Carlos Santana, a Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter, founded the American rock band Santana in San Francisco in 1966. Carlos Santana has been the only constant member of the band throughout its history of recording and playing. With their debut at Woodstock in 1969 and their first three albums, Santana (1969), Abraxas (1970), and Santana III (1971), Santana enjoyed early success (1971). Gregg Rolie, Michael Carabello, Michael Shrieve, David Brown, and José “Chepito” Areas were all essential core members during this time period, establishing the “traditional” line-up.
By 1969, the band had a record deal with Columbia Records and a management in Bill Graham. Malone had already departed the band by this time, having been found guilty of homicide and sentenced to San Quentin State Prison. The band recorded their debut album, Santana, at Pacific Recording Studios in San Mateo, California, in May of that year. The album comprises their first two hits, “Jingo” and “Evil Ways,” which are largely instrumental rock pieces. Graham agreed to help organize the impending Woodstock event in order to promote their debut record on the condition that Santana be added to the bill. On the afternoon of the second day, August 16, Santana delivered a 45-minute show.The group’s performance catapulted them to international stardom, and the album, which was released on August 30, 1969, reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. The Billboard Hot 100 charted “Evil Ways” at No. 9.
Santana returned to the studio in April 1970 to record its second album, Abraxas. The album was released in September 1970 and reached number one on the US Billboard 200, with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman” reaching No. 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The band was still striving to retain a strong musical direction in 1971. They recorded Santana III from January to July. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States when it was released in September 1971. The album was the final to include the band’s famous Woodstock era line-up, which was released at the height of the band’s success. Santana claimed that there was a lot of unwarranted internal hostility, as well as managerial issues, which resulted in Graham’s removal. They performed at an event in Accra to mark Ghana’s 14th Independence Day that year. The concert was filmed and released in theaters as Soul to Soul.
Following the success of Caravanserai (1972), Welcome (1973), and Borboletta (1974), Santana experimented with jazz fusion elements (1974). Supernatural (1999) with its singles “Smooth” (containing singer Rob Thomas) and “Maria Maria” (featuring The Product G&B) propelled Santana to new heights of commercial and critical acclaim. In the United States alone, the album went to No. 1 in eleven nations and sold 12 million copies. The “classic” lineup reformed in 2014 for Santana IV (2016), and the band continued to tour and record.
The 20th anniversary of Carlos Santana’s landmark album Supernatural, as well as the 50th anniversary of his epic performance at Woodstock, were both celebrated in 2019. At House of Blues, Santana headlined a multi-year residency. Both Woodstock 50 (which was canceled) and Bethel Woods’ half-centennial event in Bethel, NY, in August 2019 were slated to feature the band as headliners. From April to November 2019, the band traveled in promotion of their most recent album.
The first and second songs from Santana’s (then) upcoming new album Blessings and Miracles, “Move” and “She’s Fire,” were released in August 2021, and the album’s release date was set for 15 October 2021 via BMG Entertainment.
With over 47 million certified albums sold in the United States and an estimated 100 million worldwide, Santana is one of the most successful bands of all time. Its career includes 25 studio albums, 14 of which charted in the top ten in the United States. Santana, Rolie, Carabello, Shrieve, Brown, and Areas were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2000, the band won six Grammy Awards in one night, tying Michael Jackson for the most ever, as well as three Latin Grammy Awards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Santana’S Most Famous Song?
“Santana’s most famous song is probably ‘Smooth,’ which was a huge hit in 1999.
What Is Santana’S Best Selling Album?
Santana’s best selling album is “Supernatural.” It was released in 1999 and has sold over fifteen million copies worldwide. The album includes the hit singles “Smooth” and “Maria Maria.
How Many Albums Did Santana Put Out?
Santana released a total of twenty-three studio albums, seven live albums, sixty-one singles, and seventeen compilation albums.
Is Santana The Best Guitarist?
In my opinion, Santana is one of the best guitarists out there. His style is unique and he has a lot of skill. He’s also a great performer and always puts on a good show. I think he’s definitely one of the top guitarists around.