02. Floarea stîncilor (3:06)
03. Nebunul cu ochii închisi (3:04)
04. Ar vrea un eschimos (2:24)
- Moni Bordeianu / vocals
- Nicolae Covaci / lead guitar & vocals
- Kamocsa Bela / bass & vocals
- Günther Reininger / piano & vocals
- Pilu Stefanovici / drums & vocals
Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1969
In 1965 they had their first big concert in Bucharest. Their performance brought a collaboration with Cornel Chiriac to record some of their songs. The first songs they recorded were "Stiu ca ma iubesti si tu" ("I Know You Love Me Too"), "Dunare, Dunare" ("Danube, Danube") and "Bun e vinul ghiurghiuliu" ("Good is the Red Wine"). The same year also marked the beginning of their collaboration with Victor Suvagau , who went on to write many of their most famous songs, such as "Vremuri" ("Old Times"), "Si totusi ca voi sunt" ("And Yet I Am Like You"), "Nebunul cu ochii închisi" ("The Fool with Eyes Closed"), "Floarea stîncilor" ("Mountain Flower") and "Canarul" ("Canary").
In December 1967 Phoenix had their first major series of concerts in many western cities, capped off by two huge concerts in Timi?oara. After winning a few prizes in national students' contests, held at Iasi the following year, in 1968 they recorded their first EP, Vremuri, containing two original songs, Vremuri and Canarul, and two covers (Lady Madonna - The Beatles and Friday on My Mind - The Easybeats). A second EP would follow one year later, named Floarea stîncilor (The Flower of the Rocks), with all four songs being original compositions. Both albums sport a sound reminiscent of the beat style popular in those days.
They then started working on a rock theater play "Omul 36/80" (The Man 36/80) which won several prizes for originality.
In 1969 Ioan "Pilu" Stefanovici was replaced by Dorel "Baba" Vintila Zaharia (born 1943). For the next year the band became more and more popular, frequently visiting Bucharest and being invited onto talk shows about music.
In 1970, Moni Bordeianu emigrated to the United States, and, for a brief period of time the band suspended its activity, also due to total censorship that followed a protesting speech held by Bordeianu in his last concert. 1970 meant the blues period of the band. The formula used was Nicu Covaci - guitar, Günther "Spitzly" Reininger - piano and voice, Zoltán Kovács - bass guitar and Liviu Butoi - oboe and flute. Phoenix was born again the next year, with Covaci, Josef Kappl, Mircea Baniciu, Costin Petrescu (replaced in 1974 by Ovidiu Lipan, nicknamed "Tandarica") and Valeriu Sepi.
But the Communist officials were not very comfortable with the Western-style music that they were singing, and kept creating them problems. So Phoenix abandoned beat turned to Romanian folklore, pagan rituals, mystic animals and old traditions. In this same year, Phoenix started a collaboration with the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore and the Folklore section of Timi?oara University on an ambitious project, a rock poem that combined traditional wooden instruments with modern sounds. During this project the band also started collaborating with Valeriu Sepi (born 1947), who eventually joined the band. The first outcome would be the 1972 LP Cei ce ne-au dat nume (Those Who Gave Us a Name) - the second LP to be recorded in Romania by a Romanian band. Two years later, Mugur de fluier (Flute Bud) followed. Both albums underwent severe censorship
In 1973 Phoenix represented Romania at the "Golden Harp" festival in Bratislava (Slovakia), and then at the "Disc festival" in Sopot (Poland). Also, they wanted to record a new rock-opera, named "Mesterul Manole", but the communist officials censored it all, by "losing" the unique book with costume sketches and lyrics given to them for official approval. The result was only an EP with an extract from the opera, Mesterul Manole, uvertura (Mesterul Manole, uverture) and two older songs, Mama, Mama (Mother, Mother) and Te întreb pe tine, soare... (I'm asking you, sun...).
On Monday, 19 November 1973, Phoenix held a memorable concert in Bucharest, presenting their new hits "Andrii Popa", "Pavel Cneazul", "Mica Tiganiada" and "Strunga" which composed the new disc "Mugur de fluier". The new songs were still influenced by folklore yet had a new style. This style was the result of the collaboration with new songwriters Andrei Ujica and Serban Foarta. Based on those new songs Nicu Covaci created a new show "Introducere la un concert despre muzica veche la români" ("Introduction to a concert about old Romanian music") in which he introduced violins, flutes, archaic percussion and other traditional instruments. The show was never finished due to a new collaboration with "Cenaclul Flacara". This period is considered the peak for Phoenix. Their sound was considered original and powerful and full stadiums were common for their concerts.
Every winter the members of the band would retreat to Mount Semenic and plan their upcoming songs. That winter the show "Zoosophia", a title that would later change to "Cantafabule", was created. The show began by "calling" all mythic animals and continued by dedicating a song to each of them, finishing with the Phoenix, the band's symbol. The year 1975 brought a newcomer to the band, Ovidiu Lipan "Tandarica" (born 1953). The "Cantafabule" show was first presented in Timisoara in February 1975. The disc was recorded in a very short time and was published the same year with a misspelling in the title: "Cantofabule." What followed were two years of almost continuous concerts but also the creation of the soundtrack for the movie "Nemuritorii".
By this time, the popularity of Phoenix had grown huge; people loved their songs not only for what they were, but also because they contained thinly-veiled allusions to the Communist regime. The band members, especially Nicu Covaci, found themselves increasingly harassed by the Securitate. Covaci married a Dutch woman and left the country in 1976. He returned in 1977, bringing in relief aid for those struck by the powerful earthquake on March 4. After two grandiose concerts in Constanta and Tulcea, Covaci surprisingly left the country again, this time with all the band members (except Baniciu) hidden inside their Marshall speakers - a huge undertaking, since in Communist Romania it was extremely difficult to obtain approval to travel abroad, and illegal border crossing was punished with imprisonment.
After arriving in Germany, Phoenix disbanded. Kappl and a few others (Erlend Krauser, Ovidiu Lipan) formed a new band, Madhouse and released a not very successful album named From The East. In 1981, Covaci co-opted Neumann and Lipan and English bassist Tom Buggie, under the name Transsylvania Phoenix (since a band named Phoenix already existed) and released an LP named Transsylvania, containing two old Phoenix songs translated into English to target the Western audience and five new ones. Covaci together with Kappl also released two EPs and one maxi single as Transsylvania-Phoenix.