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Santana Santana 3 album cover
4.00 | 289 ratings | 19 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Batuka (3:35)
2. No One To Depend On (5:31)
3. Taboo (5:33)
4. Toussaint L'Overture (5:54)
5. Everybody's Everything (3:27)
6. Guajira (5:42)
7. Jungle Strut (5:20)
8. Everything's Coming Our Way (3:15)
9. Para Los Rumberos (2:46)

Total time 41:03

Bonus tracks on 1998 Legacy remaster:
10. Batuka (Live #) (3:41
11. Jungle Strut (Live #) (5:59)
12. Gumbo (Live #) (5:26)

# Recorded at the Fillmore West on July 4, 1971

Bonus tracks on 2006 Legacy double CD:
10. Gumbo (4:24) *
11. Folsom Street - one (7:08) *
12. Banbeye (10:21) *
13. No One To Depend On (Single version) (3:13)

Bonus CD "Live at the Fillmore West" from 2006 Legacy double CD:
1. Batuka (3:47)
2. No One To Depend On (5:29) *
3. Toussaint L' Ouverture (6:10)
4. Taboo (5 :40) *
5. Jungle Strut (5 :59)
6. Black Magic Woman/gypsy Queen (6:15) *
7. Incident At Neshabur (5:28)
8. In A Silent Way (6:55)
9. Savor (3:55) *
10. Para Los Rumberos (3:41) *
11. Gumbo (5:26)

* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Carlos Santana / guitars, vocals
- Neal Schon / guitar
- Gregg Rolie / organ, piano, vocals
- David Brown / bass
- Michael Shrieve / drums, percussion, vibes
- Michael Carabello / congas, tambourine, percussion, vocals
- Jose 'Chepito' Areas / drums, timbales, congas, percussion, flugelhorn, vocals

- Rico Reyes / lead (6) & backing (2,4,9) vocals
- Coke Escovedo / backing vocals , percussion
- Linda Tillery / backing vocals (5,8)
- Mario Ochoa / piano (6)
- Tower Of Power Horn Section / horns (5)
- Luis Gasca / trumpet (9)
- Gregg Errico / tambourine (2)

Releases information

ArtWork: Mary Ann Mayer with Joan Chase (Heavy Water Light Show)

LP Columbia ‎- KC 30595 (1971, US)

CD Columbia ‎- CK 30595 (1990, US)
CD Legacy ‎- CK 65491 (1998, US) 24-bit remaster by Vic Anesini w/ 3 bonus tracks
2xCD Legacy ‎- 82796 90270 2 (2006, US) Deluxe 35th Anniv. edition: 24-bit remaster by Vic Anesini w/ 4 bonus tracks plus Bonus CD including 11 Live tracks Recorded at the Fillmore West on July 4, 1971

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

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SANTANA Santana 3 ratings distribution

(289 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SANTANA Santana 3 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!!

Could Santana realize the hat trick? Well I don't think they even thought about it beforehand, and probably never realized it after they achieved it. Again another superb/stunning gatefold artwork, the group presents a teenage Neal Schon as second guitarist, but it will not change their overall sound, still favoring this high energy fusion between rock, jazz-rock and latino musics.

Right from the opening Batuka, you just know you are in for yet another classic Santana ride that will bring you to heaven and back. The band can go from sheer power (Jungle Strut is awesome) to real suave moments (check out Taboo) and some rebellious moments (Toussaint L'Overture was a slave rebel if memory serves) and ethnic (Guajira) interludes. One of the sadly-forgotten classic is the closing Rumberos where Areas' trumpet is used sparingly but with great effect.

Although the album is still as good as its predecessors (and even better in some respects, but less jazz-rock) it was clear that the group was playing it safe, just content on maintaining the formula of Abraxas. Little did we know what was around the bend............

The album comes in now in an expanded edition: Columbia's Legay Edition and this double disc edition is rather interesting for fans. With three real bonus tracks coming from the album's sessions, and the first of which Gumbo is an absolute must. The Following Folsom Street (very excellent too) and Banbeye (a little lengthy) are both added value to the original album. The second disc is live from July 4,71 and features the group in excellent form even if there are some moments where the sound is not perfect. The usual set was played that night (featuring Abraxas and Three), but there is an invaluable plus to the disc in the form of In A Silent Way (written by zawinul for Miles Davis' groundbreaking album of the same name) and it is a pure joy: although only an extract and vastly diofferent, the piece blends in beautifully with the rest of the set.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another great album by Santana, so add a half star above!

The third album maybe did not surpass the previous "Abraxas", but it came close. Without obvious hits (only "Everything's Coming Our Way" enjoyed chart success, and it is probably the least good song here), the band continues to explore the experimental mix between rock, Latino and jazz. "Everybody's Everything" introduces some funky brass, which sounds pretty refreshing, if you ask me. All other tracks are perfect, even if originality is perhaps traded for the "safe area" arrangements and immaculate instrumentation. Highly recommended record.

