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Phoenix Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume album cover
3.97 | 90 ratings | 15 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ciclul Anotimpurilor: Preludiu: A Oilor (1:05)
2. Ciclul Anotimpurilor: Preludiu: Jocul Timpului (3:18)
3. Ciclul Anotimpurilor: Primăvara: Introducere (1:03)
4. Ciclul Anotimpurilor: Primăvara: Păpăruga (2:35)
5. Ciclul Anotimpurilor: Vara (4:21)
6. Ciclul Anotimpurilor: Toamna (4:31)
7. Ciclul Anotimpurilor: Iarna: Introducere (1:15)
8. Ciclul Anotimpurilor: Iarna: Jocul Caprelor (1:35)
9. Nunta (4:19)
10. Negru Vodă - Baladă (14:56)
11. Pseudo-Morgana (6:49)

Total Time 45:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Mircea Baniciu / lead vocals, 12-string guitar, percussion
- Nicolae Covaci / lead & 12-string guitars, flute, percussion, vocals, composer, arrangements
- Iosif Kappl / bass, violin, percussion, vocals, arrangements
- Costin Petrescu / drums
- Valeriu Sepi / percussion

Releases information

Title translates as "Those That Have Given Us Our Name"

Artwork: Nicolae Covaci and Valeriu Sepi

LP Electrecord ‎- STM-EDE 0754 (1972, Romania)

CD Wydawnictwo 21 ‎- 21-001 (1998, Poland) With 2 bonus tracks, new cover art
CD Electrecord ‎- EDC 259 (1999, Romania) New cover art
CD Electrecord ‎- EDC 259 (2008, Romania)

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PHOENIX Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume ratings distribution

(90 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PHOENIX Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume is the debut studio album from Romanian progressive rock act Phoenix. This is one of those obscure eastern european bands that I never heard about before I started visiting PA.

The music lies somewhere between hard rock with progressive tendencies and rock with ethnic folk leanings. The music is mostly guitar, bass and drum dominated but there are also some parts with violin. The lyrics are in Romanian and the singing is pretty unique which means that it will be an aquired taste if you can enjoy this. The hard rock parts reminds me a bit about a band like High Tide.

The musicianship is excellent. Both the omnipresent guitar- and the dominant and loud in the mix bass playing is pretty intriguing.

The production is not really to my liking, but it´s not annoying.

I´m probably the wrong audience for this kind of music. I´ll aknowledge that this is good music and that it is unique but I don´t think it´s excellent prog rock. 3 stars is my conclusion.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

One can trace Phoenix's foundations all the way to the early 60's when they had a local hit, recorded 2 EPs a few radio sessions and scored a movie soundtrack (Canary And blizzard). By the time of their first full album's release (the present in 72), Phoenix had a heavy-psych rock sound, derived from local folk sounds, and the material was selections of a rock opera (those who have a name), the group was a sort of heavy folk rock group, because they'd no choice they were also asked to change their names, because of a religious connotation), a move dictated by the Ceaucescu dictature, but they kept a bit of that garage sound.

The album seems to be divided in two parts, the first being 18-minutes Ciclul Anotimpurilor, looking to be the first side of the album. It starts with the Preludia movement, first with a lone fuzzy guitar (much like a bagpipes lament), then on a crescendo of a single note, underlined by guitar arpeggios and some oboe in the very background that eventually disappears into a beautiful short electric guitar solo. The Primavara movement is a much more upbeat thing, with its second part Paparuga turning frankly folk, but the bass is outstanding. Further on down the album, after a wordy Vara (with a bass solo) and blues-charging Toamna (with another superb electric guitar solo) and Iarna (made from two short weird pieces).

Whether the Nunta part of the record was its flipside (it is probably likely) but it's made only of three songs, the first being the eponymous rocker. Then follows a very rocky 15-mins Negru Voda with plenty of rock guitars, but tends to be more of jam in the long run, even if the violin periodically brings the track to its start. The closing Pseudo Morgana is probably the album's best track, despite its repetitive nature, it shows how superb drummer Petrescu and percussionist Sepi were working well together, while the guitars complete each other in heavenly duets.

