EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
SANTANA – ABRAXAS – September 1970
With Santana’s debut album we all got into the heavy Latin polyrhythmic Rock and distinctly recognizable fluid guitar of Carlos Santana.
The “Santana” album featured the monster hit “Soul Sacrifice“, the jaw-dropper of Woodstock – a throbbing bass groove organ psychedelic soaring guitar ubiquitous drum extravaganza – if this didn’t excite your soul then you be the zombie undead.
So when Santana’s second album “Abraxas” was released expectations were high and Santana delivered.
From the opening of “Singing Winds, Crying Beasts” we knew Santana had tapped into a higher realm by then conjuring up an iconic version of Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” / Gabor Szabo’s “Gypsy Queen” – with possibly the #1 guitar build and break in all of Rock History honored as such with Holy silence by true Rockers everywhere beginning at 3:18 and really, on out to the end.
“Mother’s Daughter” and “I Hope You’re Feeling Better” are masterful examples of Santana’s Hard Rock that juxtaposed the sublime tracks like “Samba Pa Ti”, a piece so rich that it has since surfaced as a mood piece in countless movies – and the song that is a mini-movie itself, the intriguing “Incident at Neshabur”.
The whole Abraxas album became an instant classic and a much-played favorite
Mati Klarwein‘s 1961 painting “Annunciation” was an excellent album cover choice to evoke the whole feel of Abraxas; this “book” could be judged by its cover.
LP side 1
1. “Singing Winds, Crying Beasts” (Instrumental) Mike Carabello 4:51
2. “Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen” Peter Green / Gábor Szabó 5:22
3. “Oye Como Va” Tito Puente 4:16
4. “Incident at Neshabur” (Instrumental) Alberto Gianquinto, Carlos Santana 4:57
LP side 2
1. “Se a Cabo” José Areas 2:50
2. “Mother’s Daughter” Gregg Rolie 4:25
3. “Samba pa Ti” (Instrumental) Santana 4:54
4. “Hope You’re Feeling Better” Rolie 4:11
5. “El Nicoya” Areas 1:30
Carlos Santana – lead guitar, backing vocals, producer
Gregg Rolie – keyboards, lead vocals
David Brown – bass
Michael Shrieve – drums
José “Chepito” Areas – percussion, conga, timbales
Mike Carabello – percussion, conga
This was one of the first albums that 00individual remembers being aware of some major sophistication in the whole sound and presentation; it was a defining moment of excellence that set the bar for all album releases that followed.
Six months after the release of Abraxas we were all steeped in the Santana vibe and while in Aspen, Colorado in 1971 on one of our L.A. to Aspen road trips, this classic photo was taken of 00individual providing guitarist Marzenus AKA “Santana” a wake-up stream of reverse-engineered weed through a standard “tobacco” pipe. Nothing like waking up stoned, before you’re awake. What you see is the tail end of an exhausted pipe-load of turbo-charged weed.
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