Review by ZowieZiggy
5 stars I purchased this album in December 1971 and I was really in love with it. As I have mentioned previously for "Machine Head" (but it was also the case with "Meddle"), this album will be my everyday friend during most of 1972 during which I spent ten months laying in my bed due to a serious leg problem. So, this one has a very special place in my heart and this review might be influenced by this personal matter. But hey, after it was my life and I like sharing these moments !

The sleeve design is absolutely fabulous. Still better than the Abraxas one, maybe (although, I like "the angel" an awful lot...).

Major change in the line-up. But a change I quite like : new members are added to the ensemble : Neal Schon as a second guitar and to a Escovedo on percussionswas helping during the abscence of Chepito.

The band is still very united. Carlos said : We were stil at a point where we would sit down and just talk about something and start playing it. One would say, "Listen, I'm going to play the "Rite Of Spring" from Stravinsky, just listen to it." We'd listen to it. We'd say : "All right, let's write our own interpretation of what they did. It was like a think tank". We'd use our imagination and start tripping. We'd create our own thing. Don't copy, but take the essence. We were still in unity".

The album will peak at Nr. 1 in the US charts (will stay there for five weeks and will remain a total of 39 weeks). Side one of the vinyl album is probably the best ever from the band (it is my preferred one, without the slightiest doubt). All four tracks are great (Rolie co-wrote all of them, while Carlos participated in three songs on the whole album, as Mike Shrieve).

Schon's influence can instantly be heard in "Batuka" : a great anthem for guitar heroes combined with very strong percussions (no wonder with four guys playing). Gregg said : "We never closed doors on stuff". In fact, "Batuka" came from a Santana adventure with a symphony orchestra (gosh)! "We played with Zubin Metha and the L.A. Philarmonic on a Bell Telephone Hour Show, along with a couple of other rock bands. We wrote "Batuka" off a Leonard Bernstein piece that they taped and sent to us to learn". Fantástico !

The album flows into the (semi) hit single "No One Can Depend On" : the two guitars are so powerful and complementary. the latin rythm during the vocals is turned into a fantastic guitar moment. This echo could have last for ever. Estupendo !

My favourite track here is "Taboo" : full of lyricism and melody. The guitar solo is of course gorgeous. The percussion work is also impressive (the song was co-written by Areas). This is the most emotional track of the album. Increíble !.

"Toussaint l'Overture" is another great piece of music, full of rythm, great keyboarding from Rolie, and a special mention for the percussion team at its best. The rythm they put in here is HUGE. The finale is grandiose : an violent orgy of keys and guitar. What a number again ! Fabuloso !

Next one is the hit single "Everybody's Everything" (will peak at Nr. 12 in the US charts) and is not really my fave but still a good track with an incredible rythm and again a great guitar break. This album is probably the more guitar-oriented so far. Que ritmo !

"Guajira" is a latin-jazz-rock piece of music. As such it is quite interesting : good bass playing from David as well as piano from Gregg. The furious guitar solo is the highlight of the song. I will pretty much prefer the live version on Sacred Fire which is really fabulous (but that's another Santana story). Vámonos Guajira !

"Jungle Strut" is a cover song from a famous sax player (Gene Ammons) : it is a very good instrumental piece of music: loads of guitar again and percussion. It keeps the level of this album very, very high. Poderoso !

"Everything's Coming Our Way" is the only song written exclusively by Carlos: it is full of subtlety, emotion and poetry. A very sensitive track (with some flamenco influence). Nice melody and a superb combination between Gregg and Carlos.Very underrated track but one of my fave. Hermoso.

"Para Los Rumberos" is by far the weakest track of the album and should have been avoided (it is the second time in a row that the closing number is very weak - see my Abraxas review). Olvidable !

About thirty years later (2001), I purchased the remastered edtion which contains three live tracks from their concert at the Filmore West on July 4, 1971 (all instrumentals : Batuka, Jungle Strut and an unreleased number : Gumbo (good but not essential).

Of course, the fans were offered (?), a true jewel with the double CD Legacy edition. One studio CD with the original LP version and three unreleased studio tracks from the sessions: Gumbo, Folsom Street One, Banbeye (you will understand why those tracks didn't make the album while listening to it) as well as the single version for "No One To Depend On". CD2 is 100% live : mostly numbers from Abraxas and III (only Savor was from their first one). At this point of their career, there won't be such long improv during their concerts (like we can find on their Live At The Filmore from 1968). The rendition is closer (too close maybe) to the original. One can get this confirmed with this fantastic Legacy edition. The whole side of Santana III, "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen", "Incident At Neshabur" and "Savor" being the absolute highlight of it.