One of the versions of this album has a truckload of bonus tracks, coming mostly from previous years (60's) including some covers and garage bands, all of them coming from a Remember Phoenix compilation. While these tracks are interesting (well some anyway), they don't really add much to the album per se, and some might even prove soooooo teeny-bopper that its presence on this good folk prog album is a bit of a mistake. Otherwise, this debut album is almost as worthy as Cantofabule (their third), but a little bluesier, although we shall retain their unique blend of folk and outright rock.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Formed in Timisoara,Romania in 1962,PHOENIX started as a psychedelic/beat rock band covering famous songs of ''The Who'' and ''The Beatles'',but by late 60's they abandoned that style,as the communistic movement of the goverment was beyond their wills.However,PHOENIX were already popular in their country and people followed them,even they turned to as more folkish rock style.After two EP's the band released their debut ''Cei ce ne-au dat nume'' in 1972.A good example of early-70's East-European proto-progressive rock,PHOENIX mix their love for psych and hard rock with ethnic overtones and Romanian folk music.Notable is the absolutely great bass lines of Iosif Kappl,the nice instrumental passages with a hard'n'blues sound and the typical yet sometimes improvisated vocal arrangements.Of course,all this rockin' parts are often blended with flutes,violins,acoustic guitars and extensive percussion parts to create a full-ethnic atmosphere.Among the ground-breaking albums of early-70's East-Europe,PHOENIX definitely deserve a few listens.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars To quote the liner notes: "They began by doing covers of BEATLES songs, but soon had to change their style since the Romanian communist regime disliked any form of western culture.The regime suggested that all rock oriented bands look for inspiration within the Romanian culture.These restrictions made the band's leader Nicolae Covaci search within the Romanian folklore, which gave them a unique sound".This was the first LP to be recorded in Romania by a Romanian band. The music here is very much Progressive Rock with an ethnic flavour. My first listen didn't go too well, but subsequent spins have really changed my mind completely about this gem. I think what bothered me initially was the Romanian vocals, particularly on track four which is still my least favourite. This has since grown on me to the point where I think these guys are incredible.

"Preludia-A Oiler" is a 1 minute intro of raw guitar melodies throughout. It blends into "Preludia-Jocul Timpului" where the electric guitar settles and is joined by acoustic guitar and what sounds like flute. Bass and drums come in late. Great sound here. "Primavara-Introducere" is an uptempo with acoustic and electric guitars. Drums and bass join in. "Primavera-Paparuga" is the one with vocals only to open. They stop as music comes in and then the vocals join the music. Prominant bass in this one. "Vara-Vara" is where they start to let their hair down. Raw guitar to open as vocals join in. Vocal harmonies come in with a sixties feel.The guitar is back after 1 1/2 minutes. A fuzzed out bass solo is followed by guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. Vocals return late. "Toamna-Toamna" is a catchy track with vocals and harmonies again giving us a sixties vibe. Check out the guitar 2 minutes in that goes on and on to end it ! "Iarna-Introducere" has a sixties flavour as vocals, guitar and bass stand out.

"Iarna-Jocul Caprelor" features lots of bass and drums early, guitar before a minute. "Nunta-Nunta" opens with raw sounding guitar as drums come pounding in. Vocals join in too. The guitar starts to rip it up after 1 1/2 minutes. "Nunta-Negru Voda-Balada" is the almost 15 minute epic. Violin opens this one as bass joins in then the guitar starts to light it up. A great rhythm follows.Violin is back 2 minutes in and vocals follow. Themes are repeated. I really like the drumming 5 1/2 minutes in. A guitar solo follows with bass and drums. When the guitar stops the bass solos 8 1/2 minutes in. Vocal melodies come in. Violin is back before 12 minutes. "Nunta-Pseudo-Morgana" builds to a good heavy sound after 2 minutes in. Fantastic sound before 5 minutes.

Some really good stories in the liner notes about their history, especially in regards to being under a communist regime. A solid 4 stars.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The year is 1972, Prog had already grown in Europe and USA, but in Eastern Europe the Soviet satellite governments had a certain dislike for Rock which was seen as a tool the North American Capitalists used to corrupt the mind of the young proletarians, so they were some years behind the UK and most of the Western hemisphere, but in some countries a few musicians and bands managed to keep updated with the new currents and even went further, like PHOENIX from Romania, who blended Heavy Psyche with some of the rich ethnic elements of their country.

"Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume" is the debut album of this excellent band, and even when the path they were going to take was not so clear, this album presents more than hints of how they were going to evolve with the pass of the years, but still hooked in some degree to the late 60's music.

"Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume" starts with "Preludiu - A Oilor", a strange introduction with an excellent distorted guitar work by Nicolae Covaci that reminds me a bit of Carlos Santana, but soon the sound changes to a blend of electric and acoustic guitar (Double-Six to be precise) with a soft flute in the background and the drums making an effect as the bells from a tower clock, which lead to an extremely beautiful melody with a mysterious gypsy atmosphere.

"Primavara - Introducere" is a short and frantic track with an interesting guitar and drum work but overall some outstanding bass passages, sadly 1:03 minutes are not enough to consider it more than an interlude.

"Primavara -Paparuga" begins with a chorus in Romanian that soon is joined by Mircea Baniciu with the acoustic guitar and the rest of the band, but seems that the constant is the wonderful bass by Iosif Kappl, the tune is pretty catchy and seems simple, but the interplay and the arrangements are much more complex than they sound, specially because all the band collaborate with the percussion.

