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Santana Santana IV album cover
3.89 | 109 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Yambu (3:27)
2. Shake It (4:45)
3. Anywhere You Want To Go (5:05)
4. Fillmore East (7:44)
5. Love Makes The World Go Round (4:20)
6. Freedom In Your Mind (5:30)
7. Choo Choo (4:10)
8. All Aboard (2:03)
9. Suenos (5:15)
10. Caminando (4:21)
11. Blues Magic (4:26)
12. Echizo (3:54)
13. Leave Me Alone (4:01)
14. You And I (4:20)
15. Come As You Are (4:52)
16. Forgiveness (7:22)

Total time 75:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Carlos Santana / guitar, vocals, arrangements
- Neal Schon / guitar, vocals
- Gregg Rolie / Hammond B3, keyboards, lead vocals, arrangements (3)
- Benny Rietveld / bass, arrangements (1,9), programming (1,9,10)
- Michael Shrieve / drums
- Michael Carabello / congas, percussion, backing vocals
- Karl Perazzo / timbales, percussion, vocals

- Ronald Isley / vocals (5,6)
- Cornell Carter / backing vocals (5,6)

Releases information

Artwork: Heather Griffin-Vine

2xLP Santana IV Records ‎- S4007-1 (2016, Europe)

CD Santana IV Records ‎- S4007 (2016, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SANTANA Santana IV ratings distribution

(109 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

SANTANA Santana IV reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars I have not bothered with any recent Santana releases, in fact the most recent Santana album I own is Moonflower. So I was surprised to see much of the original Woodstock band is back for this, Santana IV. All except David Brown, who unfortunately passed away in 2000, and Jose Chepito Areas, for some reason or another couldn't be present. Neil Schon, though not an original member of the original band, makes a reappearance (it seems that Schon's guitar playing has a more distorted feel, and Santana's has a more clean tone, which applies for Santana III way back in 1971 as well). For the most part I found it surprisingly enjoyable. I love the album cover, it's very reminiscent of their 1969 debut, except now it's a tiger, rather than a lion. The LP version is embossed, with the Santana logo and the sharp fangs and eyes being embossed. To me it sounds like, well, more or less, an updated version of the original Santana band, basically with modern production values. "Yambu" has a rather distinctly African feel to it, while the next two songs "Shake It" and "Anywhere You Want to Go" is just plain great songs, even Gregg Rolie still delivering that trademark organ (although I'm sure he's using a more modern organ these days). Big surprise: "Fillmore East", obviously in honor of the venue in New York (I'm surprised it wasn't called "Fillmore West" given Santana's San Francisco origins). Santana goes a completely unexpected direction in the the world of Krautrock-influenced space rock. It's as if Carlos Santana (and perhaps Neal Schon) was channeling Manuel Gottsching. Listening to this, you'd wonder if you were listening to Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free or Amon Duul II. It's completely not what I expect out of Santana, but I love it. I have no idea how aware Carlos Santana is of the German scene, so for all I know, it's pure coincidence. Lovers of space rock need to hear this! Minor chords seem a bit rare in Santana, given its frequent upbeat manner, but here minor chords dominate, and it gives that spacy, eerie, ominous feel I don't usually associate with Santana. The next two songs, "Love Makes the World Go Round" and "Freedom Around the World" feature Ronald Isley (Isley Brothers, naturally), and while soul music isn't my music of choice, these two songs are surprisingly good, especially because it still has that wonderful Latin rock energy you expect out of Santana. "Caminando" is generally a great song, but I could do without those digitally replicated horn (sounds like it was from a workstation synth) which seems a bit tacky. "Blues Magic", is unsurprisingly a bluesy song, and a rather good one. I really felt the album runs out of steam towards the end though, and the last four songs are nothing to write home about. "Come As You Are" has a bit of a Calypso feel going on, and to be honest it's not to my liking. "Forgiveness" just seems like a rather self-indulgent number, although when the vocals kick in, it reminds me of Peter Gabriel. It's like the band sorta ran out of inspiration towards the end, but that's a common problem with double album sets. I have to say, when this album is great, it's wonderful. It might not reach the highs of the first three albums, but it's certainly a hellova lot better than having to put up with "Smooth" being overplayed to death on the radio (the big reason I never bought Supernatural, that, and the over-reliance on alternative rock and contemporary R&B musicians). So I'm glad it's not some star-studded cast found here like on Supernatural (only Ronald Isley was the major guest on Santana IV). A rather good album and worth having, even with a couple of weak numbers. Plus it has "Fillmore East" for all you space rock junkies.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There is little doubt that when Carlos Santana first appeared on the world stage in the late 60s, the musical universe was not quite ready to begin to understand how he would change the nature of modern music, and hence, add his 'progressive' twist to the wonderful yet still puerile world of rock 'n roll. That first solo album was also one of my first purchases back in the day and it caused quite a commotion, especially the sensational epic instrumental "Soul Sacrifice". Then the legendary Woodstock festival altered everything, a society taking a virtual leap forward in terms of adventure (the space race culminated in the moon landings), discovery (sex, drugs and Rock 'n Roll) and illumination (the counter culture). A million people attended, one died and one was born, go figure! When the movie came out, there was little dissent when fans claimed that Santana's presentation of "Soul Sacrifice" blew everyone away. Yes, they looked awfully stoned but those were the days, babe! Carlos was torturing his Gibson SG with eyes closed in unabashed fury, curly haired Michael Shrieve thrashing his drum kit in one of the greatest drum solos ever, the propelling organ of Gregg Rollie and of course, a cavalcade of bongos, congas, timbales that stamped the Latino sound. Fame and fortune followed, lots of hits, albums "Abraxas" and "III", continued the blues/fusion style until Carlos met Sri Chinmoy and went down an incredible path of spiritual exploration that culminated in his most progressive effort yet , the spectacular "Caravanserai", which also had Neil Schon as an axe partner. The follow-up "Borboletta" was also deliciously experimental and remains on par with the previous masterpiece. I had the privilege of attending both tours and the music was volcanic, to say the very least. Then began a long, very long slide into commercialism that continued unabated from 1976 until 2016 with the unexpected release of "IV", a direct return to those heady pre-"Caravanserai" days. Retro? Ya think? Well, original debut album alumni Santana, Rollie, Shrieve and Mike Carabello, with latter members Schon, bassist Benny Rietveld and Karl Perraza on percussion, all agreeing to revisit the past and offer up some cool Latino-fused rock. This is certain much more palatable than the recent 'supernatural' pop that padded the career but not necessarily long- time fans.