I hope they wiill go on with their "Legacy" releases and produce one for Caravanserai. With my introductory words, you will understand that the only rating I can grant is five stars (whatever the version : original, remastered or legacy).

Get up, get it, dance and get exhausted ! Grandioso ! Estupendo !

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I got the CD of this album from a boxed set containing two albums : debut and this "Santana III". I was not interested to purchase the CD, actually, because Santana has already my past - it was the band during my childhood. But looking at the economic price offered and the remastered condition PLUS bonus tracks for each CD, so I finally purchased the boxed set. No doubt, this is one of the band's masterpiece throughout its career. Personally, "No One To Depend On" was my childhood hero because there was local band called Kecik Boys who regularly played the song in its gigs in Madiun, East Java, Indonesia. This song in itself is a great composition where all components of latin music, rock, percussions and stunning guitar solo work nicely from start to end of the song. The interlude part is amazing especially with guitar solo, keyboard work and dynamic percussion. Listening to this track must be started with opening track "Batuka" which serves like an overture for this track.

The following tracks are also excellent especially track 4 "Toussaint L'Overture" which represents one of the finest compositions the band has ever made. Observe how dynamic the music flows from start to end accentuated by dazzling percussion, great duets of Carlos Santana's guitar and Greg Rollie's keyboard. It's really enjoyable and it's truly an adrenaline exploder. Listening to this track one cannot let himself not stimulated with the soul of this song. It's so powerful, in my opinion. You cannot deny, definitely, that Carlos Santana is one of the best guitarists the world has ever had.

For those who enjoy upbeat music with dynamic percussion, you might find "Everybody's Everything" is a very energetic track with rich percussion sounds. It flows wonderfully to the next upbeat song "Guajira" which has become my childhood favorite due to its simplicity. But actually the piano solo in this song is very interesting to explore.

What can I say, overall? Well, it's hard to deny if you like hard rock music but you do not enjoy this album. Overall, this is an excellent album with great songwriting. In addition to the music, this CD is really informative on information about the band: story of the band (prior to this album, Santana was success with previous two albums where each title sold a million copies).

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Embarking on a fresh Journey

Confusingly, Santana's third album title is actually once again eponymous, the LP sleeve bearing a sticker declaring it to be "The third album". Indeed the sticker is the only indication on the sleeve, apart from a "Santana" notation on the spine of the gatefold, of who the album is by.

Some line up changes have taken place since "Abraxas", notably Neal Schon (who would go on to form Journey) comes in on second lead guitar. There is however a continuity to the music in terms of the previous albums.

After a spirited instrumental opener "Batuka", the ethnic influences come to the fore on "No one to depend on". This piece is a strange mixture of tribal chant and improvised lead guitar jamming. "Taboo" is a Clapton like blues ballad which allows Greg Rolie to take centre stage. His vocals here are particularly emotive, and although lead guitar is once again the instrument of choice for the soloing, his keyboard playing provides a wonderful basis for the track.

The ethnic side of the band's music is represented most strongly by the tracks which close each side, "Toussaint L'Overture" and "Para los rumberos". These largely improvised pieces have the dominant percussion roots which are strongly associated with Santana's music. Even here though, the guitar work is noticeably of a rock orientation. "Jungle strut" is in a similar vein, although here guitar and organ alternate as lead instrument.

For me, the weakest track is the rather anonymous "Everybody's everything", which was released as a single. While there is a degree of energy to the song, it is largely superficial, redeemed only by the wailing lead guitar. "Everything is coming our way" also has overt pop leanings, but the laid back vocals and dreamy organ make for a pleasant if unchallenging track.

As with most Santana albums, a liberal amount of tolerance is required to classify this album as truly prog. The track structures are largely simplistic, but they are fully developed into lavishly appealing works. The twin lead guitars add an extra depth to the overall sound, resulting in some of most rock orientated moods Santana have ever created. Those who enjoy the music of Santana should ensure that this album is part of their collection.

Review by progrules
4 stars This Third Album by Santana is the last of three albums by the band that I will review. Like I explained in previous reviews I do this because I hardly consider Santana prog and I choose to pick out his most "proggy" (this one plus Caravanserai and Borboletta) albums to review and leave the rest for what they are.

This great third album starts with the energetic Batuka and gives thus a marvelous preview for the rest of the album. Next one No one to depend on is a bit more commercial sounding but the fantastic rhythm makes that an unimportant fact. Third is Taboo also starting pretty fierce but then turning into a sort of Santana ballad. This is so wonderfully laid back, if you haven't got the summer feeling by now, forget it ! Toussaint L'Overture is a semi-instrumental because there are vocals but they are more producing sound than singing words. Anyway, the fourth winner in a row for sure ! Everybody's Everything is one of my all time favourites by Santana because of the brilliant guitar in the second half of the song.