"Vara" is a radical change, the ethnic elements are less preeminent than in the previous tracks and are replaced by a Psyche sound that reminds of the mid/late 60's, with an excellent vocal work, the most unusual fact is that the guitar covers the lack of keyboards (at least according to the credits in the album and official site of the band), even when sometimes I swear some synths can be listened. The next track "Toamna" continues in the Psyche territory, but this time reminds me of the sound that was preeminent in Italy during the late 60's, again with outstanding vocals despite I can't understand a word.

"Iarna-Introducere" returns to the sound of the first songs,. the Folk elements are more evident even when the Psyche component continues being evident, the most radical change comes with "Iarna - Jocul Caprelor" in which the bass is the main instrument followed by a very complex percussion and the fluier (Romanian six hole pipe), very unusual.

But is the surprises weren't enough, in "Nunta" the band moves to a very peculiar heavy rock that has some resemblance of "Mountain" but with the peculiar sound of PHOENIX and the elaborate blend of percussion instruments and unique language.

"Negru Voda" starts with a very folksy violin that starts to morph from ethnic to Rock until the heavy guitar replaces it and they start to rock for 14 minutes, a sound that is only interrupted by jazzy sections that soon return to heavy territory and at the end to the folksy violin and wonderful vocals, if you like the unexpected, this is your album.

"Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume" is closed with "Pseudo Morgana", even more surprising than all the previous tracks, and harder to describe, because while the band plays an acoustic soft track, the distorted guitar goes for a different territory but managing to keep the Folk Rock atmosphere, my favorite track in all this fantastic record.

Before ending the review I have to thank my friend Zsolt Enyedi from the Romanian band YESTERDAYS who sent me all this amazing material that I'm still starting to enjoy.

No less than 4 stars, would go with 5 but "Cantofabule" is better and for that reason deserves a higher rating.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What can you expect from album that starts like your local band's soundcheck of instruments few minutes before their gig is supposed to start ?

Actually a lot, because Preludiu - A oilor slowly moves into more clever arrangement with some kind of flute instrument in harmony with quite psychedelic Heavy sound. Even it may sound overcombined, it works very well. With third song, band is finally in their "home" territory, folkier sounds. Romanian language sounds like mix of soft France and little bit of Eastern languages (no offense to native speakers, I'm just trying to make comparison by similarity).

This release isn't British type of folk, clean and soft, this is very dense combination of Heavy sounds and Prog Folk, maybe even depressive for some, but I can understand. After all, in my country the course took similar way. The longest track Negru Voda - Balada is violin driven frenzy with some very nice guitar solos, even maybe too repetitive.

This album is really heart-warmed, it shines (even it's quite dark light) with spontaneous originality and it's combining of Heavy, Psychedelic and Folk Prog is very unique.

4(+), one of these gems where you either have to have love for "weird" albums, or be part of "them" like me. OK, I'm also in group one.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Debut album of Romanian band Phoenix is possibly the one I like most of all their early works. The year is 1972, and the music there is a product of it's time - a bit dreamy and slightly psychedelic guitar based rock, but with strong Eastern Balkan folklore flavour.

I am familiar with progressive rock from almost all Eastern Europe, but Phoenix was a first Romanian band for me. And when comparing, I can say there is the difference in sound you will easy recognize band's music.

Besides of characteristic electric guitar and bass sound (you can hear similar sound on Polish SBB albums from same time period), all music base there is Romanian folk, not blues-rock. So the result is quite interesting - in fact it's a two cultures elements melted in one . Vocals, rhythmic structures and melodies come from Romanian folklore, and guitar sound, bass and some internal aesthetics are all early Western prog rock. And when listen you can easily hear both components, they aren't mixed in one, but exists one near the other.

Really interesting album for researcher, must have one for any serious Eastern European prog collector. Possibly, not easy listening for any taste, but could be a nice surprise for those searching for obscure artists and unusual sounds from early prog time.

My rating - 3,5,rounded to 4.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Another gem hidden behind the iron curtain. I have to say that I wasn't much impressed by their highly rated "Cantafabule", so I approached their debut without any particular expectation.

I took less than one minute to decide that I like it: the two guitars which start the first track have a touch of 60s Psychedelia. A quite Hypnotic track because of repetition, but the hard- rock sound of the lead guitar won't make anybody fall asleep for sure.

The intro to "Primavara" (Spring) reprises the fadeout from the previous track and it's absolutely rock. Its follow-up starts with a choir that's a demonstration of the dotted line who connects all the indo-european folk music. Listen to the "chanson de provence" or to some traditional celtic: only Romanian or Gaelic speaking people will catch the difference.

