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Santana Inner Secrets album cover
2.54 | 112 ratings | 6 reviews | 3% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dealer/ Spanish Rose (5:51)
2. Move On (4:26)
3. One Chain (Don't Make No Prison) (7:13)
4. Stormy (4:46)
5. Well All Right (4:11)
6. Open Invitation (4:47)
7. Life Is A Lady/ Holiday (3:48)
8. The Facts Of Love (5:32)
9. Wham! (3:28)

Total time 44:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Greg Walker / lead & backing vocals
- Carlos Santana / lead & rhythm guitars
- Chris Solberg / lead & rhythm guitars, organ
- Chris Rhyne / keyboards, synth
- David Margen / bass
- Graham Lear / drums
- Armando Peraza / bongos, percussion
- Raul Rekow / congas, percussion
- Pete Escovedo / timbales, percussion

- Dennis Lambert / clavinet, backing vocals, co-producer
- Mike Boddicker / synth programming

Releases information

Artwork: Norman Seeff

LP Columbia ‎- FC 35600 (1978, US)

CD Columbia ‎- 498371 2 (1987, France)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SANTANA Inner Secrets ratings distribution

(112 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

SANTANA Inner Secrets reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

As the decade is drawing near, Santana was moving more out of his pure jazz-rock era, probably realizing the style was starting to exhaust its possibilities. The album does veer a slight bit towards the funky (and even a bit disco) with a typoical Spencer Davis touch with Greg Walker's Winwood-styled vocals.

While the album starts out surprisingly on a Traffic cover of Dealer (good but not as good as the original) and ending on a cool Spanish outro, Move On is now a typical Santana track that mixes Winwood-souled vocals with that typicvally aerial latin-fusion the group had developped over the last four years. The surprisingly funky (dare I say almost disco- ish) One Chain is hardly insufferable though, but the more calm but still funky Stormy is rather bland.

Side 2 starts out with another Winwood classic followed by a harder Open Invitation reminding a bit the early-days Steve Perry Journey, but nothing infuriating either. The Lady/Holiday couple is bringing us back towards Amigos, while the funky Facts Of love is again flirting with a funky Winwood influence.. The closing percussive Wham! is almost a return to the first three albums albeit slightly modernized, and might just be my fave on the album.

By then end of the album, one can only be a tad irritated at the too-numerous Winwood references from Spencer Davis to Traffic, but this is clearly due to Dennis Lambert's production also as he collaborated to three songs also, earning a co-credit for each. Not one of Santana's most original album, not one of his worst either. Only really flawed by the heavily-slanted singing, this remains a good Santana album, just not an essential one.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Inner Secrets spelt out the real change in Carlos Santana's directing of Santana the group. Here we go again on the late 70's merry -go-round ' adapt or die' reality that these groups were faced with. Santana survived and to some extents even better than the other bands as they blended the latino/rock/jazz fusion into a more 80's directed AOR sound. Who cares, the trade off was worth it as Santana proved on at least 5 or six further studio releases. Inner Secrets was the first major bold step in changing direction. Some erstwhile progressive followers may think this was the end of Santana, IMO that is totally wrong as the late 70's even through to the late 90's yielded superb material from this band.' One Chain' is the main single of Inner Secrets and it is absolutely superb. The quality of which outweighs the commercial edge.' Open Invitation' and ' The Facts Of Love' are other great songs. Greg Walker really shines on this album in the vocals department and CS continues to shapeshift his guitar to whatever guises he sees fit. Great album 3.5 stars full of positive subteties of even better days ahead.
Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars During almost ten years, Santana has delivered several great albums and a few good ones. I'm afraid that with this one, we enter into a rather long obscurantism period. Santana going soul / disco ? Yes man, it is possible ! How could such a great band turn into such a (poor) joke ? This is quite a mystery for me.

I have been found of Santana all the way through : discovering them with "Abraxas" in December 1970, being completely blown out with their "Soul Sacrifice" rendition at Woodstock (I heard this one in February 1971 for the very first time). I even could enter their jazz-rock period with not so many problem.

But this one is just beyond my abilities. Should it have been good disco ! But no, it is real crap all the way through. The worse is probably reached with "One Chain" and "Stormy". What a pity !

To be honest, "Life Is A Lady/Holiday" is the first track that I, as an old Santana fan, can afford (although Carlos tries again to re-create for the seventh time now a clone for "Samba Pa' Ti"). Alas, it is way too short and cut abruptedly.

The closing number "Wham!" is the second good track of the album (again too short).

Santana would have been inspired in producing a single which would have been great ! Vocals were never really a trademark for Santana. There is way too much in here. This is for masochists only. One star. Avoid it as the plague.

