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Shlock Rock is an independent Jewish rock band, put together in December 1985, and officially founded in 1986, and led by, singer Lenny Solomon, which parodies popular secular songs, substituting new, religious-themed lyrics for the music. To date they have released 32 albums. Shlock Rock continues to record albums and perform live as of 2014, and to date has sold more than 200,000 CD’s, tapes and DVDs in the contemporary Jewish Rock arena. Their music is a mix of pop-rock song parodies and original rock songs in English and Hebrew. The purpose of the band is to spread Jewish pride, identity and awareness throughout the Jewish community, for Jewish continuity. Solomon and Shlock Rock tour around the world, playing at concerts, schools, and Jewish events.
According to Solomon, in December 1985, Lenny and the band "rented the 39th Street Music studio in New York for two weeks from midnight to 8:00am as it was the only time slot they could afford." Their first album "Schlock Rock" - (Note: With a C) titled "Learning is Good" was released in January 1986.
The original Shlock Rock band consisted of Lenny Solomon (keyboards, vocals), Yonah (guitar), Gary Wallin (drums), Mark Skier (bass), Mark Infield (saxophone, keyboards, percussion), and Danny Block (saxophone, violin). It has since gone on to include the "Jewish Rapper" Etan G, as well as bassist Ben Williams. On tour, the band uses local musicians, except for Solomon and Etan G.
In March 2009, Shlock Rock released their 31st album “No Limits” online. It was offered in a pay-what-you-want format at a minimum download price of $1 for the twelve-song album. Customers who paid the retail price ($15), or more, also received the CD upon its release on December 2009. The album was recorded in Haworth, New Jersey. "I wrote twelve songs in four days from my house in Israel," Solomon stated, "I love these songs and want everyone to have them." The offer ran until March 28 (Passover of that year). The band released its official video for "Another Door Opens" from the album in July.
In 2011, the band released Shabbat in Liverpool, "adapting Shabbat services to the tunes of Lennon and McCartney."
Musical style and hit songs
Hit songs include "We Have a Strong Desire" (sung to the tune of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire"), "Abarbanel" (sung to the tune of The Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann"), "Achashverosh" (sung to the tune of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus"" (the Salieri Club Mix), and "My Bekeshe Needs Cleaning" (sung to the tune of The Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreamin'").
Other songs by Shlock Rock include:
- "Old Time Torah Scroll" to the tune of "Old Time Rock & Roll" by Bob Seger
- "Rashi" to the tune of "Windy" by The Association
- "Under the Chupah" to the tune of "Under the Boardwalk" by The Drifters
- "Sweet Aroma of the Challah" to the tune of "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- "Tshuvah" to the tune of "Good Lovin'" by The Rascals
- "All Shook Up" to the tune of "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley
- "Hanukah Night's Alright for Lighting" to the tune of "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" by Elton John
- "All Night Long" to the tune of "All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie
- "Learning Is Good" to the tune of "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry
- "Havdalah" to the tune of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" by The Beatles
- "My Menorah" to the tune "La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens
(The following songs are from the Showtune-based album "Almost on Broadway")
- "Soup and Challah" to the tune of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins
- "Tekiah" to the tune of "Maria" from West Side Story
- "Succot Nights" the tune of "Summer Nights" from Grease
- "Come Round He's Makin' a Boat" to the tune of "Sit Down Your Rockin' the Boat" from Guys and Dolls
- "Gabbai of the Shul" to the tune of "Master of the House" from Les Misérables
- "Do You Know Your Hebrew Name" to the tune of "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" from South Musical
- "Bavel" to the tune of "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast
- "To Ma'ariv" to the tune of "Tomorrow" from Annie
- "Passed the Test" to the tune of "SOS" from Mamma Mia!
- "Get Me to the Shul on Time" to the tune of "Get Me to the Church on Time" from My Fair Lady
- "Hello Mohel, Hello Kvater" to the tune of "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" by Allan Sherman
- "Learning to Dance the Hora" to the tune of "Livin' la Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin
- "About us". ShlockRock.com.
- "About Us (1999)". Shlock Rock. Archived from the original on 1999-10-08.
- Goldberg, Jennifer (February 11, 2004). "That old time shlock 'n' roll". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix 56 (21).
- News. shlockrock.com.
- "Shlock Rock No Limits – Another Door Opens – Official Video". JewishInsights.com. July 11, 2011.
- Harkov, Lahav (January 13, 2011). "The Weekly Schmooze: Sing out, Streisand!". Jerusalem Post.
- Singer, David (2001). American Jewish Year Book: 2001. American Jewish Committee. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-87495-116-5. "'I've Got a Strong Desire'...recounts all of Jewish history in 42 lines..."
- Ettinger, Steven (2003). Torah 24/7: a timely guide for the modern spirit. Devora Publishing. ISBN 978-1-930143-73-9. "...describing 4000 years of Jewish history"
- Fine, Arlene (November 29, 2002). "Shlock Rock rolls into Cleveland". Cleveland Jewish News. "Anyone familiar with Billy Joel's popular song 'We Didn't Start the Fire' will appreciate Shlock Rock's parody of the tune, 'We've Got A Strong Desire'"
- Shlock Rock (1997). The Shlock Rock Songbook. Tara Publications. ISBN 978-0-933676-58-9.
- Retting, Nechama; Greenberg, Tobey (December 1, 2009). Morah, Morah Teach Me Torah. Torah Aura Productions. ISBN 978-1-934527-26-9. - Contributed lyrics for many Torah-related songs