If you’re going to have one Santana album in your record collection – make sure it’s “Abraxas”. The album that could have been called “The Best Of Santanta” – but fact being it’s actually the bands second album, released in 1970!
Why am I loving this album so much? Because it´s got everything you ever need in a Santana record. You get to hear almost every musical genre you could come up with in a classic rock album; Psychedelic, latin, blues, rock, samba and salsa, even hard rock and jazz.
That’s not all! The “Abraxas” album includes all the Santana songs you know best; “Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen” (Originaly by Peter Green´s Fleetwood Mac / Gàbor Szabó), “Oye Com Va” (Originally by Tito Puente), “Samba Pa Ti“, “Hope You’re Feeling Better” and “Singing Winds, Crying Beasts“.
Carlos Santana play guitar like he’s obsessed by Jimi Hendrix’ soul and has just found out he’s Miles Davis unknown little brother. Lead vocalist on this album, Gregg Rolie, is one of the most underrated rock-vocalists ever. The rhythm section with David Brown on bass and Michael Shrieve plays tight as any jazz duo out there, the duo on percussion Jose “Cherpito” Areas and Mike Carabello must have been sweating and working their asses off during the recording. The album was recorded in only 14 days+ and it sounds like they have had the greatest time ever recording the album!
You can play this album in whatever mood you’re in, if you want to cry and feel sad. If you’re feeling it’s time to shake up those salsa hips again, or if you wish you were on a cuban bar, if you want to shake out your frustration to the hard rocking tunes, or if you just want to sit down and chill to the jazz and blues tracks.
I bet after you’ve listened to “Abraxas” you burn your and stomp on Santanas pop-albums like “Supernatural” and it’s follow up albums – even if those were a major comeback for Mr Carlos Santana – that got him into the top of the charts again, made him win a great amount of prices and got him into Guinnies Book of Records for having the longest gap between two #1 albums; 28 years after his last #1 album “Santana”, the third Santana album from 1971. “Abraxas” is the album you come back to – time after time – and it´ll always surprise you!
The first time I heard the album, was a ripped vinyl copy onto a recordable CD, that was so crackly and full of vinyl pops, the sound was so warm. I was just sitting there with my mouth gaping, the whole album through. Actually the album made me go into my basement and find and connect the vinylplayer to my stereo again. Because the rip of the “Abraxas” album I fell in love with vinyl again.
Since then, I’ve bought the album on CD, digital download – and finally finding it on LP again. In my favourite bargain used-records shop in Oslo, Norway – for the small price of a general chocolate bar!
The cover was worn out, the inner-bag of the LP was missing, and the black vinyl LP looked like it had partied since 1970, when the album was originally released.
My vinyl edit of “Abraxas” is full of cracks, pops and has the warm sound, just like my ripped CD-copy, so when I put the needle on the record – I let the world stop – and let myself carry away into Santanas magical and mystical world.
Have you heard Santanas “Abraxas”?
Do you have a favorite Santana album?