The band in 1971
|Also known as||Santana Blues Band|
|Origin||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Latin rock, chicano rock, blues rock, funk rock, hard rock, jam rock, jazz-rock, psychedelic rock|
|Labels||Sony Music, Columbia, Legacy, Polydor, Arista, Starfaith|
|Associated acts||Steven Tyler, Rob Thomas, Everlast, Vanessa Carlton, Journey, Michelle Branch, Jessica Harp, The Wreckers, The Product G&B, Wyclef Jean, Jacoby Shaddix, Chad Kroeger|
|Past members||See Former members|
Santana is a Latin music-influenced, Grammy Award-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted rock band. Founded in San Francisco during the late 1960s, it is based around the compositions and playing of lead guitarist and founder Carlos Santana. The band first came to widespread public attention when their performance of their Latin rock song "Soul Sacrifice" at Woodstock in 1969 provided a contrast to other acts on the bill. This exposure helped propel their first album, also named Santana, into a hit, followed in the next two years by the successful Abraxas and Santana III.
In the years that followed lineup changes were common. Carlos Santana's increasing involvement with guru Sri Chinmoy took the band into more esoteric music, though never quite losing its initial Latin influence.
The band has earned eight Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, the latter all in 2000. Carlos also won Grammy Awards as a solo artist in 1989 and 2003. Santana has sold more than 90 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time. In 2013 Santana announced a reunion of the classic line-up for a new record, predicting a 2014 release.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1967–72: Formation and peak years
- 1.2 1973–79: Experimentation and consolidation
- 1.3 1980–97: Commercial decline and 7-year hiatus
- 1.4 1998–2001: Best-selling album, Grammy Awards, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- 1.5 2002–12: Dealing with new-found success
- 1.6 2013–present: Reunion of classic lineup
- 2 Personnel
- 3 Timeline
- 4 Discography
- 5 References
- 6 External links
1967–72: Formation and peak years
The band was formed in 1967 in San Francisco as the Carlos Santana Blues Band with the help of Tom Fraser. The first established members were Carlos Santana (lead guitar), Marcus Malone (percussion), Rod Harper (drums), David Brown (bass guitar) and Gregg Rolie (lead vocals, Hammond Organ B3). The group's first audition with this line up was at the Avalon Ballroom in the late summer of 1967. After the audition, Chet Helms the promoter, in concert with The Family Dogg, told the band that they would never make it in the San Francisco Music Scene playing Latin fusion and suggested Carlos keep his day job washing dishes at Tick Tock's Drive-In on 3rd St.
Woodstock and breakthrough
Santana was announced as one of the performers at the Woodstock Festival. The band started recording their 1969 debut album Santana in May 1969 and finished it in a month.
Santana performed at the festival with a huge crowd. Later that month, they released their debut album which peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard 200 pop chart with the single "Evil Ways" being a top 10 single in the US.
Abraxas and Santana III
Santana went on tour to promote their debut LP and started work on their next, Abraxas. Work began in mid-April 1970 and was completed in early-May 1970. The album, highlighted by a cover of Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green's "Black Magic Woman" that peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100, was released in September 1970 and rose to number 1 on the US Billboard 200.
From January to July 1971 Santana worked on Santana III. Released in September 1971, the album also reached number 1 on the US Billboard 200. At the peak of the band's popularity, the album was the last to feature its classic Woodstock era line-up.
Before recording their fourth album Caravanserai, there had been multiple line-up changes. Bassist David Brown left in 1971 before recording started and was replaced by Doug Rauch and Tom Rutley. Percussionist Michael Carabello left Santana and was replaced by Armando Peraza. Keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie was replaced by Tom Coster on a few songs.
Caravanserai Debuted at number 8 on the pop charts, despite not spawning a hit single.
1973–79: Experimentation and consolidation
13 months after Caravenserai, Santana released Welcome. Welcome was the first of four consecutive albums to achieve gold certification, as opposed to the previous four, which all at least reached platinum status. The album was certainly a wake-up call for the band, as it peaked at number 25 on the Billboard 200, the lowest of the band's career so far. The next few albums contained a more experimental style than their previous work, beginning with Borboletta, which faired arguably worse than its predecessor, despite climbing 5 spots on the US charts.
The group's 1975 release, Amigos, was far more successful. Reaching number 10 on the US charts, and also hitting the top 10 in France, Australia, New Zealand, Austria and The Netherlands, it was a form of return to the success of their early albums. Festival, somewhat contradicted that new-found success, but was a short blip before another successful album, Moonflower, released in 1977. The album was possibly the most successful since Santana III, achieving 2x platinum in the US, and being the first album since 1974's Borboletta, to break the top 10 in the UK. It was characterized by a stylistic shift for the band, as it contained heavier influences from the more conventional sound of the group's early work, while still maintaining the experimental sound of their last few albums.
Their next two releases, Inner Secrets and Marathon, released in 1978 and 79, respectively, were a further musical shift for the band, moving away from the Latin-fused rock music that had characterized their work in the late 60s and the majority of the 70s, to move towards a more album-oriented, conventional rock sound. These albums, however, fared poorly commercially, although both achieved gold status in the US.
1980–97: Commercial decline and 7-year hiatus
The 1980s started relatively brightly for Santana, with 1981's platinum-selling Zebop!, which also reached the top 20 in several countries, and continued the more conventional rock sound. The following year, Shango was released, however this album marked a steep decline in the band's commercial fortunes, although it achieved gold status.
The group waited another 3 years to release the follow-up, the longest break for them so far. 1985's Beyond Appearances, was a commercial failure, and their first album not to achieve gold certification. Their following 3 releases all continued this commercial decline, with the last of these failing to break the Billboard top 100. In the midst of this commercial pitfall, the band stopped touring and recording material for an unprecedented seven years.
