Label: CBS Records
Moonflower is a studio and live double album by Santana, released in 1977. The recording features both studio and live tracks, which are interspersed with one another throughout the album. It is perhaps the group’s most popular live album, because Lotus did not receive a U.S. domestic release until the early 1990s. It displays a mix between the fusion of Latin and blues–rock styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the much more experimental and spiritual jazz fusion sound that characterized the band’s mid-1970s work. The live material was recorded during the supporting tour for the Festival album, which displayed a similar mix of styles, and many of the album’s songs are featured here – namely, the three song medley which opens Festival.
As a live record, this is a decided retrogression from Lotus: there is no sense of a coherent set here, and the programming all too frequently sounds like it resulted from a greatest-hits mentality. There are a few tremendous moments, but not enough to sustain momentum over the four sides. So the package is masked with several studio tracks stuck at the beginning of each side to take the pressure off the live material. This seems shoddy and deceptive, mere filler saved only by the band’s graceful playing.
Keyboardist Tom Coster continues to be the band’s hidden leader, playing alternately fiery and lyrical solos and fills on ten different instruments. His interplay with Carlos’ gutsier guitar tone is occasionally breathtaking, and he steals the show when he solos over relentless Latin percussion backing. Such moments of transcendence as at the end of “Dance with Me” make me long for the purposefulness and integrity the band achieved on Lotus. The musicians deserve that kind of presentation, but they have to fight for it, not mask their purpose beneath a patchwork like Moonflower.
1. Dawn/Go Within (2:44) (studio)
2. Carnaval (2:17) (live)
3. Let the Children Play (2:37) (live)
4. Jugando (2:09) (live)
5. I’ll Be Waiting (5:20) (studio)
6. Zulu (3:25) (studio)
1. Bahia (1:37) (studio)
2. Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (6:32) (live)
3. Dance Sister Dance (Baila Mi Hermana) (7:45) (live)
4. Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile) (6:07) (live)
1. She’s Not There (4:09) (studio)
2. Flor d’Luna (Moonflower) (5:01) (studio)
3. Soul Sacrifice/Head, Hands & Feet (14:01) (live)
1. El Morocco (5:05) (studio)
2. Transcendence (5:13) (studio)
3. Savor/Toussaint L’Overture (12:56) (live)
Title: Beyond Appearances
Label: CBS Records
Beyond Appearances is the thirteenth studio album by Santana, released in 1985.
Seven months in the making, and appearing two-and-a-half years after Santana‘s last album, Beyond Appearances was produced by Val (Bette Davis Eyes) Garay in a hot 1980s style, replete with prominent synthesizers and drum machines. In the interim, the band had undergone changes, with Alphonso Johnson replacing David Margen on bass, Chester D. Thompson and David Sancious replacing Richard Baker on keyboards, Chester Cortez Thompson replacing Graham Lear on drums, and singer Greg Walker rejoining. Garay co-wrote “Say It Again” (#46), Santana‘s final Hot 100 entry until “Smooth” in 1999 (a remake of Curtis Mayfield‘s “I’m The One Who Loves You” hit #102), but this latest pop interpretation of the Santana sound did not endear it to fans, and, at a peak of Number 50, Beyond Appearances was the lowest charting Santana album yet.
1. Breaking Out (4:30)
2. Written In Sand (3:49)
3. How Long (4:00)
4. Brotherhood (2:26)
5. Spirit (5:04)
1. Say It Again (3:27)
2. Who Loves You (4:06)
3. I’m The One Who Loves You (3:17)
4. Touchdown Raiders (3:08)
5. Right Now (5:58)
Label: CBS Records
Catalog# 450394 1
“Freedom” is the fourteenth studio album by Santana.
By this recording, Santana had nine members, some of which had returned after being with the band in previous versions. “Freedom” moved away from the more poppy sound of the previous album, “Beyond Appearances” and back to the band’s original Latin rock.
“Freedom” marked several reunions in the Santana band, which was now a nonet. In addition to Carlos, the band consisted of percussionists Armando Pereza, Orestes Vilato, and Raul Rekow; returning drummer Graham Lear; bassist Alphonso Johnson; returning keyboardist Tom Coster, keyboardist Chester Thompson, and, on lead vocals, Buddy Miles, who had made a duet album with Santana 15 years before. Credited as an “additional musician” was keyboard player Greg Rolie, an original member. The music also marked a return from the hyper-pop sound of Val Garay on Beyond Appearances to a more traditional Santana Latin rock style. Thus, “Freedom” was a literal return to form, but, unfortunately, not to the quality of early Santana albums. And the group’s commercial decline continued, with the LP getting to only Number 95.
1. Veracruz (4:23)
2. She Can’t Let Go (4:45)
3. Once It’s Gotcha (5:42)
4. Love Is You (3:54)
5. Songs Of Freedom (4:28)
1. Deeper, Dig Deeper (4:18)
2. Praise (4:36)
3. Mandela (5:31)
4. Before We Go (3:54)
5. Victim Of Circumstance (5:21)
Label: CBS Records
With Amigos, his last LP, Carlos Santana began rebuilding his status as a pop musician, a status he lost with the admirable — but spotty and often inaccessible — Caravanserai; Love, Devotion and Surrender; and Borboletta. Yet on Festivál he may have embraced the mainstream a mite too much. Though this record is far stronger on the whole than Amigos, it lacks that album’s memorable chordal quirks and peaks of intensity, sometimes sounding like a prisoner of its own commercial aspirations. Festivál‘s up cuts, like “Mariá Caracóles,” “Let the Music Set You Free,” “Reach Up,” “Let the Children Play” and “Jugando,” all set rich enough grooves, but are flat compared to Amigos’ moments of brilliance. In fact, Santana doesn’t do much work here at all, noticeably subordinating himself to his surroundings (for example, “Give Me Love,” which is virtually sans Carlos, sounds — literally and completely — like an Earth, Wind and Fire track). I like Festivál, but I would have liked more — a more I figure Carlos Santana can now dispense almost at will — better.
