Years: 1967 - present
Styles: Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Folk Rock, Jazz Rock, Pop Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Carlos Santana - 12 string acoustic guitar, Acoustic guitar , Backing vocals, Bass Guitar, Congas, Gong , Guitar, Kalimba, Lead guitar, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1966 - present)
Marcus Malone - Percussion (in band: 1967 - 1969)
Bob Livingston - Drums (in band: 1967 - 1969)
David Brown - Bass Guitar (in band: 1967 – 1971; 1974 – 1976)
Gregg Rolie - Hammond organ, Keyboards, Lead vocals, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals (in band: 1967 – 1972; 1982; 1987 – 1988; 2013 – present)
Michael Carabello - Backing vocals, Congas, Percussion (in band: 1967; 1969 – 1971; 2013 – present)
Francisco Aguabella - Percussion (in band: 1969 - 1971)
José "Chepito" Areas - Bongos, Cabasa, Congas, Percussion, Timbales (in band: 1969 – 1971; 1972 – 1973; 1974 – 1975; 1976 – 1977; 1988 – 1989)
Michael Shrieve - Drums (in band: 1969– 1974; 1978; 1988; 2013 – present)
Alan Pasqua - Backing vocals, Keyboards (in band: 1970 - 1980)
Victor Pantoja - Percussion (in band: 1971)
Tom Rutley - Bass Guitar (in band: 1971 - 1972)
Neal Schon - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1971 – 1972; 2013 – present)
Rico Reyes - Percussion (in band: 1971; 1972)
Buddy Miles - Drums, Guitar, Lead vocals, Percussion (in band: 1971; 1972; 1986; 1987)
Pete Escovedo - Percussion, Timbales (in band: 1971; 1977 – 1979)
Richard Kermode - Electric piano, Hammond organ, Keyboards, Marimba, Mellotron, Percussion, Piano (in band: 1972 - 1973)
Doug Rauch - Bass Guitar, Guitar (in band: 1972 - 1973)
James "Mingo" Lewis - Bongos, Congas, Percussion, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1972 - 1973)
Armando Peraza - Backing vocals, Bongos, Cabasa, Congas, Percussion, Soprano saxophone, Timbales (in band: 1972 – 1976; 1977 – 1990)
Tom Coster - ARP Pro-Soloist, ARP Solina string synthesizer, Backing vocals, Electric piano, Fender Rhodes , Hammond organ, Hohner Claviner, Keyboards, Marimba, Moog synthesizer, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Synthesizer, Yamaha organ (in band: 1972 – 1978; 1983 – 1984)
Leon Thomas - Lead vocals, Vocals (in band: 1973)
Jules Broussard - Saxophone, Soprano saxophone, Tenor saxophone (in band: 1974 - 1975)
Leon Patillo - Backing vocals, Electric piano, Keyboards, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1974 – 1975; 1976)
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler - Backing vocals, Congas, Drums, Percussion, Remo Rototoms, Timbales (in band: 1974 – 1976, 1988)
Greg Walker - Backing vocals, Lead vocals, Vocals (in band: 1975 – 1976; 1976 – 1979; 1983 – 1985)
Luther Rabb - Vocals (in band: 1976)
Joel Badie - Backing vocals, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1976)
Byron Miller - Bass Guitar (in band: 1976)
Pablo Telez - Backing vocals, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1976 - 1977)
Graham Lear - Drums (in band: 1976 – 1983; 1985 – 1987)
Raul Rekow - Backing vocals, Congas, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1976 – 2013;)
Gaylord Birch - Drums, Percussion, Timpani (in band: 1976; 1991)
David Margen - Bass Guitar (in band: 1977 - 1982)
Russell Tubbs - Flute (in band: 1978)
Chris Rhyne - Keyboards, Synthesizer (in band: 1978 - 1979)
Chris Solberg - Backing vocals, Guitar (in band: 1978 - 1980)
Alex Ligertwood - Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar, Vocals (in band: 1979 – 1983; 1984 – 1985; 1987; 1989 – 1991; 1992 – 1994)
Richard Baker - Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer (in band: 1980 - 1982)
Orestes Vilató - Backing vocals, Bells, Percussion, Timbales (in band: 1980 - 1987)
Chester D. Thompson - Backing vocals, Hammond organ, Horns, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vocals (in band: 1983 - 2009)
Keith Jones - Bass Guitar (in band: 1983 – 1984; 1989)
David Sancious - Guitar, Keyboards, Synthesizer (in band: 1984)
Chester C. Thompson - Bass Guitar, Drums (in band: 1984)