1998–2001: Best-selling album, Grammy Awards, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
In 1998, with the group still being on hiatus, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This proved only to be the start of better things to come for Carlos Santana and his band. Their 1999 release, Supernatural, debuted at number 19 on the Billboard 200, but the album's appeal began to snowball, and within 18 weeks it topped the US charts.
The lead single released from the album, "Smooth", hit the number one spot on the Hot 100, and sparked an unstoppable commercial frenzy, and by October 30 the album peaked at number one, and stayed there for 12 non-consecutive weeks. Not only was the album a hit in the US, it slowly began to spread worldwide, topping charts internationally. The second single released from the album, "Maria Maria" also hit the number one spot on the Hot 100. Eventually the album reached 15x platinum in the US, and sold 30 million copies worldwide. The album came 28 years after their last US number 1, which was Santana in 1971, according to Guinness Book Of World Records, this is the longest gap between US number one albums for the same artist.
Musically, the album was possibly the largest musical shift for the group. The album's predecessor, Milagro, contained strong hard rock influences, as well as conventional influences of Latin rock. However, Supernatural, while still maintaining a Latin and blues rock influenced core, contained heavy influences from many popular genres of the time, most notably alternative rock, and also pop rock and R&B. The album won nine grammy awards, including the award for Album of the Year, and also won three Latin Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year.
Also noteworthy was the high amount of collaborations featured on the album, with the lead single containing the lead vocals of the highly popular Matchbox Twenty singer, Rob Thomas. The second number one hit was recorded in collaboration with The Product G&B, and another popular single from the album, "Put Your Lights On", featured hip-hop and alternative rock artist, Everlast. Other guest artists include Eric Clapton, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, and Cee-Lo.
2002–12: Dealing with new-found success
The follow-up to Supernatural, came three years later, and was highly anticipated by the international media and fans alike. On October 22, 2002, Shaman (album) was released worldwide. Although it initially sold quickly, selling 298,973 copies in the US in its first week, and debuting at number 1 on the Billboard 200, the album's appeal quickly wore off, and it soon slid down the charts. Despite this, it went on to sell 2x platinum in the US, and achieved platinum status in several other countries including Australia. The first single released from the album, "The Game of Love", which featured vocals from Michelle Branch, debuted at number 5 on the Hot 100. The album's next four singles failed to chart in most countries, but the final single, "Why Don't You & I", featuring the vocals of Alex Band, reached number 8 on the Hot 100. Musically, the album was a return to a far more conventional sound for the group, with a mainly Latin rock-based sound.
With their renewed appeal worn off, another three-year wait saw another album released, 2005's All That I Am. The album debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200, but fared worse internationally, and quickly lost appeal. It was a continuation of the Latin rock influenced sound which embodied Shaman, and did, however, achieve gold certification in the US. A five-year break from recording saw the release of another studio album, 2010's Guitar Heaven. Musically it was a drastic change for the band, with a far heavier sound at its core and strong heavy metal influences. It debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 but marked another decline for the band, failing to achieve gold status.
In 2012 the group released Shape Shifter, which returned to the conventional Latin rock sound, and was completely album-oriented, as no singles were released from it. It debuted at number 16 on the Billboard 200.
2013–present: Reunion of classic lineup
On February 2, 2013 Carlos Santana confirmed that he would reunite his classic lineup, most of whom played Woodstock with him in 1969. Santana stated that he is reuniting the group with the intention of recording new music. Confirmed for the reunion are Neal Schon, who was in the band in the early 1970s where he traded lead guitar work with Santana before leaving with founding Santana singer-organist Gregg Rolie in 1973 to form Journey; drummer Mike Shrieve and percussionist Mike Carabello. Santana said of Rolie, who played with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band the last two years, "I'm pretty sure Gregg's going to do it." Last year,[when?] Rolie told Radio.com, "it's (the reunion) just a matter of putting it together and going and doing it. I would do it. I think it's a great idea. People would love it. It could be great!"
- Current members
- Carlos Santana – vocals, guitars (1966–present)
- Gregg Rolie – vocals, keyboards (1966–1972, 2013–present)
- Neal Schon – guitars (1971–1972, 2013–present)
- Michael Shrieve – drums (1969–1974, 1988, 2013–present)
- Michael Carabello – percussion (1966-1967, 1969–1971, 2013-present)
- Marcus Malone – percussion (1966–1969, 2013-Present)
- Benny Rietveld – bass (1990–1992, 1997–present)
- Former members
- Santana (1969)
- Abraxas (1970)
- Santana III (1971)
- Caravanserai (1972)
- Welcome (1973)
- Borboletta (1974)
- Amigos (1976)
- Festival (1977)
- Moonflower (1977)
- Inner Secrets (1978)
- Marathon (1979)
- Zebop! (1981)
- Shangó (1982)
- Beyond Appearances (1985)
- Freedom (1987)
- Spirits Dancing in the Flesh (1990)
- Milagro (1992)
- Supernatural (1999)
- Shaman (2002)
- All That I Am (2005)
- Guitar Heaven (2010)
- Shape Shifter (2012)
- Corazón (2014)
- "Santana". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- "An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live". Las Vegas Sun. 2012-09-13.
- Pete Prown, Harvey P. Newquist, Jon F. Eiche, Legends of rock guitar
- Smith, Steve (February 19, 2013). "Santana Reuniting classic 60's and 70's lineup". Press Telegram. Retrieved 2013-03-20.[dead link]
- Official website
- Santana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website
- Santana at AllMusic
- JamBase Interview : Spirit Talk with Carlos Santana
- ultimateclassicrock.com "Carlos Santana Reuniting Original Group"