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GREATEST HITS

Santana

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars A bird in the hand.

Despite the fact that this collection was released in 1974, it only contains selected tracks from Santana's first two albums, plus one track "Everybody's everything" from the third. With the compilation clocking in at a measly 34½ minutes, the record company were not exactly falling over themselves in their generosity, even in the days of the LP record.

The tracks selected are the those which were deemed to be radio friendly, the aforementioned "Everybody's everything" falling neatly into this category, but remaining for me the weakest track on the third album. With the majority of the tracks running to around 3 minutes, there's little or no room for the more interesting (especially from a prog perspective) Santana songs.

A number of the tracks are founded on the Latin percussion rhythms which the band favoured, including "Jingo", "Oye como va", and "se a cabo". These tend not to be the ones which appeal to my ear, and as such collecting them in this way is rather lost on me.

This early "Greatest hits" package demonstrated that either the record company did not have much faith in Santana's long term prospects (is there significance in the bird in the hand illustration on the sleeve?), or that they were keen to cash in on their developing reputation, probably more the latter than the former.

Those who already had the first two albums must have been somewhat bemused however by the half hearted nature of this product.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#125833)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I listened to this compilation in the very old and now defunct 8-track cartridge format because one of my brothers had it in that format and he played it in a component which also played cassettes and LPs. I think that the order of the songs in that cartridge was different, but it sounded very good. I also think that the cartridge also included an additional song called "Soul Sacrifice", but I can`t remember well now

I think that this was a premature compilation, and yes, it only includes songs from their earlier albums. But in this case, at least in my country, these songs were very popular in the radio in the early seventies. In fact, there are some FM oldies radio stations in this city still playing some of them regularly, like: "Evil Ways" , "Jingo", "Samba pa ti", "Black magic woman" and "Oye como va". Some of these songs were among the first I heard from this band in the early seventies. "Hope you're feeling better" is one of the heaviest early songs played with very good guitars.

I think that by 1974, with the original band almost dissolved, Santana`s music became more elaborated and maybe the record label with this release was saying to the band: "We want more songs in this style. We want more hits. We don`t want your complicated new music" . The record label maybe was "nostalgical", so they released this compilation.

Of course, there are better compilation than this which were released years later.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#158387)
Posted Saturday, January 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Don't be deceived by the 'Greatest Hits' tag: this represents tracks culled from the first three SANTANA albums. That said, it's a fair representation of early SANTANA, the kind of jazz-funk-rock the public lapped up.

And, actually, it's pretty good. All the tracks here are short, tailored to be commercially successful, without a hint of the progressiveness later to infest SANTANA's music, but they're mighty fine tunes when it comes down to it. Still, if you want a Greatest Hits collection you'd do better to look at one of the others on offer. The second, progressive stage of their career is the most interesting (check out the 1998 double CD release), and there are even some decent songs from their third and much later phase, following the heavily promoted 'Supernatural'.

If you're looking for the groove of early SANTANA, this might be just what you want. However, if you have early SANTANA in your collection, don't bother with this.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#166275)
Posted Thursday, April 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I was introduced to SANTANA through this early compilation and it is a good starting point for young listeners who may not be familiar with classic SANTANA period. It contains most of the popular hits from the first three studio albums. The cover with a white dove positioned against a black body is memorable. Probably there are many better, more comprehensive and nicely packed CD compilations issued in the last 2 decades, but this mid-70s vinyl collection is decent enough. At least as a documentary historical item.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#166287)
Posted Thursday, April 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Nice hits from early Santana!

Santana is one of the artists featured on this site that i knew since i was a kid, the figure of Carlos Santana is of course well known here in Mexico so his (their) music is played frequently in radio stations or any other public places; I am sure there is a lot of people here who love Santana and their musical style.

Well this review is being written while i read some other Santana´s album reviews, i want to review Caravanserai but i think i need more time, so now i can go to the easy way and review a compillation album.

This greatest hits collection does not actually contain the band´s best songs, simply because this CD was released back in 1974 where the band had released only their first 3 albums, so after that there are a lot of great tunes which that greatest hits tag would fit best. Though some of their better known songs were composed during that early era.

A clear example is the opener, "Evil Ways" which has always been a favourite of mine, from their very first album and a memorable track. In this album you will find 10 tracks, and a running time of 35 minutes of nice jazzy, caribbean full of percussion Santana music.

Some other tracks you will find here are "Samba pa Ti", "Jingo", "Sa A Cabo" and a shorter version of "Black Magic Woman", so if you like Santana, you will enjoy this short compillation album, and if you are a collector buy it, it is cheap.

Not bad at all, though there are better CD´s. 2.75 rounded to 3 stars!

Enjoy it!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#223179)
Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Santana - Greatest Hits (1974)

This release covers all the song-type material of Santana till '74. It is suitable for those who like the songs of Santana, but it's useless for those who own studio and live albums of the band. Though the material presented is quite strong, it's a bit out of place for album music listeners.

The material itself is mainly Latin rock with Spanish and English vocals. I must admit that I don't thing Santana plays very accurate on some of his early material, but I'm a guitarist myself and I listen very critically to other guitarists. The good thing about this album is that it might be a good record to listen to when you have visitors, most people will like the known Santana songs.

From a progressive/fusion point of view this isn't important at all. Buy some albums (how about the first four?) of the ambitious Lotus Live double cd if you want to hear what Santana was capable of. This release came to be for the pop-scene, so skip on it. Most single Santana albums are more worthwhile. Two stars.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#272362)
Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars The original Santana Greatest Hits compliation. This contains 10 songs from albums up to 1974. Most people who would get this probably already own his first few outstanding records, so this is really not an essential package. highlights are "Evil Ways", "Jingo", "Black Magic Woman", and, of course, "Oye Como Va", one of the great latin-rhythm rock tunes eve recorded by any artist. Nothing here is bad, but nothing essential that can not be found elsewhere, sometimes even in longer versions. Not really any jazzy/progressive music from Santana on this release, that would come later on some of his other albums. Overall, this rates only a 2 because of it's lack of anything original or critical that can't be gotten elsewhere (gotten?).

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#314966)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 | Review Permalink

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