Tuesday, February 06, 2007

203. Santana - Abraxas (1970)

Track Listing

1. Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
2. Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen
3. Oye Como Va
4. Incident at Neshabur
5. Se a Cabo
6. Mother's Daughter
7. Samba Pa Ti
8. Hope You're Feeling Better
9. Nicoya


This is a tricky album for me to review. You know how couples have "their song"? Well my parents was Samba Pa Ti from this album. Therefore, long before it became the Marks & Spencer's food adverts song it was already a cringe-worthy song for me. Many a time, particularly in my parents relationship anniversaries, I had to watch them dance to it, which when you are a teenage boy living at home makes you uncomfortable.

If I manage to put this aside, this is actually not such a bad album, but you would be advised to stay away from most of the famous songs here. They have been used to often and so badly that it becomes hard to separate the tackyness from the actual merit of the song itself. I cannot listen to Samba Pa Ti without thinking "This is not just food".

But when you listen to other tracks you can see that some stuff here is actually pretty good, the mix between latin music and rock reaches some great hights here, particularly in Hope You're Feeling Better, Mother's Daughter and Black Magic Woman. There was never such a tight rhythm section, and the latin flavour it brings is at the same time the best thing about the album and the worse. The tackyness associated with other latin rock, and Miami Sound Machine comes to mind here, can actually make you very prejudiced when listening to this. Still there probably is no better album to have playing while cruising Miami in a convertible. And so this is in the end a great album. Break out the Armani jacket, t-shirt and shades and your black Ferrari and you'll have loads of fun. In the end the album is fun if nothing else, you'll shake your ass, you'll do stupid dance steps and suddenly you'll here some pretty heavy guitars, not many albums do that. So get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Hope You're Feeling Better
2. Mother's Daughter
3. Black Magic Woman/ Gypsy Queen
4. Incident at Neshabur

Final Grade

9/10 (put in my iPod for when my GF is driving on the coast between Lisbon and Cascais)


From Wikipedia:

The album's mix of salsa, blues, rock and roll, jazz and other influences have made it a classic psychedelic record.

Abraxas is generally considered the best album in Santana's career. In 2003, the album was ranked number 205 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In the same year the TV network VH1 named it the 85th greatest album of all time.

"Samba Pa Ti" is one of the tracks featured in Nick Hornby's book 31 Songs.

To finish off the tastlessness that is this post I will now present to you a slide show of sexy pictures of Alyssa Milano of Who's The Boss fame to the sound of Black Magic Woman... just shoot me now!:

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