CK 31610 Caravanserai
Produced by Carlos Santana; Mike Shrieve
Released on October 1972
US CHART POSITION #8 . . . GOLD RECORD (11/9/72), PLATINUM (11/21/86)
Find it at GEMM
CK 31610 cover
[high resolution scan]

S antana reached the peak of their progressive/fusion side on Caravanserai, a dreamy and mostly instrumental record that seemed to owe much to John Coltrane. Although it didn’t feature a hit, Caravanserai isn’t that kind of album. Only a few tracks feature vocals, and none are conventional (compare the stop-and-start sections of “All The Love of the Universe” to the straightforward “Everything’s Coming Our Way” from their last album). This is Santana in a more experimental jazz mode, pyrotechnic the one moment, pensive the next. The opening “Eternal Caravan of Reincarnation” sets you up for a different journey, since it sounds unlike anything Santana had done to date. The Latin rhythms rarely rise to the fore, and when they do (as on “Future Primitive”) they’re taken out of their Latin context. The result is an instrumental fusion album with Latin undertones, a juncture at which Santana and Chick Corea finally meet. Given the accomplished players who now comprised Santana, Caravanserai’s ambition may be a natural extension of the talent present. The band now boasted two bass players (Tom Rutley on acoustic, Douglas Rauch on electric) and two uber-percussionists in Areas and James Mingo Lewis, a rhythm section that balances the remaining instruments (guitar, organ, piano, voice) without overpowering them. Caravanserai of course is not a complete reinvention but rather a departure. Santana had distilled itself to basic elements and reconstituted under a sun of soft fusion that cast unfamiliar shadows from familiar figures. Often the shadows look like figures glimpsed on Carlos Santana’s solo elpees, but Caravanserai achieves much more. If you’re crossing over to Santana from the progressive/fusion fields, rest awhile at Caravanserai first and it will sustain you in your journey ahead.

CK 31610 back sleeve
CK 31610 back sleeve


  1. ETERNAL CARAVAN OF REINCARNATION    (Mike Shrieve/Tom Rutley/Neal Schon)
  2. WAVES WITHIN    (Gregg Rolie/Carlos Santana/Douglas Rauch)
  3. LOOK UP (TO SEE WHAT'S COMING DOWN)    (Douglas Rauch/Gregg Rolie/Carlos Santana)
  4. JUST IN TIME TO SEE THE SUN    (Mike Shrieve/Carlos Santana/Gregg Rolie)
  5. SONG OF THE WIND    (Gregg Rolie/Neal Schon/Carlos Santana)
  6. ALL THE LOVE OF THE UNIVERSE    (Carlos Santana/Neal Schon)
  7. FUTURE PRIMITIVE    (Jose Chepito Areas/James Mingo Lewis)
  8. STONE FLOWER    (Mike Shrieve/Carlos Santana/Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  9. LA FUENTE DEL RITMO    (James Mingo Lewis)
  10. EVERY STEP OF THE WAY    (Mike Shrieve)

    Note: Songwriting credits on the CD inner sleeve and the CD itself don't jibe; the CD credits appear above.


JOSE CHEPITO AREAS -- timbales, congas, bongos
JAMES MINGO LEWIS -- congas, percussion, vocal, bongos, acoustic piano
DOUGLAS RAUCH -- bass, guitar
GREGG ROLIE -- organ, piano
TOM RUTLEY -- acoustic bass
CARLOS SANTANA -- lead guitar, percussion, vocal
NEAL SCHON -- guitar
Hadley Caliman -- saxophone introduction (1)
Tom Coster -- electric piano (9)
Wendy Haas -- piano
Tom Harrel -- orchestral arrangement (10)
Armando Peraza -- percussion, bongos
Rico Reyes -- vocal
Douglas Rodriguez -- guitar (2)
Lenny White -- castanets (6)
Glen Kolotkin -- engineer
Mike Larner -- engineer
Joan Chase -- album art

return to SANTANA discography

US/CAN October 1972 Columbia LP/8T KC/CA 31610 gatefold cover
EUR/ISR 1972 CBS LP S65299 gatefold cover
BRA 1972 CBS LP 137790  
COL   CBS LP 14354  
JPN   CBS LP SPOL-130 lyric insert
NZ   CBS LP SBP474046 gatefold cover
US 1974 Columbia LPQ CQ 31610 quadrophonic stereo
JPN 1977 CBS LP 25AP-817 lyric insert
US   Columbia LP/CS PC/PCT 31610  
UK 1981? CBS LP 32060  
US 1988 Columbia CD CK 31610  
EUR 1990s? CBS CD 65299  
RUS 2001 Somewax CD SW0192 lyric sleeve
EUR 2003 Sony CD 511128 digital remaster
GER 2003 Columbia 3CD 9750964422 repackaged w. WELCOME + AMIGOS
JPN 2004 Sony CD SRGS-4524 Super Audio CD


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