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Santana biography
Best known the world over for the group that bears his name, Carlos Santana has been reinventing and reshaping the landscape of the known universe's musical culture for close to four decades. A visionary artist with no regards for genre boundaries, Carlos' fluid sound long ago laid claim to the concept of "world music" before the term ever surfaced on pop culture radar. Having evolved and expanded for over four decades, the "Carlos" sound could well be on its way to becoming interplanetary music.

Born in Autlan de Navarro, Mexico-where there's now a street and public square in his name--to the son of a virtuoso Mariachi violinist, Carlos followed in his father's musical footsteps, taking up the violin at the age of five. It was when his family moved to Tijuana several years later, however, that Santana began his lifelong relationship with the instrument that would make him a musical icon--the guitar.

In 1961, Carlos made the border crossing moving from his native Mexico to San Francisco. A few years later, he formed the Santana Blues Band there, and the cool, soulful riffs and rhythms of his Latin-blues based sound found an audience eager for his innovative musical ideas. Carlos and company emerged as giants of the era-defining Bay Area music scene of the late '60s, and their fame grew far beyond its parameters while their artistry remained true to its free-flying spirit.

Massive success quickly followed. By the end of the decade, Carlos had played to packed houses on a cross-country tour, performed on the venerable Ed Sullivan Show, and made an indelible global mark with Santana's legendary, crowd-detonating performance at the original Woodstock festival in 1969.

