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Santana Sacred Fire (Live In South America) album cover
3.20 | 36 ratings | 2 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Angels All Around Us (Introduction) (1:57)
2. Vive La Vida (Life Is For Living) (4:18)
3. Esperando (5:58)
4. No One To Depend On (4:38)
5. Black Magic Woman/ Gypsy Queen (including: Paint It Black) (8:53)
6. Oye Como Va (including: El Pito [I'll Never Go Back To Georgia]) (5:07)
7. Samba Pa Ti (including: El Manisero/ Forest Flower- Sunset/ Brazil/ Breezin') (6:49)
8. Guajira (6:13)
9. Make Somebody Happy (7:14)
10. Toussaint L'Overture (6:52)
11. Soul Sacrifice/ Don't Try This At Home (including: Love Supreme/ Light My Fire) (7:26)
12. Europa (including: I Want You/ Kiss Of The Spider Woman/ Ponta De Areia) (6:11)
13. Jin-Go-Lo-Ba (5:43)

Line-up / Musicians

- Carlos Santana / guitar, lead vocals, background vocals, percussion
- Chester Thompson / keyboards, background vocals
- Myron Dove / bass, background vocals
- Walfredo Reyes / drums, percussions
- Raul Rekow / congas, percussion, background vocals
- Karl Perazzo / timbales, congas, lead vocals, background vocals
- Alex Ligertwood / lead vocals, background vocals
- Vorriece Cooper / lead vocals, background vocals
- Jorge Santana / guitar

Releases information

1993 PolyGram Records, Inc 521 082-2

Thanks to MANDRAKEROOT for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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SANTANA Sacred Fire (Live In South America) ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SANTANA Sacred Fire (Live In South America) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars "Muy buenas, estamos encantados y inspirados de estar en su presencia. Antes de comenzar con la vibración de la música queremos recordarles que en este momento si toman el tiempo de ver con el corazón, no con la mente, vamos a ver que estamos rodeados, completamente rodeados de ángeles. Lo vemos, lo sentimos bailando, siempre bailando en el cuerpo".

Hence the title "Angels All Around Us" of this philosophical intro. Carlos had turned into a rather mystical person (but it is not new : I saw the band live in 1973 and 1998 and there were lots of "love" or "god" messages (too much to my taste) between numbers.

These are the introductory words for the master to the audience. Although the CD refers to Live in South America, its DVD brother clearly specifies a recording in Mexico, and the CD is more than probably also recorded there since track list are almost the same (but the liner notes of the CD is not really specific on this point).

So, there is really no best place than Mexico to record a Santana live album, right ? Mexican people are really bound to their roots (tortilla, guacamole, chiles etc.) much more than Europeans for instance (my wife being Mexican, I could experienced this fact since...1985). So it must have been a very emotional time for Carlos to triumph in front of his fellow countrymen (women).

IMO the last sixteen years have been very difficult in terms of quality output for Santana (and for his fans, I can tell you). When you see the tracklist of this live effort one is relieved : not the slightest shadow of these very poor numbers. This clearly demonstrates that Carlos must be pretty much aware of the music level he has produced in those days...

The first two numbers of the album are "Spanish" oriented (which is rather normal) : "Vive La Vida" is a good latin-rock number while "Esperando" (Waiting) is a reggae number with rather poor mixed lyrics (English, Spanish) : "Santana Pa' Mi, Santana Pa' Ti, pero que rico, que rico Santana". Not really great a start, to say the least. As far as I know, they were unrealeased Santana numbers at the time.

All the other numbers belong to the best Santana repertoire except "Make Somebody Happy" which has awful vocals (this is alas a trademark since Gregg left in ... 1973) but a fantastic guitar solo will save it from the disaster. Most of the tracks come from "Abraxas" and "Santana III". No "Caravanserai" one unfortunatley and two from their first album.

Some numbers are really fabulously played.

The best examle is "Guajira" : this good track from III is transformed by a magical guitar solo backed with great percussions. It is one of the highlight here while it was average in its studio form.

Although the keyboard sounds weird at times, the suite "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen" is superb. Extended quite a bit, it features a great finale. "Toussaint L'Overture" is as great as the original. "Samba Pa'Ti" always provides me the same emotion although, again, the keyboard is rather disturbing here. It features also a bit of "Brazil" like in the "Lotus" version.

One of the many variation of this emblematic theme "Europa" is on par with the mother song. Carlos makes his guitar cry and tranports the listener to the borders of sensual delight (but again those stupid keys almost ruin it). "Jingo" is rather average.

The major dissapointment is of course the poor version of their greatest number : "Souls Sacrifice". It starts as the Woodstock one with the "Crowd Rain Chant" for a few seconds. The first two minutes are OK, but then it enters into such a poor phase (a vocal one, during "Soul Sacrifice". Can you imagine ?). From then on, the track is unrecognizable. The percussion part is rather emasculated and this enactment is really bad. Where are you Mike ? Where are you "Chepito" ? I simply adore this number but it is really incredible that they rendered it so poorly here.

This live album comes like a great breath of fresh air after such a long period of uninspired studio albums. Still, bearing in mind that some numbers are quite average and that "Soul" is disastrous (really), I will rate this album three stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Sacred Fire was the first Santana CD I bought in my life. It was cheap at one of our biggest music stores and I coudn't miss the chance to have so many great songs in just one record. Although at this time Santana had released some weak, commercial stuff, I figured by the setlist thus CD might have some great music, since most of the songs were from his earlier, most creative phase. My guess was partially right.

Some tracks are just wonderful, like the atmospheric intro Angels All Around All that segues directly to Vive La Vida, a great latin number that for some reason is missing from the DVD version (and it is too the main reason I never got that DVD). The rest of the CD is usually fine, with obvious fantastic trademark Santana guitar work all over it. Unfortunate the keyboards sound are way too dated, sounding like if someone from Kenny G's band programmed them. But it is bearable. And the repertoire is very good. The only bad song here is Make Somebody Happy, really awful, maybe the only redeemer of his worst works. The obligatory Soul Sacrifice was also miles away from the incendiary version we all saw in Woodstock. But the remaining classic songs were very well played, with some add ups here and there (including , for some reason, Milton Nascimento's Ponta De Areia on Europa, which is odd, since Nascimento is brazilian!).

So in the end I found this record to be very pleasing. Although not the best of Santana's live efforts, it is nevertheless, very good and came in a time most fans had lost hope this guitar hero would make something really good. This CD showed he still could deliver the goods when he wanted to and maybe paved the way for his artistic and commercial rebirth by the late 90's. 3,5 stars.

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