Sunday, 3 June 2018

Santana - Santana III (1971)



Released in September 1971

Recorded in San Francisco

Santana’s third album in two years was more of the successful same of the previous two. Gorgeous, uplifting, immaculately played Latin rock. This was to be the last album by the Woodstock era original line up, before the members changed a little and the new band diversified into more mystical, jazz fusion music. Although later albums have their merit. This, for me, was classic Santana. 

“Batuka” is the usual high octane, rhythmic instrumental starter and “No One To Depend On” is the killer vocal second track. It ends up with a frantically wonderful guitar, organ drum trade off before it eases effortlessly back into the main groove of the track. Santana really nailed what they did at this point. Superb.

“Taboo” continues the instrumental with a little bit of vocal trend. It really is all about the music, to be honest, the vocals are just an embellishment, like another instrument. “Toussaint L’Overture” is a frenetic piece of percussion and organ heaven with a bit of Spanish chanted vocals. Santana kicked ass in these first three albums, make no mistake. The energy never lets up.

“Everybody’s Everything” is an upbeat, powerful rocker, while “Guajira” is a salsafied, Cuban-style Latin groove with some killer guitar. “Jungle Strut” is another piece of note-perfect Latin rock, less Latin and heavier than “Guajira”. “Everything’s Coming Our Way” is an almost soulful, melodic song that would have made a good single. As with all the tracks, the percussion is top drawer. “Para Los Rumberos” finishes the album off in energetic Spanish vocal/fast paced instrumental style.

Three top albums.

B+

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