He has not slowed down since: On a roll from his Woodstock performance his debut album shot up the chart bringing in a high-power fusion of rock and Latin beats. The next two albums duplicate the formula every time increasing his profile and winning over fans. With Caravanserai, the group changed directions developing a stunning jazz-rock and the album remains one of the textbook case of fusion music. This prompted Carlos Santana to start a solo career with collaborations with Buddy Miles, John Mc Laughlin (the superb Love, Devotion, Surrender) and Alice Coltrane (the no-less superb Illuminations), while his group was still releasing strong albums like Welcome, Borboletta. By the Mid-70's Santana was cruising effortlessly with a string of albums that were easily ide...
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Santana IVSantana IV
Santana IV Records 2016
Audio CD$5.99
$6.57 (used)
Sony Legacy 1998
Audio CD$3.27
$1.98 (used)
The Best of SantanaThe Best of Santana
Sony Legacy 1998
Audio CD$5.16
$0.15 (used)
Audio CD$2.97
$1.00 (used)
Ultimate SantanaUltimate Santana
Sony Legacy 2007
Audio CD$5.21
$0.09 (used)
Audio CD$3.26
$2.97 (used)
Santana IIISantana III
Imports 2009
Audio CD$4.44
$4.50 (used)
Sony Legacy 1999
Audio CD$1.83
$0.01 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Santana Amigos LP 12" Vinyl Columbia Records PC 33576 USD $27.99 Buy It Now
Santana "Greatest Hits" CBS 69081 Original Vinyl 1974. USD $10.49 Buy It Now
Santana Vinyl Album 1971. USD $13.12 Buy It Now
Santana "Shango"CBS 85914 Original Vinyl 1982 (vinyl near mint condition) USD $13.12 Buy It Now
Abraxas : Santana USD $11.48 Buy It Now
Santana Mahavishnu John McLaughlin Love Surrender Devotion CBS LP 1973 USD $5.99 Buy It Now
Lotus by Santana (CD, Feb-1991, 2 Discs, Columbia (USA)) USD $12.00 [0 bids]
Lil Wayne & Juelz Santana - When the North & South Collide Mixed By NEW CD 2008 USD $2.61 Buy It Now
SANTANA - Moonflower - Double album LP vinyl USD $13.12 [0 bids]
SANTANA ''SHE'S NOT THERE / ZULU '' ORIG.1977 45 RPM VG++ USD $1.49 Buy It Now
THE SANTANA TRIO: Land Of Odin. Obscure California Private Folk Demo 45 VG. HEAR USD $9.00 Buy It Now
CALIFORNIA JAM 2 US double LP g/f slv 1978 Aerosmith Heart Ted Nugent Santana USD $10.48 Buy It Now
Santana - Anthology [Remastered] (2011) USD $17.62 Buy It Now
LP SANTANA AMIGOS CBS 86005 1976 EX/EX USD $11.79 Buy It Now
Santana: Supernatural [Legacy Edition] NEW CD USD $7.98 Buy It Now
Santana: Shaman NEW CD USD $7.98 Buy It Now
Santana: All That I Am NEW CD USD $7.98 Buy It Now
MINT 45 -- SANTANA ~ STORMY / WELL ALL RIGHT -- '79 & '78 USD $4.95 Buy It Now
SANTANA -- Nowhere To Run -- 45 RPM -- '82 USD $2.49 Buy It Now
Shaman - Santana New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shipping USD $9.47 Buy It Now
Santana [Bonus Tracks] NEW CD Original recording remastered USD $7.98 Buy It Now
Santana Welcome 8-Track Stereo Tape cartridge PCA 32445 Mother Africa Carlos oop USD $7.99 Buy It Now
Santana - Tropical Spirits (Parts One and Two, 2001) USD $6.02 Buy It Now
Santana - Anthology '68-'69 (The Early San Francisco Years, 2012) USD $26.22 Buy It Now
Borboletta 5099747468520 by Santana, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P&H USD $8.33 Buy It Now
Santana - Evil Ways/Waiting - CBS 4800 VG+ Holland USD $50.00 Buy It Now
Santana *** Abraxas vinyl record *** with poster *** kc 30130 *** USD $14.99 Buy It Now
SANTANA WELCOME Original LP USD $59.99 Buy It Now
Santana - Welcome -"1A/1A" - LP USD $7.59 Buy It Now
Santana Abraxas USD $7.00 Buy It Now
Playlist: The Very Best of Santana NEW CD USD $7.98 Buy It Now
SANTANA-Lotus Tripple LP Made In Holland EX Cond USD $65.57 Buy It Now
Santana "Amigos" Cassette USD $4.99 [0 bids]
Santana "Soul Sacrifice" Cassette USD $9.99 [0 bids]
Santana's Greatest Hits 8-Track Tape USD $5.95 Buy It Now
Santana USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Love Devotion Surrender - Santana/Mclaughlin (CD Used Very Good) USD $4.02 Buy It Now
Love Devotion Surrender [Remaster] by John McLaughlin/Santana/Carlos Santana... USD $4.07 Buy It Now