Alphonso Johnson - Bass Guitar (in band: 1985 – 1989; 1992)
Sterling Crew - Keyboards (in band: 1986)
Walfredo Reyes - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1989 – 1991; 1992 – 1993)
Benny Rietveld - Bass Guitar (in band: 1990 – 1992; 1997 – present)
Karl Perazzo - Backing vocals, Congas, Guiro, Lead vocals, Percussion, Timbales, Vocals (in band: 1991 – present)
Billy Johnson - Drums (in band: 1991, 1994, 2000 – 2001)
Tony Lindsay - Backing vocals, Vocals (in band: 1991, 1995 – 2003; 2012 – present)
Oran Coltrane - Saxophone (in band: 1992)
Vorriece Coope - Vocals (in band: 1992 – 1993)
Myron Dove - Rhythm guitar (in band: 1992 – 1996; 2003 – 2005)
Rodney Holmes - Drums (in band: 1993 – 1994; 1997 – 2000)
Tommie Bradford - Drums (in band: 1994)
Curtis Salgado - Harmonica, Vocals (in band: 1995)
Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez - Drums (in band: 1997)
Ricky Wellman - Drums (in band: 1997)
Bill Ortiz - Trumpet (in band: 2000 - present)
Andy Vargas - Vocals (in band: 2000 – present)
Jeff Cressman - Trombone (in band: 2000 – present)
Dennis Chambers - Drums (in band: 2002 - 2013)
Tommy Anthony - Guitar, Rhythm guitar, Vocals (in band: 2005 – present)
Freddie Ravel - Keyboards, Organ, Piano (in band: 2009 – 2010)
David K. Mathews - Keyboards (in band: 2011 – present)
Paoli Mejías - Percussion (in band: 2013 – present)
José "Pepe" Jimenez - Drums (in band: 2014 – present)
Ray Greene - Vocals (in band: 2016 – present)
Santana is an American Latin rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana. The band first came to widespread public attention when their performance of "Soul Sacrifice" at Woodstock in 1969 provided a contrast to other acts on the bill.
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, "Santana IV", which was released in April 2016. They are tied with having the most won Grammys in one night.
By the early Sixties, the Santana family had relocated to San Francisco. Carlos formed the first version of Santana in 1966. As the Santana Blues Band, they played the clubs and ballrooms of that city during the glory years of the Haight-Ashbury scene. By the time Santana took the stage at Woodstock in 1969, the group had settled into its classic lineup of Carlos Santana, Gregg Rolie, David Brown, Mike Carabello, Jose "Chepito" Areas, and Michael Shrieve (drums). Santana’s riveting performance at Woodstock in August 1969 made them one of the festival’s surprise hits. There was great anticipation when the debut album "Santana" was released in October. It shot to Number Four and yielded two hit singles: “Jingo” and “Evil Ways.”
Santana went on tour to promote their debut LP and started work on their next, "Abraxas". Work began in mid-April 1970 at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco and was completed in early May 1970.
The San Francisco Bay Area rock scene of the late '60s was one that encouraged radical experimentation and discouraged the type of mindless conformity that's often plagued corporate rock. When one considers just how different Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, and the Grateful Dead sounded, it becomes obvious just how much it was encouraged. In the mid-'90s, an album as eclectic as "Abraxas" would be considered a marketing exec's worst nightmare.
But at the dawn of the 1970s, this unorthodox mix of rock, jazz, salsa, and blues proved quite successful. Whether adding rock elements to salsa king Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va," embracing instrumental jazz-rock on "Incident at Neshabur" and "Samba Pa Ti," or tackling moody blues-rock on Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman," the band keeps things unpredictable yet cohesive. Many of the Santana albums that came out in the '70s are worth acquiring, but for novices, "Abraxas" is an excellent place to start.
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 with two percussionists, Armando Peraza and Mingo Lewis. Keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie was replaced by Tom Coster on a few songs.
