.

Maybe someone who actually works for the Jewish music industry can correct me but I am under the impression that there are times that you release an album and times that you don’t.  For example, after Chanukah, the next time to release an album is Tu B’shvat.  Why is that exactly?  I understand that people want to release albums in time for the Chanukah gift giving season, but does it really make sense to release seven albums in the span of two weeks and then have nothing coming out for almost two months?

Same thing with the summer.  I know that prevailing wisdom is you don’t release an album right before the summer, so if you don’t release by Shavuos time, you have to wait until the summer is over.  This makes no sense to me at all.  Release an album towards the end of June.  School is ending, kids are going to camp, people are going on vacation and in a relaxed frame of mind.  They have time to listen to music.  They spend time in the car driving around, either as they are relaxing, going on family trips or heading up to the mountains.  It is the perfect time for a new album.  The same thing goes for kids in camp.  The music they play over the PA system gets burned into your head and becomes part of the fabric of that particular summer in camp.  There is no better time to get a new album out than right before the summer.

So here is a really novel idea.  Obviously no one wants to release an album right before sefira or the three weeks.   But how about if we release an album when it is ready instead of holding it for some special season, when it gets lost in the shuffle because three other albums were released at the same time?

Like I said, people who actually work in the Jewish music business seem to think that albums can only be released at particular times of the year.  Or so I have heard.  But for me, just your typical listener?  I am getting tired of waiting for the next time frame deemed auspicious for album releasing by someone in the business.  I just want to hear some more good music!!

Facebook comments:


  1. dovidg says:

    Get over yourself. Loser article

  2. Sarah says:

    Seriously? What about Menucha, Meydad Tasa, Sheves Chaverim, and Baruch Levine?
    Baruch Levine’s new CD is huge! And it was released after Benny Freidman’s.
    I believe Menucha was reviewed on this site even…

    Maybe artists time their CDs to be released at a certain time (i.e. after Sefira) and are not holding the CD in a vault somewhere for a month plus.
    After all, these are not rock stars who dedicate their lives to drugs and electric guitars and whatever else. They are regular Jews who have a particular talent and are sharing it with us. They go to regular shuls and usually also have regular [other] jobs.

  3. Kol Isha says:

    Meydad Tasa and Sheves Chaverim are Israeli albums. Perhaps distributors there don’t follow the philosophy that there is a right time and a wrong time to release an album. Touched By A Niggun was released five days after Benny Friedman’s album, both of which were in time for Chanukah. Menucha was released between Purim an Pesach, a time that is deemed favorable for releasing albums.

    Obviously during Sefira and the three weeks isn’t a time to release an album. But I know for a fact that albums are sometimes held over the summer, for example, because summer is considered to be a bad time to release an album. So nothing comes out from Shavuous till Labor Day and then a whole bunch of albums get released right after the summer. If I remember correctly, between Chanukah and Tu B’Shvat is another time that albums generally aren’t released. You can all disagree with me, but I for one, am happy to hear new music all the time and don’t know that there has to be a “good time” to release it.

    Look, I don’t work for any of the distributors. They have sales figures and I don’t. Just stating my opinon.

  4. Mike says:

    The only where i know this to be true is the menucha 2 CD. It was ready before the summer and Eli Gerstner wanted to release it but Sameach Music postponed it for a few months.

  5. Sara says:

    I’ve also noticed how there seems to be times during the year when CDS are released by the many and then periods when there are no new cds to be heard of. The time periods of the 3 weeks and sefira make sense to me since why release an album when nobody will listen to it. It will just sit on the shelf and you want to release a cd when you can give it a lot of attention and hype. I do agree with your great point that right before the summer is a really great time to put out a lot of music since the summer is a time that people travel and just keep it relaxed and that’s an opportune time for some good music.

  6. Sarah says:

    It doesn’t matter if the CDs were made in Israel, the US, England, or Burkina Faso.
    They are Jewish CDs… There are only so many artists. We can’t expect 20 CDs to come out every month.