Santana/Mclaughlin - Love Devotion Surrender [CD New] USD $5.97 Buy It Now
"Sound" 1975 Rock LP, Nice EX!, Various Artists, Santana,Aerosmith,Edgar Winter USD $8.95 Buy It Now
Various K-Tel Hit Explosion LP Steve Miller, Rush, Flock of Seagulls, Santana USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Supernatural by Santana (CD, 2005, Sony Music BMG, Made in Colombia) USD $7.51 Buy It Now
Welcome Santana USD $18.30 Buy It Now
Marathon Santana USD $11.74 Buy It Now
Zebop! Santana USD $11.74 Buy It Now
Inner Secrets Santana USD $15.67 Buy It Now
Amigos Santana USD $14.36 Buy It Now
Love Devoted Surrender Carlos Santana And Mahavishnu John McLaughlin USD $22.23 Buy It Now
Moonflower Santana USD $23.54 Buy It Now
Festival Santana USD $19.61 Buy It Now
Santana Live In Japan Santana USD $24.86 Buy It Now
Caravanserai Santana USD $13.05 Buy It Now
Carlos Santana And Buddy Miles! Live! Carlos Santana And Buddy Miles USD $18.30 Buy It Now
Love Devotion Surrender [Remaster] by John McLaughlin/Santana/Carlos Santana... USD $10.98 Buy It Now 5m 41s
LUIS GASCA: Luis Gasca LP-Gatefold Cover-Santana-Soul-Latin Funk-BLUE THUMB USD $29.99 Buy It Now 6m 57s
Supernatural by Santana (CD, Jun-1999, Arista) USD $3.00 Buy It Now 7m 34s
Santana - Greatest Hits 12" LP 1974 USD $5.25 Buy It Now 9m 17s
Santana - Shango 12" LP 1982 USD $5.25 Buy It Now 9m 35s
Santana - Zebop 12" LP 1981 USD $5.25 Buy It Now 9m 53s
SANTANA AMIGOS CBS/SONY SOPO 117 Japanese Pressing Vinyl LP USD $0.99 [1 bids]
13m 12s
Santana - Abraxas SACD japan sealed USD $299.99 Buy It Now 14m 24s
Lee Santana - Doulandia [CD New] USD $6.63 Buy It Now 18m 56s
Santana - Zebop - LP USD $9.49 Buy It Now 22m 44s
Santana - Supernatural 24HR POST!! USD $5.23 Buy It Now 26m 38s
Guitar Heaven. Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time. CD + DVD - Santana New USD $20.42 Buy It Now 29m 33s
CD Lot: ELO, Santana, Muse, Herbie Hancock, and More USD $9.00 [0 bids]
32m 47s
25 Santana/Elkie Brooks/Mike Oldfield/Beach Boys concert photos Knebworth 1980 USD $6.55 Buy It Now 35m 52s
SANTANA ABRAXAS (VINYL LP 1970 UK)*1332 USD $13.05 Buy It Now 37m 59s
SANTANA moonflower LP VG+ 88272 Vinyl 1977 CBS Stereo UK w/Inners USD $30.00 Buy It Now 38m 41s
Santana - Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar .. (CD-DVD - Beat 60s 70s USD $29.50 Buy It Now 50m 35s
Rock Now Original Sound LP John Lennon Who Santana Morrison The Band Chicago USD $8.99 Buy It Now 51m 19s
Shaman by Santana (CD, Oct-2002, Arista) USD $7.95 Buy It Now 57m 58s
Live at the Fillmore 1968 by Santana (CD, Mar-1997, 2 Discs, Columbia/Legacy) USD $13.00 Buy It Now 1h 2m
The Greatest Guitarists Box Set of 12 New & Sealed CDs Santana Muddy Waters etc USD $20.92 Buy It Now 1h 7m
Direct Hits LP Columbia C30603 Byrds PG&E Santana The Hollies Various 33 RPM USD $4.95 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Santana: The Best Of Santana [1998, CD] USD $1.99 [0 bids]
1h 9m
SANTANA Shango vinyl LP 1982 Columbia Records EX USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1h 14m
Radio Show: SUPERSTAR CONCERT #00-08 SANTANA LIVE IN CONCERT! 2 CD/10 SONGS USD $37.99 Buy It Now 1h 19m
Supernatural by Santana (CD, Jun-1999, Arista)  HITS  Minty CD USD $7.50 Buy It Now 1h 20m
Shaman by Santana (CD, Oct-2002, Arista)  HITS  Minty CD USD $7.50 Buy It Now 1h 21m
Shaman [ECD] by Santana (CD, Oct-2002, Arista) USD $4.69 Buy It Now 1h 22m
SANTANA, SAY IT AGAIN - PROMO 12" SINGLE USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1h 25m
EBAY / CD Santana 3 USD $5.90 Buy It Now 1h 27m
SANTANA Vtg 1970`s Large Glass Mirror Pin Badge Carlos Green #SN103 USD $7.86 Buy It Now 1h 27m
Santana-Abraxas LP 1970 Stunning Original UK Copy USD $9.17 [0 bids]
1h 28m
ALICE COLTRANE & CARLOS SANTANA Illuminations CBS 1974 8 Track USD $6.55 Buy It Now 1h 31m
18/4/81PN14 POSTER ADVERT 15X11 SANTANA : ZEBOP ALBUM USD $14.43 Buy It Now 1h 32m
Santana - Amigos/Festival (2007) 2 CD BOX SET -NEW -FREE FASTPOST USD $13.94 Buy It Now 1h 33m
SANTANA "EVIL WAYS" 45 RPM USD $4.49 Buy It Now 1h 34m
30 LP LOT ROCK Santana Bob Dylan David Bowie Pink Floyd Alice Cooper Hendrix 44 USD $67.33 [11 bids]
1h 37m

