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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)

4.13 | 427 ratings
Santana
1969
4.24 | 655 ratings
Abraxas
1970
4.00 | 327 ratings
Santana 3
1971
4.21 | 754 ratings
Caravanserai
1972
3.53 | 188 ratings
Welcome
1973
3.65 | 212 ratings
Borboletta
1974
3.26 | 153 ratings
Amigos
1976
2.73 | 107 ratings
Festivál
1976
2.51 | 103 ratings
Inner Secrets
1978
2.83 | 101 ratings
Marathon
1979
2.94 | 98 ratings
Zebop
1981
2.43 | 78 ratings
Shangó
1982
1.68 | 68 ratings
Beyond Appearances
1985
1.99 | 52 ratings
Freedom
1987
2.78 | 53 ratings
Spirits Dancing In The Flesh
1990
2.94 | 53 ratings
Milagro
1992
3.18 | 195 ratings
Supernatural
1999
2.54 | 84 ratings
Shaman
2002
2.23 | 58 ratings
All That I Am
2005
2.35 | 50 ratings
Guitar Heaven
2010
3.58 | 82 ratings
Shape Shifter
2012
2.55 | 33 ratings
Corazón
2014
3.88 | 100 ratings
Santana IV
2016
3.44 | 36 ratings
Africa Speaks
2019
3.30 | 10 ratings
Blessings and Miracles
2021

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

3.85 | 118 ratings
Lotus
1975
3.79 | 120 ratings
Moonflower
1977
3.20 | 36 ratings
Sacred Fire (Live In South America)
1993
3.94 | 52 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 | 36 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
3.23 | 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
3.00 | 11 ratings
In Search of Mona Lisa
2019

SANTANA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Welcome by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.53 | 188 ratings

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Welcome
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is, in my opinion, a sadly under-appreciated album. It's different from the early Santana (Santana, Abraxas, and Borboletta). It's different from the dive into J-R fusion that Caravanserai and his collaborations with Mahavishnu John McLaughlin and Alice Coltrane. It's poppy and pretty and funky and melodic and hummable and danceable and joyful and, at times, almost laid back. People miss Greg Rollie (I don't.) People miss Neal Schon. (Me, too!) People miss the up=front dominance of Carlos' guitar (he's humbler--he's a devadip!) But this is great music with some very focused, present performances. And there's still the great Santana rhythm section of Maitreya Michael Shrieve, Latin percussionists Armando Peraza and Jose "Chepito" Areas, amazing bass wunderkind, Doug Rauch, as well as the rock on keys, Tom Coster. There are some rather amazing, spirited performances by guest collaborators Flora Purim, Wendy Haas, Joe Ferrell, and, of course, the Mahavishnu himself, John McLaughlin. Plus this is early Leon Thomas, before he got so deep into the voice modulation that he would explore in fullness with Pharoah Sanders. There are some beautiful songs here--songs that deserve radio play (albeit, perhaps Soul/R&B or Adult Contemporary radio stations). I love the beauty of "Light of Life," "Yours Is the Light," "When I Look Into your Eyes," and "Love, Devotion & Surrender." The intended jewel, Doug Rauch's "Flame-Sky" falls short for a lack of development, but clearly shows the young bass player's reverence and respect for the Mahavishnu--especially having just come from the Love Devotion Surrender sessions in which he was, no doubt, put in a place of awe with the likes of Billy Cobham, Larry Young, and the Mahavishnu letting their pyrotechnical flak and machine gun fire fly around him. (And, yes, I agree: neither Richard Kermode nor Tom Coster can hold a candle to the amazing Larry Young [Khalid Yasin].) The finale is a bit drawn out, and Alice Coltrane's opening number a bit one dimensional, but otherwise, I thoroughly enjoy the music and, more, the performances on this album--they're just not the Santana performances one had grown to expect! For those of you in the dark, the incandescent light of one of the smoothest, most melodically gifted bass players I've ever heard is shining bright here in the play of Doug Rauch--a light that burned out far too early (due to the trappings of drug addiction). Check out his playing here on "Light of Life" and "Yours Is the Light" and "When I Look into Your Eyes" as well as throughout Caravanserai and on Lenny White's Venusian Summer, particularly with Ray Gomez on "Mating Drive." Also, there is some fine, fine work by Mr. Shrieve here, if one were only open to listening for it. Give it a chance; open your hearts; welcome the love; embrace Carlos' purest of intentions. You won't be sorry.
 Greatest Hits by SANTANA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1974
2.80 | 36 ratings

