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Last-Minute Decisions

Riki Goldstein

How do entertainers know they made the right choice?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019




very artist wants his album to be as perfect as can be, but sometimes he has to take a gamble. Is the song he’s deliberating over going to soar or flop? Is that last-minute replacement going to be dynamic or a sleeper? How do these entertainers know they made the right choice?


Ishay Ribo

I was 23, and we were preparing to record my first album. I began with a list of 20 songs, but we went through a process to choose 12 of them. Then, at the last minute, I wrote a new song. I brought it along to the studio, saying to my producer, “I wrote this yesterday. Do you think it’s suitable?” That song was “Tocho Ratzuf Ahava.” It was the first song to be released, and a lot happened because of it.

I see such a mussar in that story. Hashem was guiding me through a process. I didn’t really have the experience and connections, but He sent me that song at the last minute, and things might have looked different if the album had come out without the song — including the name of the album (Tocho Ratzuf Ahava)!


Ari Goldwag

Back in 2009, I had to make a big decision. My own last solo album had come out in 2004, and since then I had only produced the first Sheves Achim album, which was very popular. But I was ready for another project, and I couldn’t decide whether to record another studio album on my own, or another one with the boys. I opened up a Chumash in the method of goral HaGra and arrived at the pasuk “Shelach lecha anashim.” To me, this meant, send men for you. Send others to sing for you. And so Sheves Chaveirim was born, and along with it songs like “Hashem Loves You,” and many others.


Shimmy Engel

When you’re recording an album, after all the revisions and changing the order of the songs umpteen times, there comes a point when you decide that it just has to be final. No. More. Changes. Or it’ll never end. We’d reached that point on my album — and then we heard “Vemen Zohl men Fragen,” by Hershy Weinberger. Unanimously, we caved in, and went back on our decision. “Vemen” just had to have a place, and one of our intended tracks was put on ice for another time.


Shmueli Ungar

On Shmueli-2, we had recorded an entire song, “Mah yisron le’adam lechol amalo,” but we’d recorded it as “bechol amalo,” misquoting one word from the pasuk in Koheles. Moshe Laufer, the arranger, was the one who realized our error. It was last minute, but there was no option of putting out the song with the wrong word, so we went back to the studio to rerecord.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 745)


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