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SANTANA discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

SANTANA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 305 ratings
4.24 | 443 ratings
3.98 | 232 ratings
Santana 3
4.24 | 574 ratings
3.48 | 131 ratings
3.69 | 151 ratings
3.24 | 110 ratings
2.60 | 74 ratings
2.40 | 76 ratings
Inner Secrets
2.80 | 72 ratings
2.96 | 73 ratings
2.33 | 52 ratings
1.57 | 46 ratings
Beyond Appearances
1.94 | 33 ratings
2.80 | 39 ratings
Spirits Dancing In The Flesh
2.87 | 37 ratings
3.15 | 149 ratings
2.50 | 65 ratings
2.20 | 38 ratings
All That I Am
1.93 | 37 ratings
Guitar Heaven
3.67 | 55 ratings
Shape Shifter
2.76 | 17 ratings
3.71 | 41 ratings
Santana IV

SANTANA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.84 | 89 ratings
3.79 | 92 ratings
3.22 | 29 ratings
Sacred Fire (Live In South America)
3.91 | 38 ratings
Live At The Fillmore, 1968

SANTANA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.15 | 10 ratings
Viva Santana!
4.26 | 15 ratings
Sacred Fire (Live in Mexico)
3.50 | 2 ratings
Down Under, Live Australia 1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Every Tone Tells A Story
3.00 | 2 ratings
In Concert (Loreley Festival in Germany 1998)

SANTANA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.77 | 26 ratings
Greatest Hits
3.59 | 18 ratings
Viva Santana!
4.33 | 3 ratings
Hits Of Santana
4.33 | 3 ratings
Santana (Collection)
3.94 | 8 ratings
Dance Of The Rainbow Serpent
3.00 | 2 ratings
Love Is You (A Love Song Collection)
4.00 | 10 ratings
The Ultimate Collection (2CD)
3.56 | 5 ratings
Black Magic Woman, The Best Of
0.00 | 0 ratings
Latin Spirit
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Santana (Eurotrend)
0.00 | 0 ratings
Roots Of A Living Legend
3.75 | 3 ratings
La Puesta Del Sol
3.05 | 3 ratings
Ceremony, Remixes and Rarities
0.00 | 0 ratings
33 Real Rock Standards (Santana & guitar friends)
3.13 | 4 ratings
Ultimate Santana
0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits (Steel Box Collection)
4.15 | 4 ratings
Origina Album Classics (Caravanserai...)
3.38 | 4 ratings
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Essential Santana

SANTANA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 5 ratings
Evil Ways
3.00 | 4 ratings
Sampler from The Serpent


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Santana IV by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.71 | 41 ratings

Santana IV
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by PoolmanProgger

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 lineup since 1971, so you can say that this album was 45 years in the making, thus the title, Santana IV, an obvious nod to the band's origins and a return to their original sound - and boy, does this album deliver!

My expectations for this album were rather high; in fact, I preordered it, something I rarely do. I must admit, on first listen, I was mildly disappointed. The band sounded uninspired at times, Gregg Rolie sounded a bit rusty, and the album seemed to drag on and on. But I would not give up on this album; I listened to it again, and again, and again and again. What are my conclusions after a half a dozen plus listens? Boy, was I ever wrong with my first impression! This album is gold, maybe not as great as the first three albums that the group used as an inspiration, but very strong. In fact, the only album I've bought/heard this year that's better is David Bowie's Blackstar. Santana IV has everything you'd expect from a vintage Santana album - Latin rhythm and grooves, hot guitar licks from Carlos - the Guitar Master - and excellent, fat-sounding organ playing - oh, man I missed that organ - from the one-and-only Gregg Rolie. Actually, his voice is still in pretty good form on this one, although the lyrics are rather creepy at times. Schon's rather distorted guitar playing complements Santana's smooth and clean sound very well, just as it does on Santana III, but I think the interplay is used to a fuller extent on this album. The percussion is AMAZING - but what else do you expect from a Santana album? Also, the two tracks ("Love Makes the World Go Round" and "Freedom in Your Mind") featuring Ronald Isley are very good, very soulful, but with lots of the typical Santana flash. This is just a mind-blowingly fantastic album.

