Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Man, time does fly.  Next week, Sony Legacy is releasing the tenth anniversary edition of Santana's Supernatural. It isn't remastered, I don't think - it came out in 1999, I doubt they could improve the sound! Disc 1 is the entire original album, and disc 2 includes some tracks that didn't make the original (including a second collab with Dave Matthews and Carter Beauford, "Rain Down On Me," remixes of "Corazon Espinado" (the song that featured Mana, the Mexican rock band) and the huge hit "Maria Maria" (produced by Wyclef Jean and featuring his then-protegees The Product G&B), an extra jam with Eric Clapton and some other stuff.

The album was a pretty stunning comeback for Carlos Santana. At that point, he was pretty much an "oldies" classic rock type artist.  This not only made him a rock star, it made him a pop star and even saw him crossing over into hip-hop and R&B. Yes, people can bitch that a lot of it was contrived marketing on the part of co-producer and record mogul Clive Davis (who originally signed him to Columbia after Woodstock, and signed him to Arista thirty years later). But the fact is, these "all-star" type albums that are supposed to bring a legacy artist to a new generation hardly ever work, and I can't think of many, or any, that have worked this well (with the exception of Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company). It connected Carlos with the jam band scene that he had such a huge influence over via the Dave Matthews collab ("Love Of My Life" - the first single, although it didn't really become a hit), the alt-rock scene with "Put Your Lights On," featuring former House Of Pain MC turned singer/songwriter Everlast (and that song was a pretty huge hit), hip-hop and R&B with "Maria Maria" as well as "Do You Like The Way" produced by Lauryn Hill and featuring Cee-Lo Green (then with Goodie Mob, now more famous for Gnarls Barkley). The song with Mana reminded folks that he was the first big Latino rock star (or one of them), and the Clapton song was a nod towards classic rock. But it was his biggest pop hit ever, "Smooth," a collaboration with Rob Thomas of matchbox twenty that really made the album a monster. I've written about how people really hate on the guy, but this is a good song, and as far as I'm concerned, bringing Carlos Santana to new audiences is a great thing.

Anyway, the extras on the album are cool, but not essential. Amazon is selling the album for $13.99, which is good for two cds, but if you have the original, it may not be a totally necessary purchase.

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