Guajira is one of those giant classic songs by the band, one that will never die on me. Jungle Strut is another firecracker of a song, huge rhythm and great instrumental stuff. Everything's coming our way is only the second more laid back track of the lot, not a superb one in my opinion and almost gets lost in the incredible offering this album is. Para los Romberos is even much more dispensable being the least of this near masterpiece. This track is a bit too simple and repetitive.

Three live tracks at the end of this CD are a bonus, two of them (Batuka and Jungle Strut) were already in the line up of this album but third is Gumbo another rhythmic swinging one. They did it again: they brought me in a great mood after listening to it once again. Santana is one of the very few bands who can achieve this. 4 stars at least.

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 3rd Time Lucky...

OK, not really lucky, but the Santana formula obviously had a lot of mileage in it, and the 3rd album is every bit as gripping and exotic-sounding as the first two, with the same overall soundscape that characterised the band that set the original Woodstock festival alight with their Soul Sacrifice - but seems to have an added extra, a kind of X ingredient that transforms it from heavy groove rock with strong Latin roots into something approaching Prog Rock. This is something that was present in the first two albums, but here the band take it further into that kind of mind-reading realm characteristic of great jazz and jazz rock.

And so it is that Batuka throws us straight into the familiar Santana sound, with plenty of cowbells, seriously funky and smooth bass, with a perfectly synchronised guitar-line, then some tasty wacka- wacka seventies style rhythm guitar, and finally the subtle organ layer joins in. Carlos then immediately socks it to us with some speedy lead licks, and the drama builds with small repeated chunks, giving that flavour of an improvised composition, until the groove kicks in full time, and Santana goes off on one - a bit on the bluffy side, but positively dripping with Latin emotion.

The keyboard is then given some air time, lending good drive to the sound, before it's stripped down to percussion and light bass, and the music segues straight into the song No-one to Depend on. Again, no real surprises in the sound and textures, but the build-up technique in the composition is remarkable for 1971. At 1:15 comes a real surprise - the music is broken down, an intense guitar flurry kicks in, and the chorus line is presented, with real emotion. The song from here is a kind of meditation on the words, rather than your standard song structure, which appears to be based somewhat on Soul Sacrifice, until the next broken-down instrumental break and the obligatory Santana solo - in which he shows his versatility and emotional virtuosity well, by relating everything back to the underlying music.

The introduction to Taboo gives no clues as to where the music will be taken, and when the Latin- grooved song kicks in, with Hendrix-influenced background licks, it is in a more relaxed, late-night mood. All the musicians contribute subtly to the instrumental sections, which show dramatic energy taking us on a rollercoaster emotional ride in which everything feels pre-ordained, and yet, as soon as you listen more closely to the music, you realise the natural spontaneity in it all, and feel the unfolding story.

I find Toussaint l'Overture a little unremarkable, after such a strong opening - although it does feature very interesting percussion, tasty breaks, and, of course, stellar lead guitar playing. It is, however, starting to sound more formulated - and goes some way to explaining why this is the last Santana album in this particular Woodstock vein, and why he became more adventurous in his jazz-rock explorations after this.

Everybody's Everything was the second hit from this album (No-one to Depend On was the first), and seems to be a peculiar mix of Booker T and James Brown, infused with that Santana groove. A tad commercial for my taste, but bags of energy, nonetheless.

Guijira is a return to a more typical Santana sound, reminding me quite strongly of Oye Como Va from the previous album, with its soft shuffle sound. Sadly, it's destroyed slightly by an awful piano solo, but when the piano returns to rhythm and texture, we can forgive it somewhat, as some really tasty licks come from it. The trumpet solo is a bit of a surprise, lending a Herb Alpert flavour, but the guitar solo is somewhat unremarkable and noodly.

The opening Hammond of Jungle Strut tantalises - it appears out of nowhere, sends tingles down the spine, then gives way to a funky guitar and bass that seem to re-iterate Jingo (1st album). At 1:48, we are treated to a solo on said instrument - not quite Jimmy Smith or Wynder K Frogg, but we wanted it, and we get it! True to the penchant for varied flavours and textures on this album, the guitar solo that follows begins in a more laid-back vein, and follows a slow build-up with more Hammond - a nice idea, but you don't really get the feeling of ideas being bounced around musicians, more a sense of it's my turn to show off now, and nothing truly interesting comes out of this extended instrumental section, just a collection of short solos. I don't really get a Jungle flavour either - and the strut is more like a swagger.

Everything's Coming Our Way feels a bit of a let down - a rather commercial flavoured song with lyrics of cheese. It's not actually too bad in itself, and, released by a lesser band, would be a very strong and original number (more, and better Hammond playing in here too!) - in fact, it has quite a modern sound to it that makes it seem even more progressive in the literal sense, despite the overall accessibility and hit single flavour.

