Black Magic Woman – Santana | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#4); 1971

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

August, 1969 was an auspicious month for Santana: the San Francisco band played the Woodstock Festival to standing ovations and their first album was released. A month later Santana entered the album chart, on its way to selling over two million copies, and in the spring of 1970 Evil Ways peaked at #9 on the singles chart. When Woodstock hit the nation’s screens, Santana’s riveting Afro-Latin rhythms ignited audiences as they had those on-site at Yasgur’s Farm. Expectations ran high for Santana’s next album. Abraxas appeared in September with the hypnotic Black Magic Woman which Santana’s keyboardist/singer, Gregg Rolie, first introduced Woman to the group at a soundcheck in Fresno. The song was a written by Peter Green, eccentric guitarist for the original Fleetwood Mac, and was included on that group’s 1969 English Rose LP. With its sensual percussion and guitar licks, Santana’s version was a radical departure from Fleetwood Mac’s and, unlike Mac’s recording, a hit.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Fred Catero
  • Carlos Santana

Lyrics Written by:

  • Peter Green (“Black Magic Woman”)
  • Gábor Szabó (“Gypsy Queen”)