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SANTANA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Multi-National


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Santana biography
Founded in San Francisco, USA in 1966 - Still active as of 2017

Carlos Humberto Santana Barragán - Born 20 July 1947 (Autlan de Novarra, Jalisco, Mexico)

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 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), wh...
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SANTANA discography


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

4.12 | 416 ratings
Santana
1969
4.23 | 634 ratings
Abraxas
1970
4.00 | 313 ratings
Santana 3
1971
4.22 | 743 ratings
Caravanserai
1972
3.50 | 180 ratings
Welcome
1973
3.65 | 204 ratings
Borboletta
1974
3.26 | 151 ratings
Amigos
1976
2.74 | 105 ratings
Festivál
1976
2.50 | 101 ratings
Inner Secrets
1978
2.82 | 99 ratings
Marathon
1979
2.94 | 98 ratings
Zebop
1981
2.43 | 76 ratings
Shangó
1982
1.68 | 65 ratings
Beyond Appearances
1985
1.96 | 50 ratings
Freedom
1987
2.79 | 52 ratings
Spirits Dancing In The Flesh
1990
2.91 | 50 ratings
Milagro
1992
3.18 | 189 ratings
Supernatural
1999
2.54 | 82 ratings
Shaman
2002
2.23 | 55 ratings
All That I Am
2005
2.36 | 49 ratings
Guitar Heaven
2010
3.57 | 77 ratings
Shape Shifter
2012
2.60 | 30 ratings
Corazón
2014
3.87 | 95 ratings
Santana IV
2016
3.48 | 31 ratings
Africa Speaks
2019

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

3.85 | 115 ratings
Lotus
1975
3.77 | 119 ratings
Moonflower
1977
3.23 | 36 ratings
Sacred Fire (Live In South America)
1993
3.91 | 51 ratings
Live At The Fillmore, 1968
1997

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

3.21 | 14 ratings
Viva Santana!
1988
4.26 | 19 ratings
Sacred Fire (Live in Mexico)
1993
3.25 | 4 ratings
Down Under, Live Australia 1979
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Every Tone Tells A Story
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hymns for Peace - Live at Montreux 2004
2007
3.00 | 2 ratings
In Concert (Loreley Festival in Germany 1998)
2007

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

2.80 | 35 ratings
Greatest Hits
1974
3.59 | 21 ratings
Viva Santana!
1988
4.00 | 5 ratings
Hits Of Santana
1990
4.33 | 3 ratings
Santana (Collection)
1994
4.00 | 9 ratings
Dance Of The Rainbow Serpent
1995
3.67 | 3 ratings
Love Is You (A Love Song Collection)
1995
4.03 | 13 ratings
The Ultimate Collection (2CD)
1998
3.56 | 5 ratings
Black Magic Woman, The Best Of
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Latin Spirit
2001
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Best Of Santana (Eurotrend)
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Roots Of A Living Legend
2002
3.75 | 3 ratings
La Puesta Del Sol
2003
3.13 | 4 ratings
Ceremony, Remixes and Rarities
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
33 Real Rock Standards (Santana & guitar friends)
2006
3.19 | 7 ratings
Ultimate Santana
2007
3.00 | 2 ratings
Greatest Hits (Steel Box Collection)
2008
4.19 | 7 ratings
Origina Album Classics (Caravanserai...)
2008
3.38 | 4 ratings
Collections
2009
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Essential Santana
2013

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

4.00 | 6 ratings
Evil Ways
1969
3.00 | 4 ratings
Sampler from The Serpent
1995
3.02 | 8 ratings
In Search of Mona Lisa
2019

SANTANA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Borboletta by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.65 | 204 ratings

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Borboletta
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars Worldly Fusion.

Spring Manifestations is just nature sounds and it segues into the next track.

Canto De Los Flores is has ominous keys over whirling about for a bit over a Latin beat. The keys then settle into some calming jazz playing.

The previous tracks ends on a fade out and Life Is Anew fades in. A soul track, the vocals jive well with the instruments.

One With The Sun also flows from the previous track, sort of. It is a bit funkier but still in the style of Life Is Anew.

Aspirations opens with bass slowly getting louder and other instruments slowly being added (organ, percussion and saxophone). After some time spent on saxophone soloing the track fades out,

Practice What You Preach starts with spacey guitar lines and droning organ. Two minutes in the drums and bass enter and the song heads into a chill preachy soul song then fades out. There are some fun scat vocals in the bridge, reminds me of Cans Like Inobe God. Once again the song ends on a fade out.