Then we have the obligatory Santana-stylee exit, a blend of Jingo, Oye Como Va, Soul Sacrifice - all the best bits from the earlier albums, in fact, in Para Los Rumberos. Absolutely no surprises in here, but one to shake your booty to, and strut your funky stuff - but make sure the curtains are closed, OK?

If you only ever buy one Santana album (but why on earth would you?), then this is a great one to start with. It almost negates getting the previous 2, except to reference the sources of the music contained in these grooves. Personally, I find this one the most engaging - but that is also its weakness - that the appeal of its accessibility soon fades to the contempt of familiarity, especially when compared to truly progressive rock music. It's worth owning, but then, so are most late 1960s/early 1970s Santana albums - and if you're even vaguely interested in Progressive music, you simply HAVE to hear at least one, all the way through, several times.

Therefore, I recommend this one - but you could take your pick, really :o).

Review by Flucktrot
3 stars With their third effort, Santana appear to be ready for great things, but unfortunately are still an album away. I love the dual guitar effects, but the album as a whole is just not as coherent as you'd like, and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of progression from Abraxas, unless you count sounding more poppy.

Batuka, No One to Depend On, Taboo, Toussaint L'Ouverture. These are the first four tracks, and not by coincidence I imagine, are the highlights of the album. Batuka starts things out with a great Santana beat, also introducing Schon and Carlos playing off each other, which leads seamlessly into No One to Depend On--a catchy and Evil Ways-type of tune. Then we are treated to Taboo, with an irresistable hand drum beat and plenty of restrained guitar. Toussaint kicks up the tempo just at the right time, with plenty of call- and-response between Carlos and Rolie on keys.

Everybody's Everything, Guajira, Jungle Strut, Everything's Coming Our Way, Para Los Rumberos. The final five songs are far from boring, but just a far cry from masterpiece material. There's the poppy song (Everybody's Everything, though catchy as hell), the bluesy number (Guajira), and the more laid-back, happy sing-a-long (Everything's Coming Our Way). The only highlight out of this bunch for me is Jungle Strut, which is an inspired jam, and features great harmonization between Carlos and Schon--the best interaction between them of the album.

I'm not even considering the live album. Of course it's entertaining, but it's nothing you haven't already heard if you've seen Carlos live or have heard another of his live tracks. This was a transition for Carlos into truly enlightened territory, as evidenced by Caravanserai. At any rate, this is quality music, and just what you'd expect from Carlos (but nothing more): plenty of rock, toe-tapping rhythms, and a few melodies that you can't shake from your mind. This would be four-star material if I didn't feel I had already heard it from their first two albums.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Santana 3" (originally only titled "Santana") is the 3rd full-length studio album by US jazz rock/fusion act Santana. The album was released through Columbia Records in September 1971. The original album release features 9 tracks while the 1998 re-issue features 3 bonus tracks recorded live at the Fillmore West on the 4th of July 1971. A special "Legacy Edition" was released in 2006, which in addition to the orginal album, features some unreleased tracks and the full concert recorded live at the Fillmore West on the 4th of July 1971. Judging from the high quality of the three live bonus tracks on the 1998 re-issue version (which is the one I have), it´s definitely the "Legacy Edition" that´s the recommendable version.

The music is unmistakably the sound of Santana. With the addition of percussionist Coke Escovedo to the lineup, there are now three percussionists and one drummer in the band. The percussive assault on the album is now even more defining for the sound than on the first two albums by the band "Santana (1969)" and "Abraxas (1970)". The addition of the 17 year old guitarist Neal Schon also gives the band even more opportunities than they already had. He compliments Carlos Santana really well. The music, which is a mix of anglo pop/rock, blues, african and latin rythms, jazz and fusion, is well executed, intense and unique. The tracks are mostly instrumental but there are a couple of vocal tracks too such as the hit "No One To Depend On". The tracks "Guajira" and "Para Los Rumberos" feature latin style vocals. As a new thing Tower of Power contribute with some well arranged brass parts on some of the tracks. Most notably on "Everybody's Everything", but there are brass parts on other tracks too. Gregg Rolie´s organ playing is as omnipresent as ever and greatly enjoyable but it is Carlos Santana´s signature guitar playing that takes the price IMO. The man is absolutely on fire throughout the albums playing time. For evidence just try and take a listen to the last couple of minutes of "Toussaint l'Overture". Fierce yet melodic and controlled guitar soloing by someone I don´t hesitate to call a guitar hero in the most positive sense of the word. While his playing was intense and greatly enjoyable on the two first albums, he has lifted his playing to a whole new level on "Santana 3".

The production is powerful and sharp. Organic yet clean. A very well sounding and professional production.

