What about Phoenix before Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix?

We all like Phoenix. And what’s not to like?

1901 is rhythmic and catchy, Lisztomania makes you wanna dance, and Love Like a Sunset Part 2 is dreamy and soft.

The band’s 4th studio album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009) was showered with awards when it came out (Time listed it as a Top 10 albums of 2009, Pitchfork listed it as a Top 50 albums of 2009, Rolling Stone listed it as a Top 25 Albums of 2009). The band is so confident in their own success that they’ve started giving away their album for free to encourage fans to make their own remixes.

But what about Phoenix before Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix?

The band released 3 studio albums between 2000-2009: United (2000), Alphabetical (2004), and It’s Never Been Like That (2006). In their early days, they sounded not unlike a blah boy band; the kind featured in the credits of a 90’s rom-com. Thankfully, they’ve undergone a complete evolution. To explore this, here are my picks from each album:

United (2000)
MP3: Party Time – Phoenix Although there’s a really hilarious saxophone solo in Definitive Breaks, I chose Party Time, because it’s one of the few songs on the album that I can actually tolerate.

Alphabetical (2004)
MP3: If It’s Not With You – Phoenix My favourite part is the little cough sound effect. I listen to this song when I’m feeling particularly romantic.

It’s Never Been Like That (2006)
MP3: Long Distance Call – Phoenix This song has the foundations of Phoenix’s sound as it is known today.

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)
MP3: Big Sun (Ivan Beck Remix) – Phoenix
Check out what is possibly the best unofficial music video ever for Lisztomania.

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