Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rock Revival's Classic Albums (1972): Santana Caravanserai

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Listening to Santana now you wouldnt be far wrong in believing he had died and been replaced by a MOR doppleganger, it's pretty amazing how appalling he is compared with the brilliance of his early 70's albums.

Chief among these is Caravanserai (1972), an album that represented a major turning point from the salsa-rock combo to jazz-fusion leader. Putting aside a need for hit singles he launched head first into an album that sounded like a latin-inspired Mahivishnu Orchestra; complex, experimental but still laced with the hispanic percussion that made Santana a unique act in this seminal period in the development of rock.

He was to do it twice again with Love Devotion Surrender (1973) with John McLaughlin and Illuminations (1974) with Alice Coltrane, daughter of the man who had made it all possible, John Coltrane.

He would return to the salsa-rock style for three more great albums (Amigos,1976, Festival, 1977 and Moonflower, 1978) and pretty much never capture his mojo again.....

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