Upon conclusion "Santana 3" is an excellent album by Santana, fully on par with the excellent debut album and to my ears a notch better than "Abraxas (1970)". A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Third from Santana band debut trilogy album is similar,but a bit different from predescessors. Roughly, it is for sure same Latin fusion/jazz rock with very specific Carlos Santana guitar sound. But there some differences indeed as well.

First of all, there is second solo guitar ( Neal Schon at the beginning of his career), which doesn't change music , but add some sound nuances. Second, brass section ( Tower of Power) is added in some songs - it gave some funky feel. But most important - using the same mixture of Latin rock/fusion, band sounds a bit repetative in moments. Softer, more rounded sound and sometimes pop-arrangements delete last raw traces from earlier works.

There are some perfect compositions, as "Guajira", or "Everything Is Coming Our Way", but some songs sound a bit boring there.It looks for me, that main reason is lack of fresh ideas, still having perfect basis in Latin rock/fusion.

I think that this album, being still between their four best earlier works, is a bit below highest standard of band's golden period. It doesn't means ,that album isn't good enough, just they put their standard of that time very high!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars SANTANA's first four studio albums stand up pretty well to any band's first four records. These guys were on a roll and with this their third album they add some fire in a second lead guitarist (Neal Schon) and also a new percussionist.Carlos says "Around the time of the third album I always heard two guitar players, Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, or Boz Scaggs with Duane, or Peter Green with all the other guitar players that he had". It is true to say that this third album was the last of the Woodstock-era SANTANA band.

"Batuka" and the next song are two of my top three tracks from this album. Percussion to start as guitar joins in. This sounds amazing especially the guitar. Just a killer opener that blends into "No One To Depend On" where it settles right down quickly. Organ, guitar and vocals lead. Amazing sound 3 1/2 minutes in. "Taboo" is a relaxing tune with vocals. Love how passionate it gets 4 minutes in to the end.

"Toussaint L'Overture" is uptempo with so much going on. Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. The guitar comes to the fore late. "Everybody's Everything" is by far my least favourite track. The Tower Of Power horn section and the funk flavour just don't do it for me. "Guajara" on the other hand does. A sexy Latin feel good tune. "Jungle Strut" is my other top three. It kicks in quickly with the drums,organ and guitar all sounding so good. "Everything's Coming Our Way" has some good contrtasts throughout. It's hard not to like this catchy tune. "Para Los Rumberos" is uptempo with lots of percussion. Vocals too in this one.

If your new to SANTANA and see any of their first four studio albums don't even hesitate. Buy ! I don't know why but this music reminds me of summer in the seventies. All but a memory. By the way the three bonus tracks on my issue are excellent.They're live tunes from "Live At The Filmore West" July 4,1971.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars On this, Santana's third studio album in as many years since they wowed the Woodstock nation, I get the impression that they were a fairly happy, uncommonly stable and reasonably satisfied band comfortable in their own skin. They were so universally accepted by the masses and so genuinely well-liked by millions that I honestly can't blame them for taking an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude when it came time to laying down the tracks for this release. In most cases a safe, unadventurous and conservative approach results in an album that's far too predictable and sorely lacking in passion but I can't argue with what my ears confirm to my heart when listening to Santana III. They still had fire in their bellies. They were surfing atop the crest of immense popularity in '71 and, whereas other successful groups running around in their loafers were exhausted/burned out by the demands of near-constant touring, these hardy gauchos were still basking in their primeness, generating enough energy night after night to electrify a metropolis and playing with verve as if their lives depended on it.

What made Santana so special and prog-worthy? They possessed the rare commodity of owning a sound so unique yet so accessible that they created a singular niche they didn't have to share with any other band. They were a one-of-a-kind musical hybrid that had a whole genre of music all to themselves. That's why their first trio of albums comprise such a consistent set. They stuck to their pistoleros, not due to their record label coercing them to churn out more of the same profitable shtick (although I have little doubt the suits at Columbia were thrilled about everything they produced turning to platinum), but because Santana knew who they were and what they were all about. They had a sort of "I know what I like and I like what I know" kinda thing going on that managed to please both the Top 40- addicted general populace and the more critical progressive rock mob that refused to settle for plain vanilla flowing through their headphones. Not an easy mountain to climb for even one album, much less three in a row. Yet as much as I admire this collection of songs I'm extremely glad (as the whole prog world should be) that they took off in a revolutionary and fearlessly exploratory direction on the next one. But let's concentrate our focus on Santana III, shall we?