  7. Kol Isha says:

    It does matter if the CDs were made in other countries because they are being released by other distributors, who perhaps don’t subscribe to the notion that there are good and bad times to release CDs. And fyi, Sheves Chaverim came out just in time for Chanukah.

    No one is expecting 20 CDs a month. But to have upwards of 10 CDs coming out Chanukah time, and approximately 3 CDs (only one of which was an American release) coming out in the next seven weeks, means you have a glut of CDs all at once, where many get overlooked and then a very long dry spell. I can’t imagine that any artist is happy spending hours and hours working on an album and then have it not get the attention it deserved because three other CDs came out the same week.

    I am sure there the distributors have their reasons, but I for one, don’t love the system. Just my opinion, feel free to take it or leave it.

  8. Sarah says:

    My point was that whether or not the CD was made in America, it is still a CD for us to enjoy.
    So if you are complaining about the system, bevakesha… I’m certainly not part of it.
    But you seemed to be saying …..
    “I don’t know about you, but for me, things have been awfully dead in the Jewish music business. Since the release of Benny Friedman’s mega album Chanukah time, I can think of only two other artists who have released new albums: Yehuda Green and Shloime Gertner.”

    ….something about Jewish music in general.

    Anyhow Menucha is not an Israeli CD (to my knowledge).

    I was just trying to say “Look there are plenty of new CDs for us to enjoy.” Not trying to fight.

    Good Shabbos.

  9. Moshe says:

    You gotta be kiddin what in the world is wrong with you ?! how about > Shabbos With the Werdygers 2, Baeis Hahi Yitzchak Fuchs, Hu Borei Umanhig Yoeli Schwartz, Forever Shimon kugel, Sheves Chaverim,
    Project Relax 2 Shloimy Daskal, and i am sure many many more (not sure about YBC LIVE) and this is besides collection/wedding albums and Sara is right what about Menucha and Meydad Tasa who cares who distributes them.

  10. Kol Isha says:

    Sarah: Chas v’shalom! I love good open discussion!

    Menucha didn’t figure into my thoughts – it was released Purim-time. I was talking about that loooong dead time in the winter.

    But you are 100% right – glad to have so much good music to enjoy!

  11. Kol Isha says:

    Moshe: Thanx for the comments. (You too, Sarah!)

    Shabbos with the Werdygers 2 and Menucha 2 were both Purim releases – they came out early March. Sheves Chaverim and Project Relax 2 were both pre chanukah releases. Yoeli Schwartz and Shimon Kugel did both come out after Chanukah – they probably both just slipped under my radar because they were really not marketed heavily, at least not anyplace that I saw.

    You both skipped Yonatan Shainfeld who came out at the same time as Meydad Tasa.

    Am I making a too much out of something trivial? Yeah, guilty. I was just a little annoyed by the system that gives us a glut of CDs at one period and very little at another time.

    Do I understand the concept of releasing before Chanukah because people are buying gifts? For sure. Does that give us a dry spell between Chanukah and Purim? Yeah, I guess it does.

    Do I understand the concept of summer being a time when no one buys CDs and therefore artists hold new releases until the fall when there is once again a huge glut of CDs coming out? No, actually I don’t.

    Not looking to build a mountain out of a molehill or to make any trouble. Just airing a pet peeve, nothing more.

  12. Sarah says:

    Well I guess we can be excited … 2 weeks and 1 day til music season once again :)

  13. Out of Towner says:

    Just my 2 cents. I sell CDs and Chanukah time this year there were some CDs that just didn’t sell because most people out there don’t want to buy something new but don’t have the $ to buy 5 or 6 CDs at the same time. If they are going to buy anything, it will be the CDs by known artists. If I was an unknown and going to put out my 1st CD I would rather do it at a time when no one else is. Also, the summer time, while in NY everyone might be in the country, there are us “out of towners” who actually still live our regular normal lives and if we had new CDs to buy, we’d buy them. Great discussion! Everyone have an awesome (and marvelous) shabbos!

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