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Santana - Santana CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.13 | 409 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This was the third Santana album I purchased (in 1972 while I was 13). The line-up here is one of the best ever (only surpassed with the addition of Neal Schon for Santana III and Caravanserai).

This album is definitely the most afro-latino record of the band. Percussions are fantastic and the work of Greg Rolie on the keys has a major influence on the band. The master, of course, already a guitar phenomenon.

There is no time for reflexion when you spin this album : the wild opener "Waiting" is fantastic. An orgy of keys and a sublime finale.What a great number. Next track is their hit-single "Evil Ways" (peaked Nr. 9 in the US) : it starts with a kind of cha cha rythm and again the final part is truely sublime with wild guitar from who you know.

"Shades Of Time / Savor" (no blanks between) is pure fury. This music drives you crazy. Really. If you are keyboard oriented (not the prog type of keys of course), this album is made for you. "Jingo" closes side one of the original album and is also a bloody good number. It was quite criticized though, specially the sung part. Reviewers from "Rolling Stone" saying :"The record company slipped on this one and did not include a libretto. Here it is : Go-Ba-Ba Go-Ba-Ba Go-Ba-Ba Lumpa Thumpa, Boom Boom, Bang Bang Thump Thump". Gregg will say : "They must have been listening to something I didn't hear. Later on, it dawned on me that it didn't matter, as long as they spell our name right".

"Persuasion" is of the same vein. A vibrant and extremely powerful number. This album is exhausting. No weak track. Just craziness. Some moments of relief with the jazzy "Treat". It starts slow (for about one minute only, do not worry) but develops greatly crescendo in a very nice piano/ guitar solo. It ends up quite slowly again as it started.

"You Just Don't Care" is a hard track. Rageous vocals from Gregg (which is unusual) and an almost heavy band is backing. VERY strong organ and guitar.

And finally "Soul Sacrifice".

I was quite interested in discovering the studio version for Soul Sacrifice that I discovered (in 1971) on the Woodstock triple album (by that time I knew it by heart - yes every hit on the drums). This number is one of my favourite all bands, all genres being considered. It is difficult of course to appreciate the studio version when you get acquainted with this extraordinary live one (but several other bands will play the concert of their lives at Woodstock). I am extremely biased on "Sould Sacrifice" (I am physically shivered as I write - really). It is undescribable.

In 2001, I purchased the remastered CD version that includes almost their complete Woodstock set (only "Persuasion" is missing). We get "Savor", "Fried Neckbones" and of course "Soul". This live rendition from Woodstock (presented here in a longer version than in the soundtrack) was a highlight of this festival (but there were so many). I have never heard a better one.

To avoid spending money several times (as I did), the best purchase you can do is the Legacy Edition (2002). This two CD set contains the four Woodstock tracks, alternate versions of studio tracks (pre-Shrieve era) and live versions from almost each number of the album. This is really great additional value.

The album entered the US chart in September 1969 (one month after their Woodstock marvelous performance). But it was released in August. It will peak at Nr. 4 and will stay in the charts for 108 weeks (yes, man. More than two years) and will sell more than two million copies.

The producer will say : "When it came out, you could not turn on the radio without hearing the damn record. In the middle of all that vapid bulls..t that was going on with psychedelia that was happening in '69, here was the essence boiled down to drums and percussion and pulse. It was just balls out music, and that's what people wanted to hear". I bet you !

It is one of the best first album (with "The Doors" - 67) released by a band back then. This album also reminds me very special feelings. I mentioned this already in my review for "Machine Head". During the whole of 1972, I spent ten months of my young life laying in bed due to a serious leg injury. I had nothing else to do than listening to music. And what a music ! This is integrant part of my very life. Emotionally (I love emotions) I add one star to this album to rate it five stars. It is MY masterpiece.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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