Nicolae Covaci founds the student band “Sfintii” (The Saints) in Timisoara. The band wins second prize at the Bucharest Student Festival. From the very beginning the band is criticized for having a western European influence.
The band’s recordings of their own compositions first receive radio air play.
The Saints are banned. The authorities accuse the band of spreading religious propaganda, and the band is forced to change its name.
PHOENIX is born. Under their new name, the band plays three times a week at the School of Engineering cantina, and later at "Lola", the club of the Construction Industry Union in Timisoara.
PHOENIX wins the Grand-Prix of the Romanian Festival in Iasi. The band receives its first recording contract and makes regular appearances on radio and TV. PHOENIX releases its first record "Vremuri"(Times), an EP with four songs.
The band wins prizes for creativity and interpretation at the Romanian student festival at the School of Architecture in Bucharest. Their second four-song EP called "Floarea stincilor"(The flower of the rocks) is released.
PHOENIX again wins a prize at the Romanian student festival at the School of Architecture in Bucharest- this time for originality.