Review by stefro
1 stars From 1978 onward, Santana would produce virtually nothing of note. And for a long time too. Despite the commercial success of the much-vaunted late-nineties all-star comeback album 'Superatural' and it's pair of facsimiled follow-ups, there has been precious little music to get excited about since 1977's 'Moonflower', a half-live, half-studio double-album which was essentially a compilation piece rounding up the best bits from the latin group's last three studio efforts 'Borboletta', 'Amigos' and 'Festival', all of which were issued between 1974 and 1976. Fans may not have guessed it at the time but 'Moonflower' would prove to be the very last musical breath of the Santana band's jazz-fusion age. Meant as a new kind of beginning, 'Inner Secrets' was issued at a time when Santana's commercial fortunes were starting to dwindle, with Carlos Santana himself now the only original member left. Although 'Moonflower' had been a success, the studio albums were faring less well, and the advent of punk-rock had brutally altered the rock 'n' roll landscape of the 1970's. The group's previous studio effort, 1977's 'Festival', had received a lukewarm response from both critics and fans, and this, coupled with the huge North American success groups such as Styx, Journey and Kansas were then achieving, all seemed enough to sway Carlos Santana into making wholesale changes in preparation for Santana's next phase of activity. As a result, a full year after 'Moonflower' 'Inner Secrets' was released, thus beginning a gruelling three-and-a-half decade-long artistic and commercial decline. They would release one more album during the 1970's, with the undistinguished 'Marathon' picking up where it's predecessor left off, before seriously losing the plot during the 1980's with a series of dreadful album covers adorning some almost- as-dreadful AOR albums. With their audience shrinking and each album consistently selling less copies than the last, synthesizers were introduced on 1985's desperate 'Beyond Appearances' and maintained for 1987's almost-as-flavourless 'Freedom', the group by now hovering desperately close to rock bottom. 'Spirits Dancing In The Flesh'(1990) and 'Milagro'(1992) failed to reverse the trend, and by 1993 Santana finally seemed done, the challenge of Nirvana and grunge almost beyond them. Of course, we all know what happened next - thanks Clive Davis and Arista - but we also know what happened between 1968 and 1977 when Santana produced some of the finest rock albums of the era. However, before you buy 'Inner Secrets', think about the chain of albums it set in motion, and realize that this is by no means the Santana we all knew and loved on 'Abraxas', 'Caravanserai' and 'Welcome'. Whilst 'Welcome' is seen as probably the last 'great' Santana album, 'Amigos' and 'Festival' can jointly be seen as the last decent Santana studio efforts. Both, of course, featured a slightly commercial slant, but they remained true to the jazz-fusion course set by it's predecessors and are both well worth a place in any proper Santana collection. They might not have been classics, but they positively kick-ass when compared to the soulless mainstream stuff found on 'Inner Secrets', an album that really did signal the beginning of the end. To put it finely, this is a cynical slice of corporate rock, a Santana record in name only. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Yes, I should hate this album. For several reasons: itīs clearly commercial, it has many covers and itīs not exactly what you might expect from the "classic" Santana sound. Still, they did a marvelous job anyway. First: the covers are surprisingly good. I really didnīt know they were capable of doing such a work on songs like Dealer (Traffic), Well All Right (Buddy Holly, covered by Blind Faith), One Chain (Donīt Make No Prison) (Four Tops) and even the Classic IV 1968 famous top ten hit Stormy. I was completely taken by surprise of how singer Greg Walker could emulate Steve Winwoodīs voice so faithfully. That is no small feat at all. But the bandīs arrangements and performance are also spotless. Even the disco-ish One Chain works wonders, maybe because Santana familiarity with percussion and the fact the bandīs music was always danceable. They could record a whole album of covers and it would still be very good.

But the originals are not bad either. Ok, they are not exactly classics, but for the time (1978, the year of punk and disco)) they were producing some really elaborated and melodic rock stuff. And they recorded a guitar led instrumental track to keep the tradition: Life is a Lady/Holiday is sure no Samba Pa ti, but then again, who was doing something like that in 1978? Wham is another fine instrumental track that closes the album. And I was glad they finally dropped their funk/soul attempts for good.

In the end I found Inner Secrets to be a really pleasant album. And far superior to a lot of what Santana delivered from the mid-eighties onward. With no concessions and no fillers, it was proof that they did not surrender to the fashion of the day (yet). Like the following Marathon, they were only moving on, trying to find their way in a difficult period for rock music in general. And they did that with good songs, elegance and style. I wish I could say the same about several prog acts of the period. 3,5 stars.

Latest members reviews

2 stars The record marks further departure from Latin sound, embracing more mainstream feeling and absorbing more pop sound without brass and lively instrumentation of the past. This means that the album is still of good quality with several well written songs but lacking ambitions of previous releases. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2343541) | Posted by sgtpepper | Wednesday, March 18, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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