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Greatest Hits
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Lupton

3 stars End of an era

This album marked the end of the original Santana band which broke up after the musically disastrous "Caravanserai" album.It is a fairly decent overview and includes all the main hits.Also because the band had yet to descend into AOR hell with some of their later offerings there is no real filler either.Unfortunately some of their more interesting tracks like "Incident as Nebasur" or "Jungle Strut" are not included which In suppose is understandable for a "Greatest Hits" package clearly aimed at the casual fan.Having said that I do find the exclusion of "Soul Sacrifice" unforgivable given how iconic a track it is and got them noticed at Woodstock. 3 stars

 Santana 3 by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.00 | 327 ratings

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Santana 3
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Lupton

4 stars Santana's third album essentially followed the template set by the previous "Abraxas"but the sound is even fuller this time with a revised line up including Neil Schon as a second guitarist.The opening track this time round is a rather funky little number which pretty much sets the tone for the whole album. "Toussaint L'overture" is another instrumental track (bar some chanting early on) and is quite engaging for the first few minutes before dissolving into a bit of a Hammond Organ vs guitar free-for-all solo-fest.I can see why some Prog fans might enjoy this track so much but personally I really do prefer a bit more structure."Jungle Strut" is a much more engaging instrumental which has plenty of soloing but is based on a standard blues format.The vocal numbers are all fairly good especially "No one to Depend on"with a few dynamic twists.Unfortunately this is the last really great Santana albums. With the next album "Caravanserai" they decided to build on the "Toussaint L'Overture" style with endless formless noodling which totally does my head in" As for this album, iit is a worthy follow up to "Abraxas" but because it doe not have any real classic tunes I will give it one star less than the previous two albums.Still excellent though.4 stars
 Abraxas by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.24 | 655 ratings

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Abraxas
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Lupton

5 stars I used to think the debut album and "Abraxas" were virtually interchangeable soundwise but repeated listening reveal the second album to be far more sophisticated.Only "Se a Cabo" and "Hope You're Feeling Better"are the the only tracks that harkens back to the rough-n-ready energetic style of the previous album.The relatively low key opening track "Singing Winds,Crying Beasts" sees them exploring the fusiony style they would develop on "Caravanserai" and works well as an opener but my review of that album makes clear I am happy it only the opener.The best known tracks here are the Fleetwood Mac cover"Black Magic Woman",the ultra punchy Tito Puente song"Oye Como Va"and the quite sublime instrumental "Samba Pa Ti" and the aforementioned "Se a Cabo" all of which makes this album a Classic.However it is one of the deeper cuts "Incident at Neshabur" where they really start to explore the Jazz Rock in earnest which makes this album n essential purchase.Another stone cold Classic-5 stars
 Santana by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.13 | 427 ratings

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Santana
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Lupton

5 stars Santana's eponymous debut reminds me a little of Hendrix's debut not musically but the way in which it effectively sets the benchmark for Latin-jazz infused rock in the same way Hendrix set the benchmark for psychedelic blues.What an absolute stunner this album is.From the opening opening track "Waiting" all hammond organ and heavy bluesy guitar blazing away and propelled by that infectious rhythm section to the closing "Soul Sacrifice" which serves up more of the same but with the addition of an absolute killer drum solo-this album just never lets up.Foure of the group's best known songs are here, the aforementioned "Soul Sacrifice" "Evil Ways","Jingo" and the y punchy but all too punchy "Persuasion"There are no bland ballads or aimless noodling here -that would come later- unfortunately and the whole album is an absolute blast.The production is raw, incredibly energetic and sounds like it was recorded live-in-the studio which is one of its many pluses.The next album was arguably more sophisticated as the band began to incorporate some jazz-rock into what was already a heavy brew but for me it is a toss up between this and "Abraxas" as the definitive Santana album.In any case this is a full 5 stars from me.
 Borboletta by SANTANA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.65 | 212 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 | 327 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
4.13 | 427 ratings

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Santana
Santana Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

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
4.13 | 427 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 | 153 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.

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

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