A rhythmic blend of percussion and drums sets the spicy tone for the instrumental opener, "Batuka," and Carlos' aggressive guitar riff announces without apology that they haven't lost their edge. His solo is ferocious and Gregg Rolie's screaming Hammond organ snarls like an agitated pit bull and then they abruptly shut it down as if the police had arrived in response to a disturbing the peace complaint from the neighbors. No harm done, though, as the classic "No One to Depend On" follows right on its heels. It has one of their great slight-of-hand intros that keeps you guessing where they're going to go right up until the moment Michael Carabello's congas and Jose Chepito Areas' timbales grab you by the collarbone and pull you into the tune's irresistible groove. Carabello and newcomer Coke Escovedo co-wrote this catchy number featuring ensemble vocals that make it impossible to resist singing right along. It includes clever rests and accents to delight in as you make your way through the verses and the inspired middle section erects an unexpectedly proggy platform for the band's then 17-year-old newbie Neal Schon to introduce himself to their fans via a fierce, ripping guitar ride that still threatens to crackle your speakers to this day. Once that major revelation concludes their exemplary posse of percussionists guides the song back to its original feel with nary a glitch, paving the way for one of my favorite one-second-in-duration guitar licks (the one right after the last "I ain't got nobody") and an unforgettable, band-in-a-canyon ending. I still crank the volume when this one comes on the radio even after all these years of hearing it.

Rolie and Areas teamed up to pen "Taboo" but, despite a grandiose onset, it promises more than it can deliver because the tune is too anemic and weak to stand on its own. It marks the low point of the album. Its saving grace, however, is what the group does with the arrangement when the vocal ceases to bore and the instruments take over, especially Mr. Santana's sublime guitar. "Toussaint L'Overture" comes galloping in like the cavalry to rescue the proceedings. Though it's hardly more than an organized jam based on a frequently-borrowed descending chord progression, in this group's hands such fare sizzles like fatty bacon on a spit. Gregg knocks out another hot Hammond solo and Carlos' guitar lead doesn't disappoint but it's the fiery percussion roiling underneath the Latino chanting that really gets my heart a pumpin'. The second half of this cut has Schon, Santana and Rolie duking it out like they're caught up in a last-hombre-standing street fight all the way to the stop-on-a-dime ending.

I've always been fond of songs that help encourage and motivate me to get off my duff and take on the planet, especially in the morning, and few can do that as efficiently as "Everybody's Everything." (Another is the blistering live version of "Can't Turn You Loose" by Edgar Winter's White Trash from their '72 album, "Roadwork." Better than caffeine.) Wisely employing the prestigious Tower of Power horns to accentuate the positive, this tune streaks by like an express train on a downhill slope. Okay, it ain't real complicated but it's a terrific way to spend three and a half minutes while getting dressed. Gregg's roaring Hammond and Neal's flaming guitar lines shine brightly but it's the triad of Carabello, Areas and Escovedo that fuel this furnace all the way to the fade out. "Guajira" is next and it's a south of the border rock & roll samba that'll make even the palest Caucasian want to dance (think "Smooth" 28 years before its time). The cool break that precedes guest Mario Ochoa's playful piano solo gets me every time, Jose's trumpet spasm paints a fine change of aural scenery and both guitarists perform magnificently.

They then hit the road in an all-out sprint again with "Jungle Strut," a fast-paced jam peppered with hot licks emanating from most everyone in the group. This one's an ideal example of Santana doing what comes naturally to them and I can't help but notice the Allman Brothers-ish dual harmony guitar lines that provide the melody. (Those Dixie roosters influenced everybody in their heyday, it would seem.) Carlos' amateurish "Everything's Coming Our Way" retards the momentum slightly but, as usual, the boys behind him make the most of what they have to work with and Rolie's room-filling Hammond organ in particular keeps it from becoming a yawn-inducer. They serve up Tito Puente's "Para Los Rumberos" for the finale and it's another smokin' track generously ladled over a Spanish en masse chorale that takes no prisoners. Another talented guest, Luis Gasca, wields a sharp Trompeta in the middle that's suitably wild and arresting. And there you have it.

The only virtuoso that doesn't get an opportunity to show off on this album is their phenomenal young drummer Michael Shrieve but that's the only oversight on Santana 3 I can find (other than the two aforementioned puny compositions). This was also the last go- round for founding members Carabello and bassist David Brown (rumor has it they were overindulging in Peruvian marching powder) and if they'd broken up at this juncture their legacy would still live on forever courtesy of classic rock radio. However, they not only survived but, after delivering three chart-topping and highly commercial LPs (in terms of sales, at least), they were courageous enough to completely abandon their comfort zone and give birth to a jazz/rock fusion landmark, "Caravanserai," thus securing for their ensemble a sacred place in the progressive rock hall of fame for all time to come. The material found on Santana III ranks well above the average, no doubt, but what they were about to accomplish with their upcoming masterpiece still staggers my senses. It's my belief that every progger worth his/her salt should have all four of this group's initial studio albums in their collection because high-quality, progressive-minded music never goes out of style. 3.8 stars.