"Vara" (Summer) comes directly from the 60s. A very acid guitar, a distorted bass riff and vocals that remind to early Wishbone Ash. Unfortunately the quality of the recording is not very good. It's not clear if the bass has a distortion effect or is the recording itself to be distorted. It's an excellent song anyway.

"Toamna" (The Fall) is a fusion of Folk and Rock. The melodic line seems to come from the local popular traditions while the rhytmic part is rock. The acid guitar solo is nice even if the four chords below are everything but new: A-G-F-E.

Back to the seasons: "Iarna" (Winter) is again divided in intro and follow-up. 1 folkish minute and another minute of percussions and bluegrass-like guitar. Just an interlude.

"Nunta" (Marriage) is again based on a fusion of psychedelia (bass and drums) and traditional music (Vocals). It's one of the most interesting tracks with changes in tempo, impressive bass line and the omni-present acid guitar, a bit more Hendrix-like this time.

"Negru-Voda Balada" (Black Voda Ballad) I think Voda is a town, but I'm not sure. The longest track of this album. It's mainly a long jam session of blues-rock of the kind that can be found on "Colosseum Live". It's a very good jam indeed, but there was plenty of tracks of this kind during those years. This track is more proto-prog than prog-folk, but it doesn't mean that I dislike it. I'm comparing them to Colosseum, not to Phil C.

"Pseudo Morgana" is probably the most progressive track. The percussions are still from the 60s, the repetitive guitar harping and the bass give it a particular sound. Even if based on just two chords, it's highly enjoyable due to the hard work performed by the bass.

In summary, this is an excellent album with an important characteristic: they didn't try to clone any specific western artist. The influence of blues-rock and psychedelia are evident but this album comes from 1972, so it's natural. This is a band which tries to have an own characteristic sound and the fusion with traditional music gives it a touch of uniqueness.

It's a pity that the recording is not very clean, but it's not too below the standards of those years. Surely it's in line with the standards of the late 60s.

Stars? 4-

Review by Warthur
4 stars Phoenix's debut album shows the band's knack for undermining and skirting the edges of the harsh censorship regime imposed by the Communist authorities in Romania at the time. The authorities had shown stern disapproval of rock music, which was considered to be a Western cultural imposition, and so the band decided to get around the ban by taking a great deal of influence from traditional Romanian folk music, and then fusing that with a rock music approach so that they could still play with the sort of heavy sound they wanted to whilst still remaining within the government-sanctioned guidelines. As well as achieving great popular support in Romania for their skill at pushing the boundaries of public expression under the regime's censorship, often getting away with slipping subtle anti-Communist sentiments past the censors unnoticed, the album also shows a unique prog-folk approach steeped in a musical tradition which few in the West - even folk fans - would have encountered previously. A unique and wonderful mixture.

Latest members reviews

4 stars My first Phoenix albun. Nice music work in a country that in seventies don't listen any rock music and made some of that music is an adventure. Nice music conception with some hard rock guitars parts but with some psichedelic and folk smal parts. Lyrics in Romanian but in the music context. Ni ... (read more)

Report this review (#281972) | Posted by Joăo Paulo | Friday, May 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The band Phoenix had begun in 1961 and is one of the oldest Romanian rock bands. From the first lineup the only member who is still a member in present is Nicu Covaci. After releasing 2 singles, the band was banded from radio and television and forced by the censorship to change their musical st ... (read more)

Report this review (#181913) | Posted by andromacus | Saturday, September 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a true prog folk album. First song is genuinely folk and one can sense the value of this amazing group and what is about to follow. Songs 2 - 6 are the yearly seasons represented in an original form. Nunta (The Wedding) is a very dynamic piece, and it was actually sung by my friends at m ... (read more)

Report this review (#168914) | Posted by Vali | Monday, April 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Great album! Great album! This is a great album of a great band! You have to listen this one! Negru Voda is a long and beautiful song about old-time hero and you'll enjoy at first audition. The lyrics of this album are picked-up from old folklore and some words are not anymore in use. If you'r ... (read more)

Report this review (#39698) | Posted by | Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars no, this is not the best romanian album of all the times but surely it deserves 5 stars.It is a little bit primitive and that make it sounds very good. The romanian folklore is the principal source of inspiration for this album. The songs: Negru Voda - Balada, Nunta, primavara- paparuga, Vara, ... (read more)

Report this review (#37433) | Posted by | Friday, June 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Without any doubt,this is the best Romanian album of all times! Especially the celebrated masterpiece Negru Voda which lasts more than 15 minutes,along with instrumental Pseudo Morgana makes from this album a real masterpiece of Romanian and European rock of the early 70's! The lyrics wrote by ... (read more)

Report this review (#34581) | Posted by | Friday, April 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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