Santana IV starts off with "Yambu", a very lively track which continues Santana's long line of "chant" songs, with crunchy guitar interplay between Santana and Schon, followed by "Shake It" and "Anywhere You Want to Go", two very good songs which are very reminiscent of Woodstock-era Santana. "Anywhere" features some excellent organ from Rolie, which sounds fantastic to anyone who has been jaded by the over-synthification of music these days. To hear a real, organic, down-to-earth organ solo is just good for the soul. "Fillmore East" an amazingly spacy and ambient track which recalls the jazzier part of Santana's sound, is next, a true highlight of the album, although it may take 3 or 4 listens - at least - to truly appreciate its greatness, as it did for me. Next are the two Ronald Isley tracks. Ron has lost a step or two on his vocals - give the guy a break, he's in his seventies - but he is picked up amply by the ferocious energy of Santana and the boys playing behind him. "Choo Choo" is a rather creepy song that sounds a tad bit pervy, but segues into the instrumental "All Aboard", which has quite an aggressive climax. Sueños is another in the long line of Santana's classic instrumental pieces, while "Caminando" is a brisk piece which adds some horns, another old Santana trademark. "Blues Magic" is a FANTASTIC blues song, while the excellent "Leave Me Alone" is bookended by two more fabulous instrumentals, "Echizo" and "You and I". "Come as You Are" is the weakest link of this album, as it has a forced calypso sound that just doesn't work very well. Just when you think the boys don't have anything else left in the tank, here comes "Forgiveness", a fantastically ambient song in the vein of "Fillmore East", with some vocals from Gregg Rolie which sound eerily like Peter Gabriel. The song gives you chills, in a good way.

Wrapping up here, Santana IV is an excellent album which instantly ranks among the group's best, a stellar reunion album that just continues to get better with each and every listen. I highly recommend purchasing this album for your collection; you won't regret it for a second.

 Santana IV by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.71 | 41 ratings

Santana IV
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

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.
 Amigos by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.24 | 110 ratings

Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Legionnary

3 stars I was interested on this Santana album especially to see if the pieces were all of the same ilk as the flagship title Europa . I was quite disappointed.

1:Composed of two parts, a vocal in first and then instrumental, it's a good piece, in line with the Santana atmosphere. The second part is entirely instrumental, rhythm percussion / drums gives something quite nice, very progressive compared to the rest of the album.(4/5)

2:Draft introduction, no transition with the first piece ! Again a piece in two parts, noticed something strange,like the first song,the two parts are not distinct in like "incident at Neshabur" for example. Besides there is the same composition here, the first part pretty energetic then all of a sudden falls, just like "Incident at Neshabur (Abraxas, 1970) and yes it is in the old pots that we make the best jams , unfortunately here not Pharaonic ... this second part still remains more pleasant to listen to the first one. (3,5)

3:Second point of similarity with the album Abraxas,in "let me" intro is the same as "el nicoyo!" Typically the kind of piece that could have come out in the 80s, very dance, ahead of his time, and as many pieces of the 80s, who aged very badly ... The song's lyrics are very silly and the voice of Greg Walker does not help matters, fortunately there accompaniment end guitar to limit the damage (3/5)

4:A nice intro on acoustic guitar background "gypsy", for once the voice of Armando Peraza is in line with the overall feel of the song (4/5)

5:"Tell me are you tired" Yes i'm tired ... the intro and the chorus could pass perfectly into an erotic film of the 90s very far from the "santana style" (2,5/5)

