Budka Suflera is a Polish rock band which was started in 1969 in Lublin by Krzysztof Cugowski, and, after disbanding soon thereafter, resurrected by Cugowski and Romuald Lipko in 1974 and active to this day. They are perhaps best known for their rock ballads, such as "Jolka Jolka" and "Za ostatni grosz" that are often quoted as some of the best songs of Polish rock.
1.1 Early days (1969-1974),
1.2 Breakthrough (1975-1976),
3.1 Studio albums,
3.3 Live albums,
3.4 Compilation albums,
Early days (1969-1974):
The band was started in 1969 with jam sessions by Krzysztof Cugowski (vocals), Krzysztof Brozi (lead guitar), Janusz Pędzisz (bass guitar) and Jacek Grün (drums). They performed cover versions of John Mayall, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin in local venues and disbanded after making a few radio recordings and several concerts.
In 1970 Cugowski joined a band Stowarzyszenie Cnót Wszelakich, led by his school mate Romuald Lipko. Soon the band was renamed to Budka Suflera. After few member changes the band finally made in March 1974 to be their first major recording, "Sen o dolinie" as the Polish cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine". The song received much airplay, which resulted in an offer from Polskie Nagrania record label, as well as numerous concert proposals.
In autumn 1974 the next song is recorded, "Cień wielkiej góry", inspired by death of two Polish mountaineers (Zbigniew Stepek and Andrzej Grzązek) in Himalayas in 1973. It instantly became a hit and appeared on many compilations and live albums since then. The band also recorded "Lubię ten stary obraz" in November 1974 and "Memu miastu na do widzenia" in the beginning of 1975. The drummer Zbigniew Zieliński was replaced by Tomasz Zeliszewski soon after this.
The first album, entitled Cień wielkiej góry after its first track, was released in 1975. This record saw some contributions from Czesław Niemen, who played his Moog synthesizer psychedelic parts in a majestic rock suite called "Szalony koń". Clocking over 19 minutes, this track took a whole B-side of the long play.
The radio hit "Sen o dolinie" as well as "Memu miastu na do widzenia" were not placed on the album. The first one was rejected by the record label, because it was a cover of a foreign artist and the latter was written by Lipko solely (there was a sort of deal among the band members, they wanted only songs written by Cugowski and Lipko together on the first album).
The release became a success and the band went on a tour to East Germany. There, few German versions of band's greatest hits were recorded. There were plans to release an album in Germany, but they failed as Cugowski missed a recording session. A second attempt failed, too, because of the exhausting tour that ended just before.
In 1976 another band's record, named Przechodniem byłem między wami was released. It did not repeat the success of its predecessor. After the release, Cugowski decided to leave the band and start a solo career. He was replaced by Stanisław Wenglorz, an ex-singer of Skaldowie. He has only appeared on few records ("Rozmowa", "Kula nocnego światła", "Ślady na piasku", "Życiowy numer"), then unreleased and quit soon after. The next vocalist became Romuald Czystaw.
The band's line-up has changed many times over the years. Since 2005 the band members are:
Krzysztof Cugowski - vocals,
Romuald Lipko - keyboards,
Tomasz Zeliszewski - drums,
Łukasz Pilch - guitar,
Mirosław Stępień - bass guitar,
Piotr Kominek - keyboards,
Anna Patynek - percussion,
Małgorzata Orczyk - backing vocals,
Irena Kijewska - backing vocals