Drawing on rock, salsa, and jazz, Santana recorded one imaginative, unpredictable gem after another during the 1970s. But "Caravanserai" is daring even by Santana's high standards. Carlos Santana was obviously very hip to jazz fusion -- something the innovative guitarist provides a generous dose of on the largely instrumental "Caravanserai" Whether its approach is jazz-rock or simply rock, this album is consistently inspired and quite adventurous. Full of heartfelt, introspective guitar solos, it lacks the immediacy of "Santana" or "Abraxas". Like the type of jazz that influenced it, this pearl (which marked the beginning of keyboardist/composer Tom Coster's highly beneficial membership in the band) requires a number of listenings in order to be absorbed and fully appreciated. But make no mistake: this is one of Santana's finest accomplishments.
3 months after "Caravanserai", 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 fared arguably worse than its predecessor, despite climbing five 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.
Santana, which was renowned for its concert work dating back to Woodstock, did not release a live album in the U.S. until this one, and it's only partially live, with studio tracks added, notably a cover of the Zombies' "She's Not There" (number 27) that became Santana's first Top 40 hit in five years. The usual comings and goings in band membership had taken place since last time; the track listing was a good mixture of the old -- "Black Magic Woman," "Soul Sacrifice" -- and the recent, and with the added radio play of a hit single, "Moonflower" went Top Ten and sold a million copies, the first new Santana album to do that since 1972 and the last until "Supernatural" in 1999.
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 1960s 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.
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, "Shangó" was released; this album marked a steep decline in the band's commercial fortunes, although it achieved gold status.
The group waited another three 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 three 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 recording material for an unprecedented seven years but continued to tour.
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.
Santana was still a respected rock veteran in 1999, but it had been years since he had a hit, even if he continued to fare well on the concert circuits. Clive Davis, the man who had signed Santana to Columbia in 1968, offered him the opportunity to set up shop at his label, Arista. In the tradition of comebacks and label debuts by veteran artists in the '90s, "Supernatural", Santana's first effort for Arista, is designed as a star-studded event.
At first listen, there doesn't seem to be a track that doesn't have a guest star, which brings up the primary problem with the album -- despite several interesting or excellent moments, it never develops a consistent voice that holds the album together. The fault doesn't lay with the guest stars or even with Santana, who continues to turn in fine performances. There's just a general directionless feeling to the record, enhanced by several songs that seem like excuses for jams, which, truth be told, isn't all that foreign on latter-day Santana records.
Then again, the grooves often play better than the ploys for radio play, but that's not always the case, since Lauryn Hill's "Do You Like the Way" and the Dust Brothers-produced, Eagle-Eye Cherry-sung "Wishing It Was" are as captivating as the Eric Clapton duet, "The Calling." But that just confirms that "Supernatural" just doesn't have much of a direction, flipping between traditional Santana numbers and polished contemporary collaborations, with both extremes being equally likely to hit or miss. That doesn't quite constitute a triumph, but the peak moments of "Supernatural" are some of Santana's best music of the '90s, which does make it a successful comeback.
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. 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 one, which was "Santana III" in 1971. According to Guinness Book of World Records, this is the longest gap between US number one albums for the same artist.
The follow-up to "Supernatural" came three years later and was highly anticipated by international media and fans alike. On October 22, 2002, "Shaman" was released worldwide. Although it initially sold briskly (298,973 copies in the US in its first week) and debuted 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.
With their renewed appeal worn off, another three-year wait saw the release of 2005's "All That I Am". The album debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 but fared worse internationally, and quickly lost appeal. The album, a continuation of the Latin-rock influenced sound of "Shaman", achieved 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.
On 2 February 2013, Carlos Santana confirmed that he would reunite his classic line-up, 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.
In the meantime, Santana released on 6 May 2014 a new studio album entitled "Corazón" and on 9 September 2014, "Corazón – Live from Mexico: Live It to Believe" It, a new live album (on CD, DVD and Blu-ray) of their show in 14 December 2013 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
On 15 April 2016, Santana released "Santana IV", the wildly anticipated studio album that reunites the early 1970s classic lineup of Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums). The album marks the first time in 45 years – since 1971's multi-platinum classic "Santana III" – that the quintet has recorded together.
1. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santana_(band)
2. Source: https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/santana
3. All Music Guide to Rock. The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. 3rd Edition 2002. Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Published by Backbeat Books, page 975-976, Alex Henderson
4. All Music Guide to Rock. The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. 3rd Edition 2002. Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Published by Backbeat Books, page 976, William Ruthlmann
5. All Music Guide to Rock. The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. 3rd Edition 2002. Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Published by Backbeat Books, page 977, Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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