SANTANA — Caravanserai (review)

SANTANA — Caravanserai album cover Album · 1972 · Latin Rock/Soul Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Slartibartfast
My older brother and mother became big fans of Santana in the later '70's. I was not as much, so I never acquired any of his LPs. Didn't really need to, of course. I can't say that I've heard everything in his enormous catalog, but I think this one stands out as the most progressive efforts of the Santana band. One of the things I like about this album is that it's reverse of the trend of some progressive acts trying to go more pop (particularly in the late '70's and early '80's). Santana went heavy into prog territory!

The first three albums were reasonably progressive in the sense of exploring new musical territory, (excellent album covers, too), but this one is much more instrumentally focused. Although I believe it was in my brother's collection for a while, I don't remember it getting played a lot. This album was really a nice discovery for me. I acquired the new CD release and gave it a close listening for the first time in 2004. While the older material seems to be anchored to late '60's early '70's (not a bad thing, indeed). This stuff has more of a timeless quality to it. One can only hope that after three recent popular successes: Supernatural, Shaman, and All That I Am, Santana might get the urge to venture once again into more progressive territory.

Some trivia: Greg Rollie (the first keyboardist) and Neal Schon (second guitarist added with Santana III) left after this one. They formed Journey which, I understand, started out progressive and drifted into being that dreadful pop outfit that many us of here have heard enough of, incidentally or otherwise, to last a lifetime.
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