75 minutes of thrilling music played out over 16 tracks, so this is a biggie, as the band must have been quite inspired. For those of you who continue (and rightly so) to adulate the churning, roiling and burning sound of the Hammond B3, then you will undoubtedly be satiated, as Greg Rollie really pulls out all the stops on every single track. In fact, I cannot remember an album so front-loaded with organ, perhaps Niacin (Novello, Sheehan & Chambers). Within seconds of opener "Yambu", the terrific organ display kicks you in the gut, spiced up tropical chants, rampaging bass, jungle percussion, slick and thick guitars and lots of Latino drive. Then follows a cavalcade of different styles, showing the wide musical panorama within this relatively tight genre. There are some classic Afro-Latino canons , bluesy pieces , heavier rock material, smooth bliss out jams and the odd ballad , all garnished with a myriad of Carlos Santana solos , ably assisted by Neal Schon's gravellier approach.

Highlight tracks are the feverish and very sensual "Fillmore East" and its 1970-ish feel, a 7 minute+ excursion into lush sonic horizons that may recall the sweeping levels attained with "Caravanserai", a densely progressive score that showcases the dual guitars that made Santana such a powerful force back in the day. Slowly blooming arrangement and utterly sunny in disposition, this is dreamland space rock music of the highest order, with a nearly "Maggot Brain"-like feel at times. Splendid track indeed!

The delicious "Suenos " has an almost Bond-like intro followed quickly by that classic slow Latino lullaby a la "Samba Pa Ti", "Europa" and such.., an instrumental voyage into simple beauty and melodic apotheosis, elevating the urgency to blistering heights, as the sweeping organ lays down a sonic carpet of roses for Carlos to dance on, cradling and caressing his beloved guitar like only he can. Que savor!