Review by Warthur
5 stars After this album, lineup changes and a shift in direction towards a more fusion-oriented sound would mean this is the last album by the group to feature the blues- and Latin-tinged psych of Abraxas. But what an album! All the potential of the previous two albums comes together here to yield a rich and endlessly rewarding collection of tracks. Santana's guitar work is, of course, legendary, and on this album he's on fine form once again, and the rest of the band play their hearts out to match him. The single, No One to Depend On, you've probably heard before, but the full-length jam in the album is truly the classic rendition of the song - and believe it or not, the rest of the album is even better. An emotive, occasionally spacey masterpiece.
Review by Bonnek
3 stars Santana's third isn't as blessed with Santana classics as the first two albums. It has the advantage of offering some nice new discoveries that sometimes sound more exciting then the long known classics of old.

After the refreshing instrumental of 'Batuka', the hit 'No One To Depend On' is one that can be easily skipped, I've heard this tune too much. 'Taboo' is one of these lesser known songs that make the album an great listen, it's a cool tune with slow-paced percussion and great organ and guitar solo's. It's an album of contrasts though that has classics such as 'Toussaint' as well as stale instant skip songs such as 'Everybody's Everything'. Also 'Everything is coming our way" is boring old-school pop. The latin fusion of 'Jungle Strut' and 'Para Los Rumberos' are better but typically this sort of thing works much better in their live versions.

Overall, not really consistent but mostly nice, pleasant and safe background music that's perfectly suited when you have the in-laws over.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars "Santana 3", the 3rd great album in a row for the band, has some rather heavy rhythms and riffs as the band explore heavier territory. The opener 'Batuka' is much more heavily reliant on a riff, and a killer one at that, as Carlos is then given freedom to unleash a flurry of notes on his lead guitar. The singing comes in on 'No One To Depend On' and sounds appropriate after that incredible intro. The lead guitar holds back but latches onto a cool laid back melody. The real Santana sound of shimmering Hammond, frantic bongos and guitar poetry is heard on 'Taboo'. The voice is as always laid back and soulful, with the kind of sound and structure as 'Black Magic Woman'; the winning formula for the band. Frenetic tribal percussion and blistering guitar runs drive 'Toussaint l' Overture', and I love that Hammond sound from Rolie, one of the best keyboardists. This one is a freakout of manic instrumental intensity, the way the band loved to unleash its power on these 70s albums. When the vocals come in they have a Latin flavour.

'Everybody's Everything' is a short blast with a lot of swinging brass and a soul man style vocalist, and a terrific Hammond break. 'Guajira' has a laid back feel, nice vox, measured Samba rhythm, and cool guitars. 'Jungle Strut' has the type of feel in the intro that would follow with the excellent "Caravanserai" album. this locks into a wild rhythmic percussion and some bluesy lead guitar licks; Carlos at his best. The song 'Everything's Coming Our Way' is too commercial for my tastes but 'Para Los Rumberos' closes with a great jazzy brass and Latino percussion explosion.

Overall this is not as excellent as the debut or "Abraxas" but still rocks with a ton of keyboard and guitar brilliance. I am not a fan of the vocal treatment on this but the musicianship is incredible, and proves the band were a force to be reckoned with. Pioneers, legends, virtuosos, and this is another milestone album of Latin rock. "Caravanserai" would completely blow this album away for infamy in music history, and with 4 albums in a row that are still loved and treasured today, Santana were untouchable in the early 70s. 3 and a half stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Santana certainly had great album covers these years. This psychedelic piece of art is a bit misleading however: this is no psychedelic spacerock, but just latin-rock with lot's of guitar and keyboardsolo's. Not so different then the previous two records. After two greatly succesfull albums this ... (read more)

Report this review (#669334) | Posted by the philosopher | Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Santana III best captures the real firey passion Carlos once had. And Neal Schon pushed Santana to the edge, dueling it out lick for lick and what we have, much like the previous album is quality music still sounding as fresh as it was when it was recorded. It proves to be a powerfully rewardi ... (read more)

Report this review (#566501) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This, I think, is Santana's best album. The songs are a little more complex and structured, and they had better sound. The band also added another guitarist, Neal Schon, which thickened the sound and allowed for some neat dual guitar riff-offs. Another percussionist was added as well, to beef ... (read more)

Report this review (#124568) | Posted by sco-bro | Sunday, June 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars IMHO, "Everybody's everything" is the CULMINATION of the 2 previous albums and the highest point that this particular ensemble ever reached, even though Carlos S. disses this album as the "excess" LP , I think that the "controlled frenzy" displayed in this song is what it's all about. Congas, ... (read more)

Report this review (#95729) | Posted by 10string | Thursday, October 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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