Santana includes: Carlos Santana (guitar); Tom Coster (keyboards); Mike Shrieve (drums).
Producers: Santana, Brent Dangerfield, Fred Catero.
Personnel: Carlos Santana (vocals, guitar); Armando Peraza (vocals, percussion).
Photographers: Jay Maisel; Joel Baldwin.
This is the cream of the crop of the band's early radio hits. Culled from their first three albums released between 1969 and 1971, these are the perennial favorites that remain synonymous with the name Santana. While Carlos himself is generally known more for his instrumental ventures than pithy vocal cuts such as these, his singular brand of Afro-Cuban blues-rock is revealed in classic form here.
There's the slow-rolling, low-riding groove of "Evil Ways" and supremely mellow take on Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va." Carlos' solo on the latter continues to shape musical imaginations the world over. Gregg Rolie's gnarly Hammond organ riff opens the fierce rocker "Hope You're Feeling Better," yielding to a searing fuzz-wah solo by Carlos. The bluesy strains of his guitar melody immediately set the tone for the ever-mystical "Black Magic Woman," with Rolie delivering each verse in oddly sedate, reverb-soaked form. "Samba Pa Ti" is the first and probably most well-known of Carlos' instrumental ballads. Timeless and riveting, it is the epitome of the word "bittersweet."