Saturday, July 7, 2018
Santana - 1971  "Santana III" [30th Anniversary]
The album featured two singles that charted in the United States. "Everybody's Everything" peaked at No. 12 in October 1971, while "No One to Depend On", an uncredited adaptation of Willie Bobo's boogaloo standard "Spanish Grease", received significant airplay on FM radio and peaked at No. 36 in March 1972. The album also marked the addition of 17-year-old guitarist Neal Schon (who performed notable solos on both singles) to the group.
The original album was recorded at Columbia Studios, San Francisco, and released in both stereo and quadraphonic.
Santana III was also the last Santana album to hit #1 on the charts until Supernatural in 1999. According to the 2005 edition of Guinness World Records, this is the longest delay between #1 albums ever occurring. The original album was re-released in 1998 with live versions of "Batuka", "Jungle Strut" and a previously unreleased song, "Gumbo", recorded at Fillmore West in 1971 which features lead guitar solos by both Santana and Schon.
The year was 1971, and young Neil Schon had a big decision to make. The 17-year-old guitar prodigy was invited by Eric Clapton to join Derek and the Dominoes at the same time that he was invited by Carlos Santana to join his group. Schon chose Santana just in time to go into the studio to join in the recording of the band’s third album.
By the time Santana III was recorded, the band was still riding the huge wave they created with their historic appearance at Woodstock two years earlier. Their self-titled first album had reached #4 on the Billboard Album Chart, and their second, Abraxas, sold more than four-million and reached #1 in 1970. Everything seemed to be going their way.
What most of their fans didn’t know was that the pressure of success was taking its toll on the group, and by 1971 they were on the verge of disintegrating. Santana wanted the band to put emphasis on its Mexican musical roots. Greg Rollie, an original member of the band when it was formed in 1966 as the Santana Blues Band, wanted to go with a more progressive sound and themed concept albums, which suited young Schon just fine, given his classical training.
The tensions became more than the group could handle, and soon after the release of Santana III, the band’s members went their separate ways. Rollie later formed Journey, which would also become Schon’s home.
Santana goes back deep into the roots of today’s music, not only just to the time when the Family Dog was at the Avalon, but back further into the heavy dosages of Latin and African rhythms that have been part of American music for a long time.
For it’s surely true that for all their Fender basses and fuzz tones, Santana is more deeply committed to the music defined and still played by Tito Puente, Machito, Mongo Santamaria, and all the glorious combinations of brass and rhythm that made the old Sunday afternoon dances such a delight, than to the Rolling Stones. Santana’s music is contemporary, but it comes from a tradition and part of what has provoked a curious reluctance on the part of some hard rock fans to accept Santana is that tradition.
This is music to dance to, but it is music that shrieks for more advanced, dexterous and imaginative dancing than some of the freeform body motion that rock dancing has accepted. It is also music that asks for a certain kind of emotional abandon for maximum enjoyment. You don’t just listen to Santana; you get inside the rhythm, play it in your head or your body and participate.
Basically, they demonstrate to what incredible transports of ecstasy one can be taken by complex, insinuating rhythms, especially when they are played against one another not only in their patterns but also in the timbres of the sounds and the ranges wherein they are played. A full Santana rhythmic onslaught, as in “Tous-saint L’Overture” (who, contrary to one DJ I heard is no relation to the singer/producer, but rather was a military genius who has remained a hero to blacks and to many others because of the Haitian independence struggle more than 100 years ago) is one of the most complex assemblies of rhythmic patterns you can hear.
The delight of the tensions brought into play when one rhythm is set against another with all the artful shifts in the beat and utilization of alternate timbres of sound is amazing. Against these rhythmic turbulances, the singing, wailing guitar of Carlos Santana is usually set and it provides a contrast that can sweep you up in its momentum immediately and carry you along. And above all, the band swings.
Lyrics are almost secondary to instrumental virtuosity with Santana and so are vocals. Frequently the lyrics are utilized as single lines for a unison shout or chant that in itself evolves into a rhythmic pattern played against the sounds the band is producing. Thus the band actually becomes an extended essay in rhythm.
Sometime I would like to see an analysis of the rhythms and patterns used by Santana done by some ethno-musicologist who could relate them to traditional Cuban, African and Haitian music and styles. I suspect it would be quite revealing.
I am convinced that this band, which is really a city band bringing us the hot pavement and the cool nights as well as the rumble and the roar of the city, is solidly linked back to the hill country, the savannahs and the inland plains music of Africa and Cuba and the other sources of that magic rhythmic power of which they are such compelling examples.
01 Batuka 3:35
02 No One To Depend On 5:31
03 Taboo 5:34
04 Toussaint L'Overture 5:56
05 Everybody's Everything 3:31
06 Guajira 5:43
07 Jungle Strut 5:20
08 Everything's Coming Our Way 3:15
09 Para Los Rumberos 2:47
Bonus Tracks: All Recorded Live At The Fillmore West July 4, 1971
10 Batuka (Live) 3:41
11 Jungle Strut (Live) 5:59
12 Gumbo (Live) 5:26
Gregg Rolie – lead vocals, keyboards, piano, producer
Carlos Santana – guitar, vocals, producer
Neal Schon – guitar, producer
David Brown – bass, producer, engineer
Michael Shrieve – drums, percussion, producer
José "Chepito" Areas – percussion, conga, timbales, drums, producer
Mike Carabello – percussion, conga, tambourine, vocals, producer
Rico Reyes – percussion, vocals, lead vocals on "Guajira"
Thomas "Coke" Escovedo – percussion, vocals
Luis Gasca – trumpet on "Para los Rumberos"
Mario Ochoa – piano solo on "Guajira"
Tower of Power – horn section on "Everybody's Everything"
Linda Tillery – background vocals
Greg Errico – tambourine
Posted by Crimhead420 at 11:05 AM