Mirage begins with aahs then heads into a keyboard (might be guitar) led intro, then the funkish vocals come in.

Here And Now begins with the whole band, percussion, saxophone, bass, guitar and keyboard getting ready. The whole song is tension build up that segues into the next song

Flor De Canela opening with furious percussion and bass which are joined in seconds by guitar and organ. The track segues into the next song, Promise Of A Fisherman.

Promise Of A Fisherman begins with similar rhythm to the previous track but even calmer guitar lead. Ultimately I find this song and Flor De Canela to have far to chill of leads for the rapid fire rhythm and build up of Here And Now. Feels like wasted potential. Especially as near the end the guitar finally plays something neat that sounds like a tea kettle boiling over, however it's to late as I find my self uninterested by the endless droning of the rhythm by this point.

Borboletta opens with speaking and wild bursts of percussion and various sounds. Then ends at about a minute.

Overall the album never really reaches a high for me due to excessive repetition (listen to the bass on Canto De Los Flores) and a lack of development on each song, just a groove and lead. Still, this is a solid album.

 Santana 3 by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.00 | 313 ratings

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Santana 3
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by progtime1234567

4 stars While Santana 3 isn't as celebrated as the two albums that came before it, Santana 3 is a great Santana album. The album is a perfect mix of Latin rock and jazz. I really enjoyed this album because the added instruments and the progression of the songs really made for an enjoyable listen. The Spanish vocals and exceptional guitar work by Carlos Santana make the album sound great. The percussion and bass and the drums are always laying down the beat with great success and they also make the album pretty dance-able. Santana experimented more on this album than the previous two records and I personally found a lot of enjoyment while listening to this album. Listen to the first two albums by Santana first, and then listen to this one. One of my personal favorites from Carlos Santana and his band.
 Santana by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.12 | 416 ratings

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Santana
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

4 stars This album is a masterpiece, really. Frantic, explosive, so energetic, but never chaotic without reason. The music here obviously comes from the heart, and I believe this is the main reason why this album is so beloved. It is not only a fantastic example of Latin rock, it is also an exercise in pure emotion - here one can hear the very essence of the term 'jamming'. Tracks like 'Waiting', 'Savor' , 'Jingo', 'Treat', and 'Soul Sacrifice' all showcase the desire of the band members to experiment, something which is well preserved although they were 'made' to add a few more conventional songs, in order to have a chance on the market. Even these compositions are great - a purely enjoyable album from start to finish with no weak spots!
 Santana by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.12 | 416 ratings

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Santana
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by progtime1234567

4 stars The debut album from SANTANA is great because it was the beginning of way more things to come from Carlos Santana and his band. The album is a great blend of jazz fusion, Latin American rhythms and classic-style rock music. Carlos Santana had talented musicians in his pocket and this record really shows what his band can do. The song Evil ways was a big song and one of the best songs in the bands catalog. The songs on this album are mostly instrumental with the exception of a few songs where there are lyrics, which makes the album sound like a nice Latin-jazz album that makes for a good listen. SANTANA's debut launched the band off for a career that would last for decades, and this album was the one that started it all. Great enjoyable listen.
 Amigos by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.26 | 151 ratings

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Amigos
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Amigos was the first Santana album with plain commercial pop-rock tracks surrounded by traditional quality music. The album is a mixed bag of Latino, jazz-rock, soul and R&B. The first track are even progressive and the listener thinks that Caravensarai/Borboletta are not over yet thanks for well designed and executed instrumental parts. Tom Coster as a quite jazz oriented keyboard player does a lot to save the boat from sinking. I happy to hear his keyboard repertoire and tasteful playing.

"Let me" and "Let it shine" explore a funky territory, could be also taken as quite departure from the Latin realm. Santana's guitar and rhythm section have no issue to adapt and sound genuine although the final disco part of Let it shine is a let down for an older Santana fan.

"Take me with you" is a definitive standout with complex rhythm, Hammond/piano and delicious guitar soloing. "Europa" is the second standout and the most famous track on the album, which would be played live very often. It is a nice moody instrumental without Latin excursion.

For the first time ever, Santana rolls out Latin pop with subdued guitar, Latin vocals so that you hear Latin music but wouldn't guess it was Santana.

Recommended to fans of Santana that look for accessible 70's music.

