FC 35600 Inner Secrets
Produced by Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter
Released on October 1978
Find it at GEMM
FC 35600 cover
[high resolution photo]

I nner Secrets lies outside the inner sanctum of Santana’s best work. It’s pedestrian funk rock, not the brilliant fusion of Latin jazz and psychedelic rock on which they built their reputation. At least that’s what I usually read about Inner Secrets, but I’ve got a little secret of my own: I like this album. Yes, it is more commercial than Abraxas et al, but there’s still magic afoot in the music. Santana isn’t selling out with Inner Secrets, simply adapting. As for opening up their arms to streamlined funk, everyone was doing it: Frank Zappa, Herbie Hancock, Grateful Dead, etc. Call it heresy if you want, but I believe even The Doors would have embraced some aspects of disco/funk had they survived into the late ‘70s. So the issue for me isn’t whether Inner Secrets is a progressive album but whether it’s a good album. And it is. “Move On,” “Dealer/Spanish Rose,” “Open Invitation” and covers of “Stormy” and “Well All Right” are as good as anything to come from the aging rock quarter in 1978 (okay, well maybe not Who Are You, but you get the point). The single “One Chain (Don’t Make No Prison)” is today an artifact of the disco days, one of several songs here written by the producers (Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter). The same thing happened on Herbie’s Monster without ill effect, so don’t worry that the material is lame. Yet there’s no doubt that some saw in the covers and producer-penned tracks an ebbing of Santana’s creative powers. While the band had always played covers (“Oye Como Va,” “Black Magic Woman”), it wasn’t until Santana had a hit with The Zombies’ “She’s Not There” that the band began covering Anglo/American pop songs rather than Latin and blues-based material. They turn Buddy Holly & The Crickets’ “Well All Right” into a revival meeting, transplant Traffic’s “Dealer” into a Latin setting and even managed to crack the US Top 40 with a version of “Stormy.” Lost in most critiques of Inner Secrets is the album’s variety. At one moment, the band is blasting out like BOC (“Open Invitation”), the next they’re gliding through graceful instrumental jazz (“Life Is A Lady/Holiday”), only to let the funk creep back into the mix (“The Facts of Love”). While it’s more commercial than Amigos, Inner Secrets is still a good album, consistent with the quality you can expect from the Greg Walker era.

FC 35600 back cover FC 35600 picture sleeve
FC 35600 back cover FC 35600 picture sleeve


  1. DEALER    (Jim Capaldi)    /    SPANISH ROSE    (Devadip Carlos Santana)    5:50
  2. MOVE ON    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Chris Rhyne)    4:27
  3. ONE CHAIN (DON'T MAKE NO PRISON)    (Dennis Lambert/Brian Potter)    6:13
  4. STORMY    (B. Buie/J.R. Cobb)    4:45
  5. WELL ALL RIGHT    (Norman Petty/Buddy Holly/Jerry Allison/Joe Mauldin)    4:09
  6. OPEN INVITATION    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Dennis Lambert/Brian Potter/Greg Walker/David Margen)    4:45
  7. LIFE IS A LADY    (Dennis Lambert)    /    HOLIDAY    (Devadip Carlos Santana)    3:47
  8. THE FACTS OF LOVE    (Dennis Lambert/Brian Potter)    5:28
  9. WHAM!    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Graham Lear/Armando Peraza/Raul Rekow/Pete Escovedo)    3:24


PETE ESCOVEDO -- timbales, percussion
GRAHAM LEAR -- drums
ARMANDO PERAZA -- bongos, percussion
RAUL REKOW -- congas, percussion
CHRIS RHYNE -- keyboards/synthesizers
DEVADIP CARLOS SANTANA -- lead & rhythm guitar
CHRIS SOLBERG -- rhythm/lead guitar & organ
GREG WALKER -- lead vocals & background vocals
Mike Boddicker -- synthesizer programmer
Dennis Lambert -- clavinet, background vocals
Matt Hyde -- egineer
Ray Etzler -- executive producer
Bill Graham -- direction
Mike Brigden -- cover concept
Norman Seeff -- art director & design, all photography

return to SANTANA discography

US/CAN October 1978 Columbia LP/CS FC/PCT 35600 picture sleeve
UK/GER/NET 1978 CBS LP/CS 86075/40-86075 picture sleeve, insert
AUS'L/NZ   CBS LP SBP237228  
SAF   CBS LP 2213  
US   Sony CD 35600  
GER   CBS CD 32594  
US   Sony 2CD 942200 repackaged w. AMIGOS
EUR   Sony CD 498371 digital remaster


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