Santana – Abraxas

So my friend Brian went to this show at the Greek the other day.  The big draw was the teaming up of Tommy Lee and Ludacris (I know…I wouldn’t call that a big draw either) as a promo for their new show: Battlefield Earth (nothing to do with Scientology.)

First they got there late and missed out on the open bar and free appetizers, then the show went on for a bit with Blue Man Group and the rest doing a pretty mediocre show (one of Luda’s boys came out in a Celtic’s jersey and was booed until he removed it), but the whole time the MC kept tantalizing the crowd with promises of a “huge” special guest that was coming out.  Well, the end of the night arrived and the crowd was tense with anticipation.  The curtain went up and the huge star walked out on the stage, it was…

Wait for it…

Lukas Rossi from Rockstar Supernova!

Brian said you could have cut the stunned silence at the Greek with a knife.  People were not pleased, but kept rioting to a minimum.  It’s like going to a huge dinner where they keep raving about their special dessert, only when it arrives at the end it’s a Twinkie with a little whipped cream on top.

See, the worst thing to have to witness is an artist that has everything going for them and then just can’t get it together.  If you get the chance, get some good buzz going for yourself and get a chance to go big…you’d better be ready to go big.  Like Carlos Santana for example! (See how I did that?)

After the acclaimed release of his first album, followed by an awesome set at Woodstock, people were genuinely interested to see what he would do next.  So in September of 1970, Carlos gave them “Abraxas.”

Good move Carlos!

Word’s can not do justice to how much I love this album. Whether this is due to the amazing warm vibe that permeates throughout the record, or it’s sublime mix of rock, Latin, and middle eastern grooves.  You get recognizable hits like Tito Puente’s ‘Oye Como Va’ and his cover of ‘Black Magic Woman,’  as well as great originals like ‘Samba Pa Ti’ and ‘Incident at Neshabur!’ (below)

Needless to say , “Abraxus” went on to become one of Carlos’s most popular albums.  He rode the wave that he had created and took it even further than he had before…which I believe is the mark of a great musician.  But the album also shows an amazing musical maturity for a band that was only a few years into the game, utilizing complex song structures and jazz arrangements in unexpected ways.

Waaaayyy better than Rockstar Supernova.

This is an excellent companion to any outdoor summer festivity, especially BBQ…maybe with a little spice.


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