6:Attention masterpiece! Where to start? This piece could be a chronic him alone so it is mythical .Before talking about the piece itself, we must speak of the context, that is to say the rest of the album, which until then did nothing exceptional, in fact I think if a rock lover 70s fell on this album without knowing Europa (inconceivable) it would be awfully surprised! For the rest, what about? For me the most beautiful piece of guitar "planing" ever created. Few pieces that give me chills, this is one of them .If you do need to listen to one song of Santana,listen Europa, pure Santana talent ! (5/5)

7:After a trip to the moon,we fall back on Earth...after the best of the album, this is the worst. Of all the pieces of the 60/70 years that i have heard until now, this is probably one of those who has the most aged badly, a mixture of species between gospel and completely distorted synth leads on background Asian amnbiance, it's so horrible and annoying that it becomes funny to hear! The voice of Greg Walker is clearly a problem, it does not fit at all in the mood of the group. (2/5)

 Borboletta by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.69 | 151 ratings

Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Quinino
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #14

Hasn't aged a bit, it feels like it could have been recorded yesterday, but then again I think that generally speaking Fusion music eludes more easily the riddles of time.
And certainly is the case of this album from 1974 so well crafted, so inspired, that anyone can buy him tomorrow and be as amazed as I was 41 years ago the first time it landed on my pick-up (as turntables were called in those days).
Just don't expect this to be a typical Santana record, it's not.

Global Appraisal

I wrote "amazed" but would better say mesmerized because right from the first notes one gets immediately involved in a hypnotic ambient that remains for the entire album.
It starts building up with the dreamlike sound effects on the first instrumental track and never really subsides much due to the ethnic percussions, echo effects, Carlos sustained notes on the guitar, even the vocals.
Thus the production makes the songs function together, tied up by the continuous rhythmicity, resulting in the album being perceived as a unity despite the varied authorship.


Production - Carlos Santana, Mike Shrieve, Tom Coster

Musicianship - all involved, see full credits

 Greatest Hits by SANTANA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1974
2.77 | 26 ratings

Greatest Hits
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

3 stars Along with Pink Floyd's A Collection of Great Dance Songs, this is probably the most unnecessary compilation album ever. In the case of Pink Floyd, having just six songs hardly does the band justice. Especially when that album was being targeted for newcomers in 1981 (when it was released) who likely only knew them from there (still) then latest album The Wall. At least it featured an alternate version of "Money". With Santana's Greatest Hits, all the concentration lies on their first three albums, and nothing else. I understand that Carlos Santana wanted to move beyond scoring hit singles starting with Caravanserai, but it would have been nice if some material off that album, and Welcome was included since this comp was released in 1974. I guess the more fusion direction Carlos Santana was heading by 1972 thanks to his spiritual influence by Sri Chinmoy might seem out of place with the more accessible material from the first three albums presented here. I just think it's a case of releasing a compilation album a bit too early on. Still not a bad selection. Contains favorites like their popular take on Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman" but left out "Gypsy Queen", originally by Gabor Szabo, and of course Tito Puente's "Oy Como Va". "Se A Cabo", "Evil Ways", naturally, "Everything is Coming Our Way", but surprisingly "No One To Depend On" was not included. There are probably more comprehensive Santana compilations out there. For the case of this particular album, you're better off just owning their first three albums. In fact those three albums give a better idea what their early work was all about than Greatest Hits. So I have to give this a three star rating because of the selection, but owning the first three albums gives you a better picture.
 Santana by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.12 | 305 ratings

Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars Santana's appearance at Woodstock certainly left the record company no choice but to quickly have it released. Santana was one of those classic rock groups I always had enjoyed, but given so much of my time had been taken up looking for rare and obscure gems of prog and psych, that I hadn't gotten around to getting much Santana. I am ever glad to get their debut, and what a debut it is! This one seems more rough and unpolished than their more popular followup Abraxas, which I really like. Much of the album is high energy Latin rock. This album shows how much the Afro-Cuban style of Latin rhythms are used, especially the heavy use of congas. Of course, the whole world knows about "Evil Ways", it's became a staple of classic FM rock, and for good reason. It's one of those songs that, yes, it's been overplayed to death on the radio, that it don't bother me, the way "Free Bird" and "Stairway to Heaven" bothers many people (songs that sound impressive when you first hear them, but after hearing those songs a million times since radio DJs never given those two songs a rest,, in fear of losing their audience it does get a bit tiring). I also love Gregg Rolie's style of Hammond organ playing. How about the other songs? "Shades of Time" seems to be cut from the same fabric. They do a cover of Nigerian musician Babatunde Olantuji's "Jin-go-lo-ba", retitled "Jingo" here. Lots of great organ and Latin percussion, I guess doing a song from an African musician drives home the fact the Latin rhythms Santana used were of the Afro-Latin variety. Pierre Moerlen's Gong did a version of it in 1979 on the album Downwind. "Persuasion" and "You Just Don't Care" have a bit of a blues feel to it, while "Treat" has a jazzy feel, demonstrating the jazz influence of Carlos Santana was to be found from Day One. "Soul Sacrifice" is an instrumental jam that became the big highlight at Woodstock. The music here has a jam band quality to it, but not the Grateful Dead variety. They threw in some regular songs (like "Evil Ways") so even more mainstream radio stations have something to play.

Of course, this album largely received positive reviews, but I can't understand why in the life of me rock critic Robert Christgau gave it a C-? I realize Latin music was something he never cared for, but this isn't ordinary Latin music. He pretty pretty much dismissed it as "A lot of noise" and stating his "opposition to the methedrine school of American music". He was sure off base on this one. Most of the other fellow rock critics were more kind. I realize I shouldn't pay much attention to the likes of Christgau, but then he's a perfect example of when rock critics get it wrong (and while I'm at it, usually when rock critics get it wrong is when they pan albums or bands that everyone else loves, sometimes it's the other way around, when they praise albums no one likes, such as the Stones' Dirty Work, liked by the rock critics, hated by the fans).

This might not be a prog album, but why should that bother me? Any fans of classic rock needs this album, it's totally essential, and in fact I actually prefer this over Abraxas (which is too very good, but the more polished nature meant it was a bit less exciting).

 Welcome by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.48 | 131 ratings

Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ibnacio

4 stars Welcome again

I don't agree with other reviewers' rating of this superb record by Santana. We may not be in front of a piece the quality of Santana III or the mythical Caranvaserai, which, by the way, I tend to find more and more mythical, regarding its previous efforts and more to par with the following; anyway, I do think we are in front of a work as important in Santana's sound and style as Borboletta (that is, Volvoreta, a Spanish nickname for butterfy) or Abraxas.

There is a total renewal of the band line-up, with important changes: the twin keyboard players, as well as the twin percussionists, backing new solo appearances in the form of saxes besides Carlos' guitar. And there is also the much improved vocals (Flora Purim, Leon Thomas), some orchestration here and there (by Mrs Turiya Alice Coltrane) and starring appearances by the now twin-soul, like-mind Mahavishnu J.M. - in a glorious long theme inflamed by celestial inspiration as is Flame-Sky - or by the sax player Jules Broussard. The list is endless and altogether serves to provide a wall of sound -but this has always been a house brand in Santana- that you can laugh a Mr Spector expectations.

If the first two cuts let you a bit indifferent -they need more than a listen-, once you get to Samba de Sausalito you the fiesta is about to begin and it does not really stop until you reach the last gloom of Flame-Sky's fire. Welcome, the title track is a sort of anti-climax, which is now doubled by the bonus track Mantra, leaving you in a perfect state of mind and body after almost an hour of musical massage and trascendental meditation

Four well-deserved stars for Santana's fifth studio record, which will delight you as much as the previous or following ones.

Ibnacio, Somewhere in south Spain, 25 November, 2014.