Another matador track is the luxuriant "Blues Magic", the title spilling the beans on the reality that Carlos' musical soul is really governed by a blues guitar sensibility. He just also knows how to rock, dance, explode and rage as well. The slow burning solo here is thoroughly lethal, almost BB King-like , which frankly is the highest praise possible. Greg Rollie has this masculine bluster that suits the blues just perfectly. "Everything is alright, yeah". "Leave Me Alone" possesses that never boring bluesy trait, loaded with tchaka-tchaka percussives and a chanting "Oh oh oh" that cries out ,"baby don't go", a completely addictive sing-along masterpiece that one can never tire of, Rollie flirting with organ indecency as his fingers do the talking. The emerging guitar solo is all trouble, rage, anger and pain rolled into one.

Couple of electrifying instrumentals in "Echizo", an extremely guitar-centric piece from Neil Schon , featuring those upward spiraling vortex solos that defy gravity let alone technique. The flamenco-like "You and I" is gentle panacea, an island of shimmering gorgeousness, the ornate piano now playing its romantic role perfectly, a fabulous Rollie composition.

For diversity's sake, there are a couple of soul-tinged and energetic vocal pieces featuring insistent singer Ronald Isley , rekindling classic Santana pieces such as "Mirage", "When I Look Into Your Eyes" and "Transcendence", heavily dependent on smoking Rollie organ runs and the classic screeching Santana guitar wail. Both "Love Makes the World Go Round" and "Freedom In Your Mind" are rabble-rousing and spirited pieces, full of energy and spice, enthralling and intoxicating.

Some obvious winks at the past as "Choo Choo" has a little of the classic "Jingo", the lyrics a bit corny but the Rollie vocal is quite a treat. What he does to his organ is flat out perverse, shuffling over the ivories with raging gusto. The smooth percussive locomotive spews incredible steam, giving maestro Carlos another platform to shred hard, fast and loud on the connecting "All Aboard". Continuing the motion theme on the boisterous "Caminando", wah-wah guitar licks, rushing leads, smoky organ fills and the binary rhythm tandem punching away. Rollie's vocal is all rock 'n roll ("Let it Roll") and the Spanish chanting only adds more ethnic fusion to the mix.

The only weak piece, in my opinion, is the calypso-like "Come as You Are", with its overt tropical feel that is just a tad too commercial for my taste and also proves to be quite a different tangent than the rest of the material here. Still has some slippery axe leads that provide immense pleasure but it's not as tasty as one could hope for.

"Forgiveness" (for not having made an album like this for 40 years?) is the grand finale, as well as second longest track, arguably the most progressive thingy here (along with that "Fillmore East" jam). An exaltingly tranquil approach at first with both guitarist trading quavering notes, loads of effects and shivering percussion, this is masterful in both technique and spirit. Yes it's true the Gregg Rollie vocal is strangely like Peter Gabriel, while the instrumental display is out of worldly, at times closer to "Bridge of Sighs"-era Robin Trower. In fact, Rollie sounds a lot more like singer Jim Dewar (RIP). This is pure Santana gold, surely one of the group's finest compositions. Mucho gusto.

I never thought this retro album would ever surface as I gave up after the maudlin 1981 "Milagro" affair. Nice to have you back Carlos, Neil, Gregg and Michael. More, por favor!

4.5 petit fours

Latest members reviews

5 stars Recently I stumbled upon this 2-CD/1-DVD box, and got very exited when I read that the line-up on this 2016 'reunion concert' included not only master Carlos Santana but also 'teenage guitar prodigy' Neal Schon: once a Santana band member on the albums III and Caravanserai (shining on the track ... (read more)

Report this review (#2132232) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Tuesday, January 29, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After years of collaborations - some of which were fantastic , others being duds - Carlos Santana finally got the band back together - the original band, that is! Welcome back Gregg Rolie, Michael Shrieve, Mike Carabello and Neal Schon. Santana IV marks the first album from this legendary l ... (read more)

Report this review (#1589148) | Posted by PoolmanProgger | Wednesday, July 20, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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