Abraxas is the second studio album by Santana, containing the super hits Black Magic Woman and Samba Pa Ti. They had so big success with Black Magic Woman, that many people still believe it is written by Santana, and even by Carlos himself. This is of cause not the fact, it was, as my readers know I am sure – but just in case, written by Peter Green and released as a single by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Peter Green, who unfortunately died only 2 months ago. Never the less, Abraxas raised to nr. one in the US charts and still is the highest rated album with the band.
It was recorded during only 14 days from 17 April to 2 May, 1970. Partly at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco, and at Pacific Recording Studios, San Mateo. Another common mistake about Santana is that Carlos Santana writes most of the songs, but they are actually written by various people. This album especially, since only Samba Pa Ti is written by him. Inclusive my personal favorite song on Abraxas, Hope You’re Feeling Better, which is written by Gregg Rolie, the lead singer. Carlos is the producer though.
The album is not hard to find, even the first releases in good condition, and for good prices. The gatefold Pitman pressing in VG+ condition is sold for an average of 12 – 16 euro. Probably because it was so massive produced in millions of copies. Some years ago, when I still bought small rock collections, Abraxas was often present. Everybody had it, almost. I don’t remember how many I had and sold again, 10 maybe or more. Now I have one copy left, a UK repress from 1975 and in a pretty bad condition. No skips though, but a lot of background noise from wear and tear. It’s time to renew.
Carlos Santana – lead guitar, backing vocals
Gregg Rolie – keyboards, lead vocals
David Brown – bass
Michael Shrieve – drums
José Areas – percussion, conga, timbales
Michael Carabello – percussion, conga