 Caravanserai by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.22 | 743 ratings

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Caravanserai
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Lupton

1 stars Career suicide

After pioneering a unique (at the time)fusion of Latin Jazz and Melodic Rock on his first three albums, Carlos Santana suddenly took an abrupt left turn and decided to throw himself full tilt at Jazz Rock with the next album Caravanserai. I am all for artists expanding their musical horizons but on this album Santana, rather than develop the exciting style he had created by adding elements of Jazz Rock effectively threw the proverbial "baby out with the bathwater". Gone are the catchy Latin inspired riffs, impassioned vocals and snappy hooks. What we are left with is just an endless series of formless jams.I am sure the playing is full of virtuosity, but this is one album that for me commits the worst musical crime- it is excruciatingly BORING! I remember reading a review of one of Santana's many compilations with the journalist bitterly complaining that with no tracks from Caravanserai being included the album as a result being effectively airbrushed into history. I say there is a good reason for that- apart from completionists most fans simply do not want to hear it.I consider myself a fan but for me this is is one of the few Santana albums I literally never want to hear again. One star only.

 Shape Shifter by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.57 | 77 ratings

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Shape Shifter
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Carlos Santana was maybe feeling a bit guilty after delivering unprogressive and unchallenging 3 last studio albums and decided to provide a focused and more ambitious effort without too many pop and contemporary trends.

Shape Shifter succeeds in convincing long-time fans to be taken seriously and should not put off newer fans who look for more accessible music, for there are good melodies, arrangements not many music layers nor speedy playing with 100 notes a second. It is more about taste and feeling this time. Some of the compositions are completely devoid of Latin influence and that holds for percussions, too. So the best style characteristics could be "instrumental rock" rather than Latin rock. Santana's guitar is at the forefront of each song unlike on some songs on previous releases, it's clear who the master is!

In terms of mood, the album is more contemplative and not overtly positive or extrovert with exceptions. Mr. Szabo features nice acoustic guitar.

This largely instrumental album is a unique release in Santana's catalogue and cannot be compared to any other previous release in terms of similarities.

 Zebop by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.94 | 98 ratings

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Zebop
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars Santana's improvement and his best album since maybe 1977' Moonflower. Not only compositions are better but there are sound trips back to the beginning of the 70's, of course with more decent set-up and no reason to experiment. Some tracks are pure pop (well executed), the second half of the record gets quite good with Latin flavor, a couple of instrumentals and tasty guitar playing (such as "Primera Invasion", "Tales of Kilimanjaro", "American gypsy"). There are some filler vocal tracks like "E papa re" however "Searchin" is a pleasant pop track quite rooted in the 80's. "Winning" is half a ballad half a classic rock track, very melodic and designed for airplay. "Hannibal" has the intensity of former Santana glorious tracks. There is enough for a Santana fan and pop/rock listener to find, challenging listeners should stay away.
 Marathon by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.82 | 99 ratings

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Marathon
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars Marathon is on par with Inner Secrets: some good moments, mostly forgettable music that does not bear much quality or similarity to Santana.

"Lightning in the sky" has an interesting beat pattern but later it just enters the usual 4/4 territory. Bass work is also worth mentioning.

"Aqua marine" is a memorable although not a terrific instrumental. "You know that I live you" is a pop track not bad as such but totally not attributable to Santana. "Stand up" is quite a lively track with Hammond and percussions but inferior to any previous attempts. "Runnin'" is running to save the album from disaster with good bass and absence of vocals - but it's too short. "Summer lady" is a romantic song with things taken safely. Oh wait, but then comes "Love" that is also meant for loving emotions. "Hard times" has a catchy chorus.

The album may be OK for a casual listener of Santana but a disappointment for his earlier fans.

 Inner Secrets by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.50 | 101 ratings

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Inner Secrets
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

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. Vocals on this album remind a bit of Steve Winwood.

The first song "Dealer/Spanish rose" has quite good vocals and melody. "One chain" is the most evident disco attempt until now with bass guitar saving the reputation in the absence of guitar. "Well alright" is not a surprise cover considering vocal colour of the lead singer. "Open invitation" is an attempt at a classic rock song. "Life is a lady/holiday" is a moody instrumental, filled with laid back emotions.

Most of tracks here are forgettable regardless of music style you like and the only two facts that stand out are confident guitar playing and soulful vocals. Not enough to exceed 2 stars.

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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