Supernatural (Santana album)

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Supernatural
Santana - Supernatural - CD album cover.jpg
Album cover adapted from a painting by Michael Rios
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 15, 1999 (1999-06-15)
Recorded
  • 1999
StudioFantasy Studios, Berkeley, California
GenreLatin rock
Length74:59
LabelArista
Producer
Santana chronology
Live at the Fillmore 1968
(1997)
Supernatural
(1999)
The Best of Santana Vol. 2
(2000)
Singles from Supernatural
  1. "Smooth"
    Released: June 29, 1999
  2. "Maria Maria"
    Released: November 23, 1999
  3. "Put Your Lights On"
    Released: March 28, 2000
  4. "Love of My Life"
    Released: 2000
  5. "Corazón Espinado"
    Released: June 13, 2000
  6. "Primavera"
    Released: 2001

Supernatural is the eighteenth studio album by Latin rock band Santana, released on June 15, 1999 on Arista Records. After the group found themselves without a label in the mid-1990s, founding member and guitarist Carlos Santana began talks with Arista president Clive Davis, who first signed the group in 1969, which led to a new record deal. The pair collaborated with A&R man Pete Ganbarg on the production of Supernatural as Santana wanted to focus his musical direction towards pop and radio friendly material and proceeded to do so by collaborating with various contemporary guest artists, including Eric Clapton, Rob Thomas, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, Maná, KC Porter and Cee-Lo Green.

Supernatural became a significant commercial success worldwide. It reached No. 1 in eleven countries, including the US for 12 non-consecutive weeks where it is certified 15× Platinum. The first of six singles from the album, "Smooth" featuring Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas, was a number one success worldwide and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 weeks. The next, "Maria Maria", featuring The Product G&B, was number one in the US for 10 weeks. Supernatural has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide.

In 2000, the album was the subject of eight Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, making Santana the first Hispanic to do so, and Best Rock Album, tying the record held by Michael Jackson for the most number of awards in a single night. Davis won Album of the Year. Santana also won three Latin Grammy Awards including Record of the Year.[1]

Background[edit]

In 1991, Carlos Santana's record deal with Columbia Records came to an end. His two subsequent albums for Polydor/Island labels, Milagro (1992) and Sacred Fire: Live in South America (1993), failed to attract strong sales and chart positions which led the guitarist to end his contract because he was not getting "traction and acceleration".[2] Santana then struggled to find a suitable and willing deal and recalled that some labels considered him too old.[3] His fortunes turned in 1995 when he was invited to participate in a documentary about executive and Arista Records founder Clive Davis, who first signed Santana to Columbia in 1969. With encouragement from his wife, Santana approached Davis about the possibility of signing with Arista.[2][4] The couple invited Davis to attend Santana's concert at Radio City Music Hall in July 1997 which featured a new line-up of the group.[4]

A subsequent meeting between Santana and Davis took place, during which the guitarist expressed his desire to produce more concise and radio friendly songs with strong melody lines and lyrics that a wide range of people could relate to. He convinced Davis "wasn't stuck in the '60s; I was adaptable to these times",[5] and cited Miles Davis and John Coltrane as artists who went on to change musical directions towards pop in their later careers.[4] Davis agreed to assist on the project and signed the band to a record deal in late 1997.[4] He aimed to have the new album surpass sales figures of the band's second, Abraxas (1970), which had sold over 4 million copies in the US at the time.[5] Davis realised that the album had to be "vintage Santana" with "contemporary influences that Carlos was very much feeling" and saw the task of contacting potential artists to collaborate with the guitarist which he found particularly exciting.[5] Santana maintained that Supernatural was never meant to be a "star-studded" album at first, "but the songs really dictated different singers and different musicians".[6]

The album's title was set to be Mumbo Jumbo, but it was changed to Supernatural shortly before its release.[4] Davis threw a release party for the album at The Boathouse restaurant in New York City on June 1, 1999.[7]

Songs[edit]

"The Calling" features guitarist Eric Clapton, who had attended the 1999 Grammy Awards ceremony which featured Santana performing with Lauryn Hill and asked Santana to call him if there was room for him on a future Santana track.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[9]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(choice cut)[10]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[11]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic noted that "there doesn't seem to be a track that doesn't have a guest star, which brings up the primary problem with the album [...] it never develops a consistent voice that holds the album together." He added that the album is "directionless" but concluded by saying "the peak moments of Supernatural are some of Santana's best music of the '90s, which does make it a successful comeback."[8] Rolling Stone writer David Wild also noted the number of featured artists on the album. He goes on to say "Not everything is quite so appealing", mentioning the song, "Do You Like The Way" featuring Lauryn Hill and Cee Lo Green, saying that it "seems a bit more forced."[11]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album is one of the best-selling albums in the world, and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide,[12] with 11.8 million copies sold in the United States alone.[13] It is the best-selling album by a Hispanic artist,[14] peaking at number one in many countries.

