PC 33576 Amigos
Produced by David Rubinson & Friends, Inc.
Released on March 1976
US CHART POSITION #10 . . . GOLD RECORD (6/11/76) . . . UK CHART POSITION #21
Find it at GEMM
PC 33576 cover
[complete gatefold photo]
 

W hat’s a little funk between friends, especially when the foundation of Latin fusion is still intact. Amigos isn’t a reputation-building record so much as a reminder that Santana’s glory days weren’t so far behind them. The band morphs between jazz fusion (“Take Me With You”), Latin music (“Gitano”) and R&B/funk (“Tell Me Are You Tired”), which sounds like an unlikely amalgam until you consider that many jazz/fusion artists (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea) were torn between similar interests. If jazz was the pancultural music of the ‘60s, dance/funk inherited that mantle in the ‘70s, so the shift shouldn’t be surprising. Despite some credible clavinet and rhythm guitar, funk isn’t really where Santana R & Belongs. It’s the authentic Latin fusion of “Dance Sister Dance” or the soulful guitar work of Carlos Santana on “Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile)” that best bespeak Amigos. Oddly, it was the pedestrian funk of “Let It Shine” that charted (albeit briefly), tethered to an interminable bass line from David Brown. (Brown, the band’s original bass player, is arguably the weakest link in this chain of Amigos.) Carlos Santana’s annunciatory guitar style has developed into their most recognizable feature, and he steps forward as a soloist on Amigos even while he recedes as a songwriter. The knock on Amigos is that it lacks the teeming, mystical power of Santana’s early records. The thick brush of percussion is pruned back to two players (Chancler and Armando Peraza), and at times the elevation of melody over substance comes off like Latin muzak (parts of “Take Me With You” for example). Toss in several crossovers into much-maligned funk music, and you can see where hard-liners might not be kindly disposed toward Amigos. Half of the record is top-shelf stuff, though; you might even consider “Europa” and “Dance Sister Dance” classic Santana. It’s not the first (or second) Santana album you need to own, but if you’re going to buy half a dozen or more of their albums, Amigos should be in the mix somewhere.

PC 33576 inner gatefold PC 33576 picture sleeve
PC 33576 inner gatefold PC 33576 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. DANCE SISTER DANCE (BAILA MI HERMANA)    (Leon "Ndugu" Chancler/Tom Coster/David Rubinson)
  2. TAKE ME WITH YOU    (Leon "Ndugu" Chancler/Tom Coster)
  3. LET ME    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Tom Coster)
  4. GITANO    (Armando Peraza)
  5. TELL ME ARE YOU TIRED    (Leon "Ndugu" Chancler/Tom Coster)
  6. EUROPA (EARTH'S CRY HEAVEN'S SMILE)    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Tom Coster)
  7. LET IT SHINE    (David Brown/Ray Gardner)

CREDITS

DAVID BROWN -- bass
NDUGU LEON CHANCLER -- drums, timbales, Remo roto-toms, percussion, congas, background vocals, associate producer
TOM COSTER -- acoustic piano, Rhodes electric piano, Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, Arp Pro-soloist, Arp Odyssey, Arp string ensemble, Hohner clavinet D6, background vocals, associate producer
ARMANDO PERAZA -- congas, bongos, background vocals, vocal
DEVADIP CARLOS SANTANA -- all guitars, background vocals, percussion, congas, associate producer
GREG WALKER -- lead vocals
Ivory Stone -- background vocals
Julia Tillman Waters -- background vocals
Maxine Willard Waters -- background vocals
Fred Catero -- engineer
David Rubinson -- engineer
Tadanori Yokoo -- album design and artwork

return to SANTANA discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US March 1976 Columbia LP/CS PC 33576 gatefold, picture sleeve
UK/NET 1976 CBS LP 86005 gatefold, picture sleeve
AUS'L   CBS LP SBP 234701  
BRA 1976 Harmony LP 148070  
NZ   CBS LPQ SBPQ 234701 gatefold, quadrophonic stereo
US   Columbia CD CK 33576  
EUR 1989 CBS LP/CD 32476  
GER 2003 Columbia 3CD 9750964422 repackaged w. CARAVANSERAI + WELCOME

 

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