Sfinx - Lume Alba + Sfinx (EP). 1974-1975 Romania

Sfinx - Lume albă. 1975 Electrecord

CD reissue: 2015 Soft Records (w/EP from 1974)

LP reissue: 1981 Electrecord

Sfinx's debut album is an extraordinary accomplishment given the time and place. Since so few rock albums were privileged to a deprived audience, Sfinx released something akin to a "Beatles Effect" album, with a mixture of popular styles. But being it was 1975 and all, progressive rock was one of those prominent styles, and this is where Sfinx excelled most. Especially on the stunningly beautiful 'Sinteze' which sounds like an underground track on the Pole label from France - and the Moog solos are divine. Plenty of highlights to go around in the progressive, folk, and hard rock genres, understanding that consistency is not what Sfinx were striving for at the time, so be prepared for some downtime too.

----Sfinx (EP) 1974 Electrecord

Debut recordings from Sfinx, who were to flesh out more on their subsequent debut LP in 1975. Opens with the hard rocking 'Coborise primavera', before delving into the pop songwriter 'Ziua ta'. Flip side consists of what could be called a "classic Midwest USA AOR" sophisticated pomp rocker, before closing with the lovely ballad 'Peste virfuri'. Nice EP.

The tri-fold digi-pak 2015 CD on Soft Records is awesome, with fantastic sound, liner notes in Romanian and English (latter truncated somewhat, but informative).  

Special thanks goes to our good friend Eddie for providing this CD!

Comments

  1. Hi please could you send me the link at :
    lombard-philippe]@Bbox.fr

    Thanks a lot !

    Cheers

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    1. Hi Sosgotcha - This is not a download site. Just reviews here. Thanks for reading though!

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  2. To quote my own comment on the Baumann/Koek post: "Think of all the great music that was never recorded, let alone released, for financial reasons..." We can now add "for political reasons" to that.

    Sometimes I'm surprised, though, by the things people got away with. Take Stern Combo Meissen's Die Sage for example. Thinly veiled (and I mean wafer thin) criticism of the oppressive regime. How on earth did that get past the GDR censors? OK, they called it a saga/legend, but surely nobody fell for that one, did they?

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    1. It definitely makes you want to cry knowing full well that Eastern Europe would have been a waterfall of great music during that era, if it not for the "ever present authorities". And the GDR were one of the worst. But, yea, there seemed to be a few artists they let slide, like Niemen in Poland, Modry Efekt in Czechoslovakia, and Stern Meissen (who they even procured a mellotron for!). I always figured it was a "Sergeant Schultz" type effect (if you get the reference from Hogan's Heroes), where a little food, drink, and other luxuries were used to distract/bribe.

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    2. You could be right; keep them happy with a few scraps. Or perhaps they just weren't very consistent. I was reading the liner notes from one of the Niemen box sets where he mentions he was banned from the Opole festival in 1970 (only to perform to a packed audience at the same venue the next day, haha). But then they allowed him to go to the US a few years later to record three albums in English!

      Certainly in the case of Niemen his popularity could also have played a role. If they'd come down too hard on him, who knows what would've happened...

      And I was just thinking: Niemen regularly used poems from the 19th century Polish greats (Norwid, Słowacki) on his later albums, which must've scored him some brownie points for patriotism, although I'm sure that wasn't his goal :-)

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