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Rock - Released September 23, 1970 | Columbia - Legacy

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Pop - Released June 15, 1999 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released September 1, 1971 | Columbia - Legacy

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Pop/Rock - Released February 18, 2011 | Columbia - Legacy

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Pop - Released March 26, 1976 | Columbia - Legacy

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Pop/Rock - Released October 1, 1974 | Columbia

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Borboletta was the first new Santana band studio album in 11 months and the group's sixth overall. Once again, individual credits were listed for each song. The main problem was that the band seemed to be coasting; Carlos turned in the usual complement of high-pitched lead guitar work, and the percussionists pounded away, but the Santana sound had long since taken over from any individual composition, and the records were starting to sound alike. That, in turn, started to make them inessential; Borboletta spent less time on the charts than any previous Santana album. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released October 1, 1978 | Columbia

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Since he had joined Santana in 1972, keyboard player Tom Coster had been Carlos Santana's right-hand man, playing, co-writing, co-producing, and generally taking the place of founding member Gregg Rolie. But Coster left the band in the spring of 1978, to be replaced by keyboardist/guitarist Chris Solberg and keyboardist Chris Ryne. Despite the change, the band soldiered on, and with Inner Secrets they scored three chart singles: the discoish "One Chain (Don't Make No Prison)" (#59), "Stormy" (#32), and a cover of Buddy Holly's "Well All Right" (#69), done in the Blind Faith arrangement. (There seems to be a Steve Winwood fixation here. The album also featured a cover of Traffic's "Dealer.") The singles kept the album on the charts longer than any Santana LP since 1971... © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released April 29, 1981 | Columbia

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After teaming up with Herbie Hancock for the jazz-flavored The Swing of Delight album, Carlos Santana reentered the pop/rock realm with the rest of his band for 1981's Zebop!. He still managed to include a little bit of his famed Latino sound into a few of the tracks ("E Papa Re," "American Gypsy"), albeit only slightly, but Zebop!'s overall feel is that of commercial rock, with the guitar arriving at the forefront through most of the cuts. Santana does a marvelous job at covering Russ Ballard's "Winning," taking it to number 17 on the charts, while "The Sensitive Kind" is built around the same type of radio-friendly structure yet it stalled at number 56. Zebop!'s formula is simple, and all of the songs carry an appeal that is aimed at a wider and more marketable audience base, with "Changes," "Searchin," and "I Love You Much Too Much" coming through as efficient yet not overly extravagant rock & roll efforts. The album's adjustable rhythms and accommodating structures kept the band alive as the decade rolled over, peaking at number 33 in the U.K. but cracking the Top Ten in the United States, which eventually led to Zebop! going gold. Actually, "Winning" followed in the same footsteps as Santana's last couple of Top 40 singles in "You Know That I Love You" from 1980 and "Stormy" from 1979. Shango, the album that came after Zebop!, gave them another hit with "Hold On," sung by bandmember Alex Ligertwood. © Mike DeGagne /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released September 6, 1983 | Columbia

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Shango is notable for featuring the return, in the role of co-producer and co-songwriter, of original Santana keyboardist Greg Rolie. The main producer, however, was Bill Szymczyk (James Gang, Eagles), who gave Santana an unusually sharp rock sound resulting in two more hit singles, "Hold On" (Number 15), and "Nowhere to Run" (Number 66), although the band once again slipped below the Top Ten and gold-selling status, with the album peaking at only Number 22, and even this was the highest Santana would get until Supernatural in 1999. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released April 14, 1987 | Epic

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Freedom marked several reunions in the Santana band, which was now a nonet. In addition to Carlos, the band consisted of percussionists Armando Pereza, Orestes Vilato, and Raul Rekow; returning drummer Graham Lear; bassist Alphonso Johnson; returning keyboardist Tom Coster, keyboardist Chester Thompson, and, on lead vocals, Buddy Miles, who had made a duet album with Santana 15 years before. Credited as an "additional musician" was keyboard player Greg Rolie, an original member. The music also marked a return from the hyper-pop sound of Val Garay on Beyond Appearances to a more traditional Santana Latin rock style. Thus, Freedom was a literal return to form, but, unfortunately, not to the quality of early Santana albums. And the group's commercial decline continued, with the LP getting to only Number 95. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 30, 1969 | Columbia - Legacy

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Rock - Released October 11, 1972 | Columbia

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Drawing on rock, salsa, and jazz, Santana recorded one imaginative, unpredictable gem after another during the 1970s. But Caravanserai is daring even by Santana's high standards. Carlos Santana was obviously very hip to jazz fusion -- something the innovative guitarist provides a generous dose of on the largely instrumental Caravanserai. Whether its approach is jazz-rock or simply rock, this album is consistently inspired and quite adventurous. Full of heartfelt, introspective guitar solos, it lacks the immediacy of Santana or Abraxas. Like the type of jazz that influenced it, this pearl (which marked the beginning of keyboardist/composer Tom Coster's highly beneficial membership in the band) requires a number of listenings in order to be absorbed and fully appreciated. But make no mistake: this is one of Santana's finest accomplishments. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 7, 2019 | Concord Records

