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Santana Beyond Appearances album cover
1.69 | 72 ratings | 5 reviews | 4% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Breaking Out (4:30)
2. Written In Sand (3:49)
3. Brotherhood (2:26)
4. Spirit (5:04)
5. Right Now (5:58)
6. Who Loves You (4:06)
7. I'm The One Who Loves You (3:17)
8. Say It Again (3:27)
9. Two Points Of View (4:54) *
10. How Long (4:00)
11. Touchdown Raiders (3:08)

* Only on CD, not on LP

Total time 44:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Greg Walker / lead & backing vocals
- Alex Ligertwood / lead & backing vocals, rhythm guitar (1)
- Carlos Santana / electric guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar (4), arrangements
- David Sancious / rhythm guitar (1,5), synth (2,4-6), keyboards (3,9)
- Chester D. Thompson / organ (11), synth (1,4-7), keyboards (3,5,9)
- Alphonso Johnson / bass
- Chester Cortez Thompson / drums, bass (2)
- Armando Peraza / bongos (1,2,5,10), percussion (3,9), congas (5), shaker (7)
- Raul Rekow / congas, shekere (2), percussion (3,9), shaker (7), vocals (5)
- Orestes Vilatˇ / bells, timbales, percussion (3,9), woodblocks (6), cymbals (8)

- Craig Hull / guitar (8)
- John Woodhead / guitar (10)
- Steve Goldstein / synth (1,2,6,8,10), keyboards (7), drum machine (8), bass pedals (8)
- Mitchell Froom / string synthesizer (2)
- David Adelstein / synthesizer & DMX drum machine & bass pedals & arrangements (10)
- Robbie Patton / arrangements (10)
- Bryan Garofalo / bass (1)
- F. Bob Getter / string bass (7)
- Craig Krampf / drums (1,2), DMX drum machine (2)
- Anthony LaPeau / backing vocals (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Marty Gessler with Mick Brigden (art direction)

LP CBS ‎- CBS 86307 (1985, Europe) Only 10 tracks

CD Columbia ‎- CK 39527 (1985, US) With 11 tracks in different running order

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SANTANA Beyond Appearances ratings distribution

(72 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (29%)
Poor. Only for completionists (39%)

SANTANA Beyond Appearances reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars If you must avoid one record from this otherwise great group, this woulmd be the one. Apart from another great artwork sleeve, this album has nothing to go for itself.

I mean, very few albums by artistes with Santana's ethics (or aesthetics) come to such a disaster. Obviously Santana was also losing itself in the changing music business and trying to adapt its sound to common FM airplay. And the least we can say that they managed it brilliantly, quite unfortunately for music lovers. The real sad fact is that this metamorphosis was due to the old groups members rather than the arrival of newer and younger musicians in the line-up.

Musucally we have a real awful 80's funk between Miiiiichael and his sister Janet crossed over with Hall & Oates and Journey-type of AOR. Hell some tracks are close Genesis Invisible Touch with Litgerwood's vocal timbre fairly close to the hateful Phil Collins solo vocals. The lest lower-depth tracks being Brother Hood, Spirit and the closing instrumental Touchdown Raiders, but all three would've been fillers on the preceding Shango.

You see where I'm getting at? Well, don't say I didn't warned you.

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars This poor record is not an error in their production. It is only one out many very poor releases of the band starting already in 1978 with "Inner Secrets". At this date, no one can say when they (or should I say) he'll put an end to this.

This once fantastic and so different band has jumped in the middle of an indescriptible desert of creativity and originality trying to convert into a cameleon and adapt to the ambient mood. I have no clue who really could cope with these consecutive reconversions but for sure, I couldn't.

I had never anticiated that Santana would ever turn into a funk/soul/disco uninspired band. At least, on the previous last works there were usually two or three average to good tracks. On this album we'll get three minutes of good music with the closing number (this one reaching the three star status, not more but it should have lasted for ten minutes to make this effort more bearable).

The worse here is probably "Say It Again" : a sort of Barry White insipid stuff. But "Brotherhood" or "Two Points Of View" are of the same caliber. Just pick-up a track at random and you'll get the global picture. By the way, the Collins one is "How Long" : quite a discovery, believe me.

They probably put all their energy and creativity in the sleeve design (although I highly suspected that it was sub-contracted).

I guess that you know the verdict already, right ? One star (but the zero one would have been more appropriate).

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Two and a half years after Shang˘, Santana came back with a new line up, this time with two lead singers (a feature on all his future releases), and a desire to sound "modern". After repeated spins one comes to the conclusion that, for the first time, Carlos Santana left the producer of the moment take over. For the band sounds like several others, but Santana. It┤s hard to blame him to try to make their music actual and relevant at the fickle 80┤s market. If at the end of the 70┤s and early 80┤s they could make the transition to the then current trend (AOR and melodic Rock) without much mishaps, then things got a little more difficult as the fashion changed dramatically by 1985. So outside musicians are called in, as well as a new producer, arrangers and synth programmers and whatever.

The result is a hodgepodge of styles that drowns the original Santana sound almost completely. OK, the guitar lines are still creative, the latin percussion is there, but the songs, the arrangements and, specially, the presence of those 80┤synths and sequencers make Beyond Appearances be just a collection of copies of the current trends, not an improvement (or real modernization) for Santana┤s sound. There is a lost of personality: Brotherhood and Spirit are the typical funky tracks that Michael Jackson or The Commodores would produce at the period. Written In The Sand comes across as a good The Police track, while How Long is pure Phil Collins (even the vocals have all his mannerisms). Not even the only instrumental track (the closer and short Touchdown Raiders) reminds us of the Santana we all know and love.

Not that the songs are bad per se, in fact there is some good stuff here and there, but only totally uncharacteristic. it┤s no surprise that the only single from this album is the catchy and melodic Say It Again, that became a minor hit. It┤s the closest they got from the previous two successful albums, Zebop and Shang˘, and still is not on the same league as Winning or Hold On. Beyond Appearances is exactly the opposite of its title. It really was what it showed: a way to try to sound contemporary gone wrong. it was also the first Santana album not to go gold. And deservedly so.

Although well produced and well performed, Beyond Appearances was a mistake and the first time Santana really lost control over his music. He was not alone, far from it, but it was quite a disappointment anyway, since they had survived the late 70┤s/early 80┤s with such elegance, something most 70┤s artists did not. This one is for Collectors and fans only. Two stars.

Latest members reviews

1 stars Carlos Santana and his band have put out some very excellent albums in their long history. This is not one of them. Beyond Appearances may be my least favorite album by Santana. This is a pure pop rock album in the style of Hall and Oates and Toto. Yeck. Especially heinous are BROTHERHOOD, WRI ... (read more)

Report this review (#606717) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Beyond Appearances shows promise, but it is a slightly awkward affair. . Santana was in transition. Nonetheless, some great tunes lurk within. With the departure of Tom Coster and after the disappointing LP Shango there was a great hole in the Santana line-up. Enter Chester Thompson, form ... (read more)

Report this review (#95692) | Posted by vingaton | Wednesday, October 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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