When Carlos Santana turned 60, I wrote a piece in my now long-abandoned Underplayed Vinyl series, albums I owned as LPs, which I used to play constantly, but because I didn’t have an easily accessible record player, they didn’t get much action.
The album in question that I posted about, 10 years ago to the day, was Abraxas, Santana, the group’s, second collection. “In 2003 [it] was ranked number 207 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time… Abraxas was deemed ‘culturally, historically, or artistically significant’ by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in their National Recording Registry in 2016.”
Like most of America, I discovered Santana at Woodstock. No, I didn’t go to the festival, but I saw the 1970 movie twice, in a row. Soul Sacrifice, complete with occasional feedback, was revelatory.
Carlos Santana and the various iterations of the group that bear his surname waxed and waned in popularity. For instance, the group was on recording hiatus for seven years in the 1990s.
In 1999, they released Supernatural, which debuted at number 19 on the Billboard 200, and 18 weeks later, topped the US charts. I bought it, of course, but I agree with some of the critics that found that the plethora of guest stars means there’s lacking a “consistent voice that holds the album together.” Yet it had good, and commercially successful, songs.
I’ve recently picked up Santana IV, the return of the core band from the first three albums.
The group Santana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
LISTEN, in roughly chronological order; numbers represent the Billboard pop chart action.
Jingo, a/k/a Jin-Go-Lo-Ba, #56 in 1969 here or here
Evil Ways, #9 in 1970 here or here
Soul Sacrifice here or here, at Woodstock
Abraxas, full album, 1971 : here or here (includes Black Magic Woman, #4 in 1971; Oye Como Va, #13 in 1971)
No One to Depend On, #36 in 1972, here or here
Primera Invasion, 1981 here or here
Searchin’, 1981 here
Hold On, #15 in 1982, here or here
Smooth, featuring Rob Thomas, #1 for 12 weeks in 1999 here (single) or here (album)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, featuring India.Arie and Yo-Yo Ma, 2010 here (video) or here (album cut)