Classic Tracks: Santana (1969)

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Rock Music
Tags: , , , , , ,


A must-have for every classic rock collection, “Santana” is the debut album of the group by the same name.

Formed by Carlos Santana in San Francisco in 1967, the band Santana was originally known as The Carlos Santana Band.  With their unique blend of Latin rhythm and straight up rock, they auditioned at The Avalon Ballroom in August 1967.  Producer Chet Helms – the founder and manager of Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and the Holding Company – and generally considered the father of the “Summer of Love” – told them they would never make it.  He told Carlos not to quit his day job washing dishes at the Tick-Tock Diner down on 3rd Street.  Hmmm…did I mention they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998?  Or that they went on to sell more than 90 million records globally and take home 8 Grammy awards?  Chet must have gone to his grave kicking himself for that one…

santana-woodstock69    tumblr_m7c0jyySik1qkr0ruo1_400

Santana – onstage at Woodstock, Saturday, August 16, 1969.

The album is largely instrumental and is an early example of the “jam band”.  The band hit the national spotlight with their performance of the final track of the album “Soul Sacrifice” at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. It’s extended jam showcased their serious level of talent.  The performance there was so different from everything everyone else played and it is still among the most impressive jams I’ve ever heard.

The Santana Line-Up

Carlos Santana (guitar, vocals)

Gregg Rolie (organ, piano, vocals)

David Brown (bass guitar)

Michael Shrieve (drums)

Michael Carabello (timbales, congas, percussion)

Jose ‘Chepito’ Areas (timbales, congas, percussion)

The album also contains the hit “Evil Ways”.  Although not written by Carlos (or anyone in the band) it became their first top-40 hit and, although covered by many bands, Santana’s is the most famous version.  The “Soul Sacrifice” track on the album was a studio release.  The sample I provided below is the Woodstock performance.  It just isn’t to be missed.

The original album release (Columbia 1969) contained the following tracks:

Side One

1.”Waiting” (Carlos Santana) – 4:07

2.”Evil Ways” (Clarence “Sonny” Henry) – 3:58

3.”Shades of Time” (Santana) – 3:13

4.”Savor” (Santana) – 2:47

5.”Jingo” (Babatunde Olatunji) – 4:23

Side Two

1.”Persuasion” (Santana) – 2:36

2.”Treat” (Santana) – 4:46

3.”You Just Don’t Care” (Santana) – 4:37

4.”Soul Sacrifice” (Santana) – 6:34



  1. mikeladano says:

    One point I’d like to throw in — I think this is one of the best album covers of ALL time.


  2. Cheers Tim, didn’t know that about the cover either! Agree with Mike, it is a brilliant cover. Love this album too, one of their best. Love Soul Sacrifice, also Treat, which isn’t as showy as some of the other tracks but has a great feel and really gets inside your head.


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