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Exactly half a century after his debut, and his brilliant performance at Woodstock festival where he made a name for himself, Santana has once again turned to Africa, the original source of so many music genres. Indeed, let’s not forget that blues originated from slave songs and served as a foundation for jazz, rock and soul, among others. Produced by Rick Rubin, this album was almost entirely recorded in live conditions, without retouching and without a safety net, an exercise he’s particularly fond of. Not to mention the man’s love for improvisation, and his virtuosity allows him a great deal of audacity. Along with singer Buika and his wife Cindy Blackman on the drums, Santana once again blends the jazz he loves with the Latin rhythms and rock reflexes that live in him. The first track on Africa Speaks serves as a perfect introduction to this celebration of sounds that seem straight out of the mists of time. His voice speaks more than it sings, and he promptly gets a response from his backing singers. Then the album suddenly becomes funkier, with titles like Oy Este Mi Canto or Yo Me Lo Merezco, and outright blazing on the tropical Breaking Down The Door with its blustering brass, reminding the listener that it only takes a few boat-rides to cross over from Africa to South America. If the main idea behind this project is to demonstrate that rock, soul, blues and jazz are but children of African music, the evidence is fairly conclusive. Every song and style blends together so perfectly, and invites us to let ourselves be carried away by the infectious warmth of this opus. © Christian Eudeline/Qobuz
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Rock - Released October 1, 1977 | Columbia - Legacy

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Pop - Released July 1, 1994 | Columbia - Legacy

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Pop - Released September 25, 2007 | Arista

Billed as the first Santana compilation to span his entire career, it is true that Ultimate Santana does indeed run the gamut from 1969's "Evil Ways" to 2002's "Game of Love," but if you think that means it handles all phases of his career equally, you'd be sadly mistaken. Essentially, this 18-track set plays like a collection of highlights from his Supernatural-era comebacks, spiked with a couple of classic rock oldies -- because that's what it really is. It contains no less than ten superstar duets, including new numbers with Nickelback's Chad Kroeger (the streamlined and smoothed "Into the Night," which has little of Kroeger's trademark growly histrionics) and Jennifer Lopez and Baby Bash ("This Boy's Fire," a dance number where Santana seems incidental), plus a version of "The Game of Love" with Tina Turner (don't worry, the lighter, brighter, superior Michelle Branch version is here too) and plus "Interplanetary Party," which is a new band recording that sounds like a star duet. These are piled upon seven previously released duets -- including, of course, the hits "Smooth," "Maria Maria," and "The Game of Love," but also album tracks with Everlast, Steven Tyler, and Alex Band of the Calling -- with classic rock radio staples "Oye Como Va," "Black Magic Woman," "Evil Ways," "Europa," "Samba Pa Ti," and "No One to Depend On" for good measure. In other words, this is certainly not a hits disc for the fan of his earliest music, or his most adventurous music either; it's for the pop fans won over by his latter-day comeback, and for those listeners, it's the hits disc they'd want -- but for everybody else, it's better to seek out other compilations or original albums, because those paint a better picture of what Santana was all about than this crisp, clean collection of lifestyle pop. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 7, 2019 | Concord Records

Exactly half a century after his debut, and his brilliant performance at Woodstock festival where he made a name for himself, Santana has once again turned to Africa, the original source of so many music genres. Indeed, let’s not forget that blues originated from slave songs and served as a foundation for jazz, rock and soul, among others. Produced by Rick Rubin, this album was almost entirely recorded in live conditions, without retouching and without a safety net, an exercise he’s particularly fond of. Not to mention the man’s love for improvisation, and his virtuosity allows him a great deal of audacity. Along with singer Buika and his wife Cindy Blackman on the drums, Santana once again blends the jazz he loves with the Latin rhythms and rock reflexes that live in him.The first track on Africa Speaks serves as a perfect introduction to this celebration of sounds that seem straight out of the mists of time. His voice speaks more than it sings, and he promptly gets a response from his backing singers. Then the album suddenly becomes funkier, with titles like Oy Este Mi Canto or Yo Me Lo Merezco, and outright blazing on the tropical Breaking Down The Door with its blustering brass, reminding the listener that it only takes a few boat-rides to cross over from Africa to South America. If the main idea behind this project is to demonstrate that rock, soul, blues and jazz are but children of African music, the evidence is fairly conclusive. Every song and style blends together so perfectly, and invites us to let ourselves be carried away by the infectious warmth of this opus. © Christian Eudeline/Qobuz
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Pop - Released September 30, 2002 | Arista

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Pop/Rock - Released September 17, 2010 | Arista

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Rock - Released February 5, 2019 | Concord Records

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Santana's debut for Concord records is pretty low key: an EP containing three new songs, along with edits of two of those tracks. It's intended as an amuse bouche before the album he recorded with Rick Rubin, "Africa Speaks", but this EP contains none of Rubin's signature back-to-basics moves. Recorded with producer Narada Michael Walden, it's slick and shimmering, existing just on the margins of jazz fusion. The presence of bassist Ron Carter on "Lovers from Another Time" underscores this connection, but the EP opens with "Do You Remember Me," ten minutes of jamming that's too mellow to be called epic. Santana picks up a bit with "In Search of Mona Lisa," which bops to a Bo Diddley beat and contains the only sung narrative of the three songs. It sticks out a bit like a sore thumb compared to the grace of "Lovers from Another Time," which benefits from its glossiness, making Santana and Carter appear to glide. For this track alone, In Search of Mona Lisa is worth a listen, but the other two songs are amiable enough to not be a distraction. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Santana in the magazine
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  • The Qobuz Minute #11
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