Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)

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"Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)"
Instrumental by Santana
from the album Amigos
ReleasedMarch 26, 1976 (1976-03-26)
GenreInstrumental rock
Length5:06 (album version)
3:37 (radio edit)
Producer(s)David Rubinson

"Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)" is an instrumental from the Santana album Amigos, written by Carlos Santana and Tom Coster. It is one of Santana's most popular compositions and it reached the top in the Spanish Singles Chart in July 1976.[not verified in body]

The 16-bar chord progression follows the Circle of Fifths, similar to the jazz standard "Autumn Leaves". Every other verse ends with a Picardy cadence.[not verified in body]


Upon seeing a friend suffering a bad experience whilst high on mescaline, Santana composed a piece titled "The Mushroom Lady's Coming to Town". This precursor contained the first lick to "Europa". The piece was put away and not touched for some time.[citation needed]

When Santana was touring with Earth, Wind & Fire in Manchester, England, he played this tune again, this time with Tom Coster who helped him with some of the chords and thus Europa was born. It was renamed as "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)".

The above is disputed, however, since much of the song, including the guitar intro, is nearly identical in notation[1][original research?] to "Y Volveré", which was written and released six years before Santana's "Europa",[2] and performed by the Chilean group Los Angeles Negros. "Y Volveré" is the (rightfully credited) Spanish-language version of French singer Alain Barrière's song "Emporte-Moi", released in 1967.[3]

Several reports[4][5] claim that when Carlos Santana visited Soviet Union in 1987, a controversy arose as the Armenian composer Arno Babajanian recognised the first eight measures of Europa as his own composition "Мосты" ("Bridges"), released in 1959.[6] However, the alleged dispute could not have taken place as Babajanian had died in 1983.

Other versions[edit]

One rendition was by saxophonist Gato Barbieri off his 1976 album Caliente![7] In 2006, saxophonist Jimmy Sommers recorded the song for his Standards album Time Stands Still.[8][9] Contemporary jazz guitarist Nils released a rendition from his 2009 album Up Close & Personal.[10][11] Blake Aaron covers the song on his 2015 album Soul Stories.[12]

Another rendition is the one made by Tuck Andress during the 1990s.

Spanish musician Dyango sang a version accompanied by Paco de Lucia, with lyrics set to the melody.

Vital Information recorded their version on the Vitalive! album with Frank Gambale on guitar.[13]


Europa is considered by many[who?] to be Santana's most beautiful instrumental song and is one of his most harmonically complex songs—and certainly the most sophisticated, harmonically, of his hits.[citation needed] Based in C minor, Europa has a slick chord progression that utilizes a descending cycle of suspensions and complements perfectly Santana's accessible melody.[14]


  1. ^ "LOS ANGELES NEGROS. Y VOLVERE. (EN VIVO)". YouTube. 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  2. ^ "Los Ángeles Negros – Y Volveré".
  3. ^ "Alain Barrière – Emporte-moi (Version originale)". YouTube.
  4. ^ "Благородство Бабаджаняна Всемирно известный гитарист и композитор... | Интересный контент в группе «ТИФЛИСЪ И АРМЯНЕ»". Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  5. ^ 50 музыкальных произведений, изменивших искусство. Litres. 5 September 2017. p. 71. ISBN 9785457483446. Retrieved 8 June 2021 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Майя КРИСТАЛИНСКАЯ - Мосты". YouTube.
  7. ^ "Caliente! overview". AllMusic.
  8. ^ "Time Stands Still overview". AllMusic.
  9. ^ "News :: 05.26.09". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
  10. ^ "Nils Reviews PDF" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  11. ^ "Up Close and Personal overview". AllMusic.
  12. ^ "Soul Stories - Blake Aaron | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Vitalive! - Vital Information | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Europa". Retrieved 2021-02-19.