Phoenix are probably the most popular rock band of the nation, at least among the older generation. After spending the Sixties playing beat music, they changed their style in 1971, when the dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu officially stated that every musician should have praised the nation and the Romanian tradition in one way or another.
To avoid a ban, the band decided to incorporate the local folklore into its sound, while maintaining the electric side. In fact, the new songs sounded even louder than in the past, but since the band had accepted the request of Ceaușescu, they managed to partially bypass the censorship.
The first full lenght album, "Cei ce ne-au dat nume", should have been a double Lp, but half of the material was not approved because of its controversial contents, probably considered too heavy and depressed (many songs talked about death). The remaining songs were released by the state label Electrecord in 1972. The first Cd reissues came at the end of the Nineties.
Lead by the talented multi-instrumentalist Nicolae Covaci, Phoenix were one hell of a band at the time. This debut is a gem which mixes hard rock, blues, progressive rock, and Romanian folk. The sound is sharp and aggressive, maybe a little flat, but surprisingly clear. Heavy guitar riffs, distortions, and powerful solos on one side, pristine vocal arrangements and arcane atmospheres on the other. Like it or not, you'll rarely hear something similar.
Nicolae Covaci: lead guitar, acoustic guitar, flute, percussion, vocals
Mircea Baniciu: lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion
Iosif Kappl: bass guitar, violin, percussion, vocals
Costin Petrescu: drums
Valeriu Sepi: percussion
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