According to the Guinness World Records in 2005, it was the band's first album to peak at number one on the Billboard 200 since Santana III in 1971, making it the longest gap between two number one albums, 28 years in total.[14]

Arista had planned for an initial shipment of 125,000 copies, but the high level of interest in the album through word of mouth caused this to rise to 210,000. By the first week of June 1999, after the label issued a sample album to promoters, this number rose to 350,000.[5] The album debuted at number 19 on the US Billboard 200 and eventually peaked at number one in October 1999, selling 169,000 copies that week, it would increase its sales even more in the following weeks, selling 183,000 and 199,000 on its first three weeks atop. Its highest sale came in year's final week when it sold 527,000 copies. Its sales would still stay in stratosphere after the Holiday season, selling 583,000 copies after winning nine Grammy Awards in a night, it barely dropped in sales, selling again another monstrous 441,000 copies. Its last of 12 non-consecutive weeks at number one would still see huge sales, 307,000 copies that week, it later was replaced by NSYNC No Strings Attached after selling 2.4 million copies in a week. It also debuted and peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart.[15] However, it was removed from the chart the following week after Billboard determined that the album did not meet the linguistic requirement of having at least 50% of its tracks recorded in Spanish.[16] It was ranked on Billboard's top 200 albums of the decade as the ninth best-selling album of the 2000s.[17]

In Australia, the album debuted at number 48 and would peak at number one on March 6, 2000. In the UK, the album peaked at number one for two weeks starting on April 1, 2000.

The track "El Farol" was criticised by unauthorized use of melody. The song takes the structure of "Papel Principal", a song made by the Portuguese artist Adelaide Ferreira. Although never confirmed, the rumor of a possible judicial action by the Portuguese singer was never surpassed.[18]

Singles[edit]

In early June 1999, copies of "Smooth" had been leaked and were picked up by some radio stations which began to air the song.[5]

The first single released from the album was "Smooth", which featured Rob Thomas on vocals and peaked at No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks while it went to No. 3 in the UK and No. 4 in Australia. The next single was "Maria Maria" which featured The Product G&B as the single peaked at No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks, No. 6 in the UK and No. 49 in Australia. The third single, "Put Your Lights On", only peaked at No. 18 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, No. 97 in the UK, and was a minor hit in Australia at No. 32. The single "Corazón Espinado", which featured Maná, was a hit in Spanish-speaking countries.

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."(Da Le) Yaleo"
  • Carlos Santana
  • Shakara Mutela[19]
  • Christian Polloni[20]
Santana5:51
2."Love of My Life" (featuring Dave Matthews and Carter Beauford)
  • Santana
  • Matthews
  • Stephen Harris
  • Santana
5:48
3."Put Your Lights On" (featuring Everlast)Everlast4:47
4."Africa Bamba"
  • Santana
  • Ismaïla Touré and Sixu Tidiane Touré (as Touré Kunda)
  • Karl Perazzo[21]
Santana4:40
5."Smooth" (featuring Rob Thomas)
Matt Serletic4:56
6."Do You Like the Way" (featuring Lauryn Hill and CeeLo Green)HillHill5:52
7."Maria Maria" (featuring Sincere (David McRae)[22] and Money Harm (Marvin Moore-Hough) [23] as The Product G&B)
  • Duplessis
  • Wyclef Jean
4:21
8."Migra"
5:24
9."Corazón Espinado" (featuring Maná)Fher Olvera
4:32
10."Wishing It Was" (featuring Eagle-Eye Cherry)4:59
11."El Farol"
  • Santana
  • Porter
KC Porter4:49
12."Primavera"
Porter5:17
13."The Calling" (featuring Eric Clapton)
Santana12:27

Mastered by Ted Jensen

Notes

  • The total length of track 13 is actually 12:27. "The Calling" ends at 7:48. Hidden track "Day of Celebration" starts at 8:00 and has a length 4:27. The track listing and timing are the same on the 2010 "Legacy Edition". However, separate musician and production credits are listed for "Day of Celebration" in the liner notes, unlike the standard edition.
  • (*) Asterisk notes co-producer.

Legacy Edition Disc 2[edit]

A "Legacy Edition" of Supernatural was released on February 16, 2010, with a new Santana-supervised remastering.[28]

  1. "Bacalao con Pan" — 5:08
  2. "Angel Love (Come for Me)" — 4:42
  3. "Rain Down on Me" — 4:01
  4. "Corazon Espinado (Spanish Dance Remix)" — 8:49
    • Featuring Maná
  5. "One Fine Morning" (Lighthouse Cover) — 5:19
  6. "Exodus/Get Up Stand Up (Bob Marley cover)" — 6:09
  7. "Ya Yo Me Cure" — 4:17
  8. "Maria Maria (Pumpin' Dolls Club Mix)" — 8:39
    • Featuring The Product G&B
  9. "Smooth (Instrumental)" — 4:56
  10. "The Calling Jam" — 4:30
  11. "Olympic Festival" — 6:10

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Edition
United States June 15, 1999[72] Arista Standard
Canada[73] Sony Canada
France June 21, 1999 Arista
United Kingdom 12 July, 1999[74] Arista
United States February 16, 2010[75]
Deluxe

References[edit]

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