Amigos, was another David Rubinson-produced effort that moved back toward more of a Latin rock feel, although it retained an essentially pop focus — “The River” was the first real vocal ballad on a Santana album. If any doubt still existed that the group was no longer a band of equals but a platform for its lead guitarist, the current lineup dispelled that; Carlos Santana was now the only original member of the band left.
1. Carnaval (2:15)
2. Let the Children Play (3:28)
3. Jugando Areas (2:12)
4. Give Me Love (4:29)
5. Verão Vermelho (5:00)
6. Let the Music Set You Free (3:39)
1. Revelations (4:37)
2. Reach Up (5:23)
3. The River (4:53)
4. Try a Little Harder (5:04)
5. Maria Caracoles (4:32)
Santana is an American Latin rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana. The band first came to widespread public attention when their performance of “Soul Sacrifice” at Woodstock in 1969 provided a contrast to other acts on the bill.
Title: Inner Secrets
Label: CBS Records
Inner Secrets is the ninth studio album by Santana. It was released in 1978 and marks the start of the phase of Santana’s career where he moved away from the fusion of Latin, jazz, rock and blues that marked his previous records and began to move towards an album-oriented rock direction. As such, the album’s quality is widely disputed among fans.
Since he had joined Santana in 1972, keyboard player Tom Coster had been Carlos Santana‘s right-hand man, playing, co-writing, co-producing, and generally taking the place of founding member Greg Rolie. But Coster left the band in the spring of 1978, to be replaced by keyboardist/guitarist Chris Solberg and keyboardist Chris Rhyme. Despite the change, the band soldiered on, and with Inner Secrets, they scored three chart singles: the disco-ish “One Chain (Don’t Make No Prison)”, “Stormy”, and a cover of Buddy Holly‘s “Well All Right”, done in the Blind Faith arrangement. (There seems to be a Steve Winwood fixation here. The album also featured a cover of Traffic‘s “Dealer.”)
Several of the album’s tracks are covers:
- The “Dealer” portion of “Dealer/Spanish Rose” is a cover of the song “Dealer” by Traffic appearing on their 1967 album, Mr. Fantasy.
- “One Chain (Don’t Make No Prison)” is a cover of a Four Tops song “One Chain Don’t Make No Prison” appearing on their 1974 album Meeting of the Minds, and as a single on the same year.
- “Well All Right” is a cover of the Buddy Holly song “Well… All Right” (appearing as B-side of Holly’s 1958 single “Heartbeat“) and it was covered earlier by Blind Faith on their 1969 self-titled and only studio album Blind Faith.
- “Stormy” is a cover of the Classics IV‘s 1968 top-10 hit and included on their 1968 album Mamas and Papas/Soul Train, and 1970 album Stormy.
1. Dealer/Spanish Rose (5:51)
2. Move On (4:26)
3. One Chain (Don’t Make No Prison) (7:13)
4. Stormy (4:46)
1. Well All Right (4:11)
2. Open Invitation (4:47)
3. Life Is a Lady/Holiday (3:48)
4. The Facts of Love (5:32)
5. Wham! (3:28)
Label: CBS Records
Shangó is the twelfth studio album by Santana. Shango is notable for featuring the return, in the role of co-producer and co-songwriter, of original Santana keyboardist Greg Rolie. The main producer, however, was Bill Szymczyk (James Gang, Eagles), who gave Santana an unusually sharp rock sound resulting in two more hit singles, “Hold On” and “Nowhere to Run”.
“The Nile” is a strong,bluesy rocker to open the album. “Hold On” is a well crafted and produced post disco funky pop number-reminiscent of Stanley Clarke’s Let Me Know You album of the same year,on which Carlos himself appeared. “Night Hunting Time” is a stark,electric piano led groove-a perfect example of nighttime funk and one of my personal favorites here. “Nowhere To Run” was the hit here,a shuffling synthesized new wave type song with highly spirited craft about it. “Nuava York” maintains that new wave synthesizer element on a classic style Santana band instrumental. “Oxun (Oshun)” is another favorite of mine-a catchy Afro Pop tune with a wonderfully mystical lyric. “Body Surfing” is the cleanly played mainstream pop/new wave sound of the Police with its glassy guitars and spirited dance/rock chorus.
On a version of Jr.Walker & The All Stars “What Does It Take”,Baker’s electric pianos play a counter melody that brings out the Hall & Oates style rock n soul side of Santana wonderfully. “Let Me Inside” is a heavy funk groove-maybe heavier then their late 70’s grooves and very naked and stripped down-slower than his but workable for the Prince audience. “Warrior” goes into the classic Santana mode before ending with the brief African styled title song. Very much in the spirit of jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Carlos Santana showcased an ability to update a basic instrumental framework with contemporary musical elements on this album. And its an approach he never abandoned.
After all his guitar,rather than himself, was the star of the show-leading everyone else to melodically and spiritually uplifting musical heights. Recording with the same lineup as the previous album this album upted the contemporary pop music ante as far as Santana could take it.
1. Hold On (4:54)
2. Night Hunting Time (4:42)
3. Nowhere To Run (3:58)
4. Nueva York (4:57)
1. Oxun (Oshun) (4:12)
2. Body Surfing (4:25)
3. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) (3:24)
4. Let Me Inside (3:31)
5. Warrior (4:21)
6. Shango (1:41)