Welcome (Santana album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 9, 1973 (1973-11-09)
RecordedApril to June 1973
GenreJazz fusion
ProducerCarlos Santana, Mike Shrieve, Tom Coster
Santana chronology

Welcome is the fifth studio album by Santana, released in 1973. It followed the jazz-fusion formula that the preceding Caravanserai had inaugurated, but with an expanded and different lineup this time. Gregg Rolie had left the band along with Neal Schon to form Journey, and they were replaced by Tom Coster, Richard Kermode and Leon Thomas, along with guest John McLaughlin, who had collaborated with Carlos Santana on Love Devotion Surrender. Welcome also featured John Coltrane's widow, Alice, as a pianist on the album's opening track, "Going Home" and Flora Purim (the wife of Airto Moreira) on vocals. This album was far more experimental than the first four albums, and Welcome did not produce any hit singles.

In 2003, the album was re-released with a bonus track, "Mantra", described by AllMusic reviewer Thom Jurek as "a killer improv tune with a ferocious bass solo by Rauch and insane drumming by Shrieve."[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB+[3]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]
All About Jazz[6]

Writing for Rolling Stone, Robert Palmer called Welcome "the most rhythmically satisfying rock recording since Professor Longhair's," and noted that the rhythm section is "at its loosest and best." He commented: "There may not be another 'Black Magic Woman' here, but there is enough of the old Latin fire to satisfy the fans, as well as a promising expansion of sources and resources."[4]

Critic Robert Christgau stated that the album "proves that a communion of multipercussive rock and transcendentalist jazz can move the unenlightened--me, for instance. Good themes, good playing, good beat, and let us not forget good singing."[3]

In a review for AllMusic, Thom Jurek wrote: "Welcome is a jazz record with rock elements, not a rock record that flirted with jazz and Latin musical forms... Welcome was... ahead of its time as a musical journey and is one of the more enduring recordings the band ever made. This is a record that pushes the envelope even today and is one of the most inspired recordings in the voluminous Santana oeuvre."[2]

Jeff Winbush of All About Jazz described the album as "the summit of Santana's jazz fusion era," and remarked: "The secret weapon is Michael Shrieve's energetic drumming and the dual keyboard attack of Coster and Kermode. They push and pull Santana to go beyond and stop holding back."[6]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

1."Going Home"InstrumentalAdapted from Antonín Dvořák's "New World Symphony"composed by William Arms Fisher;[7] arr.: Alice Coltrane and Santana Band4:11
2."Love, Devotion & Surrender"Carlos SantanaSantana, Richard Kermode3:38
3."Samba de Sausalito"InstrumentalJosé Areas3:11
4."When I Look into Your Eyes"Michael ShrieveShrieve, Tom Coster5:52
5."Yours Is the Light"ShrieveKermode5:47

Side two[edit]

6."Mother Africa"InstrumentalHerbie Mann; arr. by Coster, Santana5:55
7."Light of Life"SantanaSantana, Kermode, Coster3:52
8."Flame - Sky"InstrumentalDoug Rauch, Santana, John McLaughlin11:33
9."Welcome"InstrumentalJohn Coltrane6:35

2003 remastered CD edition bonus track[edit]

10."Mantra"Santana, Shrieve, Coster6:11

2023 Remastered Japanese SACD edition with both stereo and quadraphonic mixes[edit]

No bonus tracks


Band members[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]


  • Glen Kolotkin - engineer
  • Bob Irwin - 2003 CD reissue producer


Chart (1973-1974) Peak
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[8] 19
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[9] 9
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[10] 24
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[11] 29
Italian Albums (Musica e Dischi)[12] 4
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[13] 11
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 8
US Billboard 200[15] 25


Certifications for Welcome
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[16] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[18] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Santana: Welcome [Bonus Track]". AllMusic. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Jurek, Thom (2011). "Welcome - Santana | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  4. ^ a b Palmer, Bob (January 3, 1974). "Album Reviews: Santana - Welcome". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 5, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  5. ^ "Santana: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Winbush, Jeff (August 4, 2012). "Santana: Welcome". All About Jazz. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  7. ^ "The True Story of "Goin' Home" - from Bohemia to Boston".
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Santana – Welcome" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4969a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  11. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Santana – Welcome" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  12. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e Dischi (in Italian). Retrieved May 27, 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Album". Then, in the "Artista" field, search "Santana".
  13. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  14. ^ "Santana | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  15. ^ "Santana Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  16. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Santana – Welcome". Music Canada.
  17. ^ "British album certifications – Santana – Welcome". British Phonographic Industry.
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Santana – Welcome". Recording Industry Association of America.