KC 30130 Abraxas
Produced by Fred Catero & Santana
Released on September 1970
US CHART POSITION #1 . . . UK CHART POSITION #7
Find it at GEMM
KC 30130 cover
(Yeah, I know, it looks awful)
 

L ike a little Cream in your coffee? Then Abraxas may be your drink of choice. Santana’s second album is nothing less than a musical Latin blackmass -- jazz and psychedelic jam session fused into a pagan ritual -- a celebration of the senses, sensual and, yes, spiritual. Abraxas starts off with the instrumental “Singing Winds, Crying Beasts,” our guide into the exotic jungle of sounds that Carlos Santana and company have collected for our amusement. The payoff comes earlier than expected with the band’s brilliant combination of “Black Magic Woman” and “Gypsy Queen.” Cream cum Fleetwood Mac, the song is a timeless classic, a perfect balance of body and spirit that caught everyone’s attention for its superlative playing and distinctive sound. More than simply a merger of Latin music and psychedelic rock, this song took music (and listeners) to a new level. Santana wisely deflates its psychedelic balloon with a cover of “Oye Como Va,” shifting from pagan firestorm to corporeal communion. The first side of music closes as improbably as it began, with “Incident At Neshabur,” a fusion instrumental that fits right in line with contemporary Frank Zappa. The second side is less cohesive though individual moments shine. Two songs from Gregg Rolie, “Mother’s Daughter” and “Hope You’re Feeling Better,” take Santana in the direction of Cream/Traffic and their psychedelic offspring. At the other end of the musical spectrum, “Se A Cabo” and “El Nicoya” are workouts led by percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas that drive toward a distinctly Latin sound. In the middle is “Samba Pa Ti,” where Carlos Santana channels the spirit of Eric Clapton. For me, side two allowed the special communion to dissolve, but Abraxas owned my heart before the needle’s touch slipped from the grasp of Neshabur’s last groove. This is a special album, a psychedelic feast whose pungency remains as vivid as the day it was first served.

KC 30130 inner gatefold KC 30130 back cover
KC 30130 inner gatefold KC 30130 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. SINGING WINDS, CRYING BEASTS    (Mike Carabello)    4:48
  2. BLACK MAGIC WOMAN/GYPSY QUEEN    (Peter Green/Gabor Szabo)    5:17
  3. OYE COMO VA    (Tito Puente)    4:17
  4. INCIDENT AT NESHABUR    (Alberto Gianquinto/Carlos Santana)    4:58
  5. SE A CABO    (Jose "Chepito" Areas, arr. by Jose "Chepito" Areas)    2:49
  6. MOTHER'S DAUGHTER    (Gregg Rolie)    4:25
  7. SAMBA PA TI    (Carlos Santana, arr. by Carlos Santana/Gregg Rolie)    4:46
  8. HOPE YOU'RE FEELING BETTER    (Gregg Rolie)    4:10
  9. EL NICOYA    (Jose "Chepito" Areas, arr. by Jose "Chepito" Areas/Mike Carabello/Rico Reyes)    1:29

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  10. SE A CABO (LIVE)
  11. TOUSSAINT L'OVERTURE (LIVE)
  12. BLACK MAGIC WOMAN/GYPSY QUEEN (LIVE)

    All songs arranged by Santana unless noted

CREDITS

JOSE "CHEPITO" AREAS --
DAVE BROWN -- engineer
MIKE CARABELLO --
GREGG ROLIE --
CARLOS SANTANA --
MICHAEL SHRIEVE --
Alberto Gianquinto -- piano (4)
Rico Reyes -- vocal, percussion
John Fiore -- engineer
MATI -- cover art
Marian Schmidt -- cover photograph
Joan Chase -- inside photograph
Bob Venosa -- graphics
Annie Rudder -- continuity

return to SANTANA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US September 1970 Columbia LP KC 30130 gatefold cover, poster
UK/NET 1970 CBS LP S64087 gatefold cover
US/CAN   Columbia LP PC 31030 gatefold cover, poster
UK/FRA March 1986? CBS LP/CD/CS 32032  
US 1991 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-552 24-karat gold original master recording
  August 12, 1997 Sony 3CD 65389 repackaged w. SANTANA + SANTANA 3
US 1998 Sony CDX 65490 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
EUR 1998 Columbia/Sony CDX 489543 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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