PC 36154 Marathon
Produced by Keith Olsen in association
with Santana and Dave De Vore
Released on September 1979
Find it at GEMM
PC 36154 cover
[high resolution scan]

T his is Santana running in all directions: hard rock, soft fusion, pop, disco and funk. Produced by Keith Olsen (Foreigner’s Double Vision, Grateful Dead’s Terrapin Station), Marathon is an identity crisis meltdown that, despite some small victories (“Aqua Marine,” “Summer Lady”), is more notable for its monumentally bad judgment (“You Know That I Love You,” “Stay”) and reliance on recycled rock guitar riffs (“All I Ever Wanted,” “Love”). The addition of Alex Ligertwood and Alan Pasqua, coupled with the emergence of Chris Solberg as a songwriter, transformed Santana into the same horrific hydra as Jefferson Starship. No surprise then that this and Zebop! are my least favorite Santana albums. Isolated tracks are interesting, but I like Santana best when they’re reading from the black bible, not populist pamphlets. In a world that already had plenty of Bad Company, we needed Santana to keep the Latin fusion flame alive, not simply become another Foreigner in our midst. Beginning with Inner Secrets, Santana crossed over into open commercial waters, dousing the hope for a revival with every half-baked record that followed. The experimental side of Santana was now relegated to Carlos’ solo music (The Swing of Delight, etc.). As a circa 79 artifact, Marathon isn’t a bad record. There are people who like Toto records, for example, and I think Marathon can run in the same crowd. However, the revolving band/producer thing was starting to take its toll on their artistic vision, and I tend to see everything after Moonflower as the zombified Santana being kept alive by artificial means (more because I like zombies than a nod to “She’s Not There”). I guess, in lieu of Supernatural, “mummified” would also work.

PC 36154 back cover
PC 36154 back cover


  1. MARATHON    (Devadip Carlos Santana)    1:27
  2. LIGHTNING IN THE SKY    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Chris Solberg)    3:51
  3. AQUA MARINE    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Alan Pasqua)    5:36
  4. YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU    (Chris Solberg/Devadip Carlos Santana/Alex Ligertwood)    4:26
  5. ALL I EVER WANTED    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Chris Solberg/Alex Ligertwood)    4:01
  6. STAND UP    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Chris Solberg)    4:03
  7. RUNNIN    (David Margen)    1:40
  8. SUMMER LADY    (Alan Pasqua/Alex Ligertwood/Chris Solberg)    4:24
  9. LOVE    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Chris Solberg)    3:23
  10. STAY (BESIDE ME)    (Devadip Carlos Santana)    3:50
  11. HARD TIMES    (Devadip Carlos Santana/Chris Solberg/Alex Ligertwood/Alan Pasqua/David Margen)    3:58


GRAHAM LEAR -- drums
ALAN PASQUA -- keyboards, backing vocals
ARMANDO PERAZA -- percussion, backing vocals
RAUL REKOW -- percussion, backing vocals
CARLOS SANTANA -- guitar, vocals
CHRIS SOLBERG -- guitar, keyboards, vocals

return to SANTANA discography

US September 1979 Columbia LP/8T FC/FCA 36154 lyric sleeve
UK/NET 1979 CBS LP 86098 lyric sleeve
ARG 1979 Columbia LP 120052 gatefold cover
AUS'L/NZ 1979 CBS LP/CS SBP 237362/PC 7362 picture sleeve
BRA 1979 CBS LP 138168  
JPN 1979 Sony LP 25AP-1628 lyric sleeve
US September 2, 1986 Columbia LP/CD/CS PC//PCT 36154  
UK   CBS LP/CD 32527  
EUR July 24, 1989 Sony CD 462853  
US October 6, 2009 Friday Music CD FRIM-211102 30th anniversary remastered edition


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