 Abraxas by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.24 | 443 ratings

Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Continuing the huge success generated by their debut album and their instant stardom generated by the Woodstock Festival in August 69, SANTANA released their 2nd album ABRAXAS the following year pretty much following the same formula of mixing rock, blues and latin jazz.

The album was an even bigger hit than the debut hitting number 1 on the Billboard album charts and selling more than twice as many albums as well as hitting big with the huge hits "Oye Como Va" and the cover of Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green's "Black Magic Woman." SANTANA was a worldwide phenomenon by now and their unique Latin big band sound was one of the hottest things going on at the time. As with the previous album there is an army of percussionists accompanying Carlos Santana's bluesy lead guitar and Gregg Rollie's keyboards.

Although this is a great album I have always liked it a tad less than the debut. It is lacking that incessant raw and fervent drive throughout its entirety that made the first album so amazing. The songs are more varied in their approach and the music is generally the same in its sound, yet something about this album just seems like a tamed down version of the debut as a whole. Whereas the debut was a energetic display of adrenaline from beginning to end, I find this one is dragged down a tad with slower numbers like the instrumental "Samba Pa Ti."

Nothing on here is bad by any means and it's only a relativity issue for me. It also hasn't helped that I have heard the hit singles on this album to death! Even after giving classic rock radio a break for many years, I still find "Black Magic Woman" a song I no longer like to hear. Make no doubt about it, it is a classic of classics but some music can become toxic after too many listens and this i'm afraid is one of those tracks that I haven't been able to recover from. Despite that an outstanding album that just doesn't reach perfection in my world.

 Santana by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.12 | 305 ratings

Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Nothing screams the summer of 69 and the Woodstock event for me more than SANTANA. One day they were simply the Carlos Santana Band doing small gig venues in San Francisco and the next day after performing at that event they were watching their debut album racing up the charts and reaching number 4 on Billboard. "Evil Ways" also proved to be a huge top 10 hit as well. This rags to riches story may have happened anyway but perhaps not so fast. Their slot on the Woodstock event was actually won by the flip of a coin. Michael Lang, the concert promoter was pressured by Bill Graham to include one of the the acts that Bill managed. It was down to SANTANA and It's A Beautiful Day, another San Francisco band. The coin was flipped, SANTANA won, and enjoyed instant popularity and as we all know, much more was to come.

This is gorgeous album from beginning to end. SANTANA started out as a jam band but was advised to write a few more structured songs by Graham. The result is a perfect mix of free jam energy with structured songwriting that the band perfectly performs knowing when enough is enough and to move on to something else. This new Latin jazz fusion of the day took the world by storm and with half of the band dedicated to percussive instruments it's no wonder the world was mesmerized by this energetic mix of Latin jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms and heavy psych blues that tied it all to the era. This is one of those album I never tire of. It has a timeless quality to it yet it always brings me to that time and place before my time. My personal favorite SANTANA is this one and what a beauty it is. 4.5 rounded up

 Origina Album Classics (Caravanserai...) by SANTANA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2008
4.15 | 4 ratings

Origina Album Classics (Caravanserai...)
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by DocB

4 stars This boxset offers a good low-cost way to acquire five of Santana's best albums. Some of the boxsets in this series leave a bit to be desired in terms of album selection, but this one is stellar. It includes in order of original release the core albums from Santana's jazz fusion phase: Caravanserai, Love Devotion Surrender (w/John McLaughlin), Welcome, Borboletta, and Amigos. Granted, Amigos is not a full-on fusion album, and bridged Santana back into Latin rock, but it has fusion elements and is a better album than many subsequent ones by Santana. Also, Amigos produced the tunes Baila Mi Hermana and Europa, which became part of the band's live repertoire. The CDs are packaged in LP-style slipcases, but with minimal information, though the box says to consult Sony's webpage for more information. However, the sound quality is excellent, using the latest 2003 remasters where available, for the first three albums, including bonus tracks. So this boxset is definitely a good deal. Now, if Columbia would release a similar boxset for Santana's first phase of Latin rock, including the first three studio albums, plus the Live At The Fillmore 1968 album, that would be nice.
Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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